I read a wonderful devotional book each morning (or I at least try to). The book is written by Sarah Young, and it’s simply called Jesus Calling. She writes each daily devotional with the perspective that Jesus is talking to her about her day, her life, and her problems.
It is a powerful book of 365 days of encouragement. I am on my third year of reading it.
On The 12th of February, she writes the line, “As your thinking goes, there goes your entire being,” which I believe is from the book of Proverbs.
The devotion today speaks from Psalm 37. It is about desires, longing, being patient, and trusting. Lately, these are all states of being swirling chaotically within me. I seem to be really good at identifying the longing and desires, but very short on the ability to wait and trust.
I believe I know my desires and longing. We all could make a long list of what they are. But do we really know what they are? Do we know the root causes of the longing?
I have done a bang up job of going after my desires and longing in the love department these past few months. A few months ago, I again approached the dating scene with great gusto and determination to find my beloved. I have hired a relationship therapist and read relationship books and listened to CD’s on the subject of it. I skillfully crafted a fantastic profile and pictures that make men want to meet me.
In all of this my desire it to get it right-to get the roadblocks of my own dating patterns corrected. To get out of my way, so to speak, in order to reach the heart of the matter. Little did I know the heart of the matter had so much to do with one person-me.
I met someone that I fell for. The word fell should be noted. One of my deadly dating patterns is what is called Flameout. I do not use restrain when I find a man I like. I begin to let my heart of desires and natural expressions show. I get caught up in the excitement of flirting, connecting, kissing, and imagining. This is the kiss of death in the dating world.
So with another broken heart and humiliated ego for chasing a great man away, I return to the WHY of this repeated pattern. In this pattern, I begin to become anxious when there is a pause in the relationship. I gain self-importance in believing I am the cause of the waning of his interest. Women are so good at creating stories of why we are the reason the relationship turned south. There are dozens of books and relationship “experts” that give us reasons to turn on ourselves in a self-incrimination. I will hold that entire topic for another discussion.
When I become anxious, I do rash things. I send cards or call the man. Even worse, I try and apologize for my behavior. I try to make it okay. I try to make him okay. Some people would describe this as controlling the outcome.
Now I am pausing and reflecting without trying too much to gnash my teeth and be too hard on myself. This is the moment of turning points. This is where I dig deep into those longings and desires and find out what is really behind the scenes of my actions.
My therapist Susan takes my hand and comforts me on one side and then does what needs to be done. She chastens me and helps me confront the real issues of why I am acting out. This work is only for the brave and courageous. Looking at yourself and seeing what is going on and being responsible not only for the results, but willing to put those actions aside calls for patience and trust.
This is why this quote from Sarah Young jumped out at me today. My thinking is the steering wheel that takes me where I am. My thinking keeps derailing me and leaving me in the ditch. I look around at my situation and scratch my head wondering how I arrived at the side of the road again. My alignment is off.
Susan and I are committed to aligning my thinking which is comprised of those beliefs and familiar patterns created out of old experiences. This means I have to trust her and the process. We all have our weak spots where this warped thinking (or even ignorance) creeps into the way we relate with ourselves and men. For me, it is the childhood of inapporpriate fathers who formed my beliefs of what I needed to do in order to gain love.
Boundaries and rules are good to have when you are establishing and realigning yourself. Susan has helped me set those rules and boundaries. I am holding myself accountable.
Rule #1-No talking, hinting or flirting around the subject of sex or sexual meanings.
For some women the opposite holds true- they don’t know the art of seduction. I’ve been told by those who believe in past lives that I surely was a courtesan in a past life! I’m not sure how to take this. Should I be flattered or insulted. A child who has been sexualized may easily have the wires crossed when it comes to love and sex. For me it is a reaction of my inability to see my worth and to confuse sex (or acting sexy) with aiding a man in loving me. Don’t get me wrong- I don’t sleep around, but I do use the art of seduction to acquire tokens of what I believe is the man’s love,
Rule#2- run every action through the pause and filter cycle, This means conferring with my therapist to see what belief is running the action, which means I have to pause and not be impulsive. This means pause and filter your feelings, your actions, and your words. Just because a man is not responding does not mean he has abandoned you! It means he has stuff he needs to process- to digest.
And most importantly, through all of this, I have realized that in trying to please the man, I lose my own voice. I am afraid to really speak up about what I want, or what I am confused about, or angry about or sad about. I have given all of me to him. That is a recipe for disaster. I lived my life walking on eggshells around my father and husband. This makes for either a very sad or angry person. I don’t care to be either of those.
I look back at the relationships that I have had and see the pattern of my behaviors, but I also see the men I brought into my life, their frailities, their weaknesses, and their fears. I can only change me, I cannot change another. I believe in changing me and that in doing so I will attract a man who is self-confident, secure and who has the capacity to build a relationship. My thinking about myself, about my own longings and my own gifts will align me to the right man.
I end with the prayer of forgiveness:
Victoria, I forgive you for acting out with men your fears. for mistaking your deep longings for green lights to go deeper with a man or seek his approval. You are doing your best and you are growing each day. I forgive you for being desperate in your longing for love and companionship. I forgive you for being rash and impulsive,
You are brave. You are seeking wholeness in yourself and for that, you can do no wrong. There is no misalignment with seeking the path of truth and discovery. You will discover a new love-in yourself, in your voice which can sing and speak your truth, your feelings.
You will discover how to stand strong in yourself and not be swayed by another’s opinion of thoughts or silence.
Your thinking will be whole and real, and it will guide you to trusting yourself and a man.
Bless you, Victoria.