What? Can’t I just stay in hibernation?

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I’ve been pushing everyone in my life away.  I’ve always been like this, but over the past several years, the urge to be completely alone has gotten worse. The moment I feel like someone isn’t making an effort to be a part of my life, I start to pull away from them.  It’s a defense mechanism I’ve used all my life.  My parents were some of the very first people that I began to push away.  My mom and I had an especially strained relationship when I was growing up, and by the time I turned 18, I moved out and never looked back.  I wasn’t even done with high school at that point, but I was done feeling unwanted by her, and so I left.

This pattern has continued my entire life.  As soon as I feel like someone isn’t happy with me, or doesn’t want me, I pull away and just let them go.  It’s always seemed easier that way.  I like doing things for others, and I love giving as much as I possibly can to the people around me, but I don’t want to have to plead with someone to stay in my life and to want me around.  And I don’t feel like I have the energy to deal with all the drama that comes from complicated relationships anymore.  I guess that’s why I have a very limited number of close friends, and why I’m hesitant to get close to anybody else.

These are just the thoughts that are running through my mind at the moment.  I have a very good life, and plenty of people who I know love me and accept me, but right now, I just feel like pulling away from everyone.  I don’t want to leave myself open to anymore hurts.  I’ve had enough of it already, and so I feel like escaping the potential for more heartache by closing myself off and shutting down.  Anyway, I thought journaling would be a good thing for me right now, so I think I might start writing out my thoughts like this and posting them every now and then.  Since I don’t feel like being very social right now, I’ve closed the comments section.  I just need time alone; I think we all do once in a while.  Thanks for reading.  ~M xo

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Him vs. Her – Is this for real?

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It’s been awhile since I wrote a Him vs. Her, and there’s been a few things that I’ve wanted to share, so here goes…

As I’ve spoken of in recent days, hubby and I have been having quite a bit of trouble getting through these past two years.  We’re coming up on 23 years of marriage in February and although things haven’t been the best, I see a ton of progress being made in our relationship.

One thing that has recently changed, is the fact that hubby began to ask himself why we weren’t connecting the way we ought to be.  He started praying about a lot of things that he had been struggling with, and asking God to show him where he was going wrong.

One morning he suddenly woke up, and announced to me that he was no longer going to be the man that just let life pass him by.  He vowed to encourage me in my own faith, to stop withholding his love from me, and promised to become the man that I deserve.

I was quite taken back from his sudden change of heart.  I truly wondered if he was serious.  After so many years of me feeling rejected and unloved by him, I wondered why he wanted to change now.  I was actually a bit angry at first, and wondered why he waited almost 23 years to change his tune and be the man that I had always hoped he would be.

It’s been about a month now, and my head is still spinning from the changes that I see in him.  I still have my doubts that things will stay this way and I am unsure of how to act sometimes, because I had gotten so used to feeling as if I didn’t matter to him.  I felt ignored, unimportant, and very unhappy most of the time.

So now confusion is setting in.  I keep asking myself… Is this real?  Will this last? And do I really want to give him a chance to fix what’s been broken for so long?  My stubborn side tells me not to give in; warns me that he had his chance, and reminds me that my heart has since moved on.  And yet the part of me that has never stopped loving him, tells me to forgive and forget; to let go of the past and move forward, because obviously God has taken his heart and changed it for the good.

I feel vulnerable in accepting the possibility that he really has changed.  I feel like I could wake up tomorrow and be taken for granted once again.  I don’t think I can handle another 23 years of feeling that way and I’m almost fearful of being blindsided and letting that happen again.

I have become stronger in these last two years.  Learning to be more independent of him because he wasn’t always there, and quite honestly, I grew to love the freedom of being alone, because it meant that I didn’t have to continue feeling rejected by him.  I used writing as my escape and felt like I didn’t need him anymore.

So now, I have a choice to make.  I am struggling every day to either accept this unexpected gift that apparently God has given me, or throw it all away because I’m stubborn and tired of trying.  It sounds like an easy choice, and yet I’m fighting against my own will to keep myself from getting hurt.  My heart just won’t let me forget all the suffering and the pain, which plagued me for so long.  And yet I know what I must do.

In recent days, I have been blessed with loving words of affirmation, by my husband who is trying so very hard to make things right.  Tonight I spent some time going through all the notes that he’s been leaving for me over the past month, and I affixed them to the tree that I painted on my office wall.  I decided that I needed these loving reminders, to help me move forward.  I need to forget the years of bad memories and replace them with the good ones that we are finally making together.  I think I may eventually win this battle after all.

 

Love and Acceptance

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Oh the topic of love and acceptance, where do I even begin? I am one who easily loves almost everyone I meet. I feel a deep compassion for others and I want to fix everyone’s problems. It kills me every time I see somebody suffering. I want to reach out and embrace the hurting souls of the world and take all of their pain away. When I am rejected by somebody who I am trying to comfort, I don’t understand why sometimes they cannot let me love them. I know part of this stems from my childhood, when I continuously sought after my mother’s love and approval.  My mother made me work for praise and I remember trying so hard to please her and gain her approval. When I would finally do something right, after trying over and over again to do things the way she wanted me to, I would finally get a “Well done” and it made my continuous efforts to please her all worth it in the end. But it was so hard to ever get her approval and I wore myself out trying. I think this is the reason that my relationship with my mother has suffered so much. I know I will never feel fully supported by her and so I have given up trying.  This is the biggest reason that I try so hard to show love and approval to others.  I know what it’s like not to have that support and I want to help others who face this problem too.

Rejection is a hard pill to swallow. However, I know that the only person I should really be looking to is God and how he sees me. I often make the mistake of completely opening up to others and letting them rest in my vulnerable heart. When they eventually leave, they always end up taking a piece of me with them. I suppose this is why I do better when I seclude myself from people. I hide in my house, away from the temptation to love people too much. I know by doing this, there is less chance of me getting my heart torn apart into pieces that I know will never quite fit back together the way they once did. 1 John 4:16 tells us that God is love and I feel a deep connection to this verse. If God “Is” love and we are supposed to follow his example, than we are to be love too. I know we can never fully “Be” love, because only God can do that, but I know I’ve been commanded to love my neighbor as myself (Gal. 5:14) and so I strive to do this as often as I can. I suppose if I just continue to focus on loving God completely with all my heart, soul, and might, as Deuteronomy 6:5 commands us to, then I will be able to accept rejection easier; because my heart will be fully in love with God and his acceptance will be enough.


Photo credit: lifehopeandtruth.com

Disillusioned

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Have you ever been disillusioned? What I mean is… have you ever allowed yourself to be fooled by something or someone and then later realized that you were deceived?

Take for instance this photo below. I took this the other day while my husband was driving us home. I’m a hopeless romantic and so I couldn’t help but dig out my camera for a shot of this lovely sight. sunset edited 3After a few days, I decided to go back and look at the pictures that I had taken. That’s when I noticed something that briefly shocked and amazed me. I was certain that I was seeing something of a supernatural nature in this photo. In my mind there was no other explanation for it, and I was really quite excited about it.

After further inspection of the photo though, I realized how disillusioned I really was. Take a hard look at this picture. What do you see? Look carefully and tell me what the image on the bottom left side looks like to you. Do you see a divine creature standing there in the doorway of the building? I sure as heck did! But now look closer… can you tell what it really is? I won’t give the answer away just yet. I’d like for all of you to figure it out on your own if you can, but this is what made me think about the topic of disillusionment. Do you see how easily we can be convinced of something, when we are seeking to find that which really isn’t there at all?

Which leads me to this… have you ever been deceived, mistreated, or rejected by someone? I think I can safely say that all of us have faced this kind of treatment a few million times in our lives. The thing I’ve been wondering is… are we really being deceived, mistreated, or rejected, or is our own warped perception causing us to think this is happening to us. Are we really so disillusioned by our own feelings and emotions that we convince ourselves of being victimized?

I am the kind of person who overthinks everything. I over analyze every single word a person says. Someone can look at me the wrong way and I’m convinced that they must surely hate me. Usually from that moment forward, I tend to steer clear of that person and I don’t usually give them a second chance. I’m so self-absorbed I know… I always think that everything is about me! When really… that poor person was probably just having a bad day and they didn’t even realize they were looking at me strangely. Do we wrap ourselves up so tightly in our own self-consciousness, that we miss the truth about what is really happening around us?

Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of manipulators out there. I have been played many a time by people that I thought were my friends and turned out to be just masquerading as friends. I tend to be the kind of person that trusts blindly in most situations, because I fail to see how there could be even the slightest bit of evil in a person’s heart and this gets me every time! I don’t want to see the bad in people! I see myself as a nice person who only wants to show compassion to others and I expect others to play nicely with me. I am always left in shock when this type of behavior isn’t returned. My expectations of people are so high, that it leaves me feeling frustrated when they don’t live up to my standards of how I think a person should treat me.

I am at the point now, where I am realizing that I cannot keep living life by trusting blindly and expecting people to treat me the same way that I treat them. It just isn’t realistic nowadays and I’m wondering if it ever has been. But why has it taken me so long to realize this? Am I just so lonely from having hardly any friends in my life for so long, that I am willing to look past the obvious deceitful manner of some? How have I come this far in my life… almost 44 years now, and yet I still allow people to toy with my feelings, blindsiding me every chance they get.

I found a verse that spoke to me yesterday as I was reading from a nightly devotional with my daughter. The verse is Proverbs 4:23, which says… “Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it.” I don’t remember ever having read this verse before and I know I surely must have. For some reason, instead of just reading the words this time though, they actually sank in and grabbed me by the seat of my pants. It was as if God had just spoken the words audibly to me. I realized right then and there that I have not been guarding my heart at all. I am so quick to just leave it open for the whole world to step upon and use me for their own selfish reasons.

In our desperate attempts for love and to fulfill the loneliness in our lives, I think we allow ourselves to leave our hearts wide open. When we do this, we are allowing the world to fill the void and we aren’t allowing the Spirit to take his proper place and fulfill that emptiness in our hearts. Can any of you relate to this? I think I have learned another valuable lesson the hard way. Oh when will I ever grow up!

Here’s the picture from above in larger form.  Have you figured out what it is yet?  I’m betting you can tell what it is now.  I’ll wait for somebody to take a guess in the comments section, before I give the answer away.  sunset edited 4Just like our perspective of people, I think we have to look at the bigger picture to really gain a clear understanding of who each person is and whether or not they are trying to take advantage of us in some way.  Maybe the answers to all of these questions will be more obvious to others who don’t go around blindly trusting like I do.  😉 ~M


Photo of girl found at: gbi.photoshelter.com