For a very very long time, I walked around with a slight victim mentality.
I say slight, VERY modestly... “inserts sarcastic laughter”.
But seriously, during MOST of my time spent in college, I NEVER found myself having any “WHOA IT’S ME” moments.
Because in the beginning, it WASN’T.
However, as time continued on, I found myself having to take an unexpected hard look in the mirror.
There is absolutely nothing like thinking you have it all together but then asking God to REVEAL you to you, just to find out you aren't as "together" as you thought.
The struggles that lie dormant in your life begin to reveal themselves and that process can sometimes feel overwhelming.
But, as you learn to come into agreement with what it is you specifically prayed for, you find comfort in ADMITTING that YOU ARE NOT OKAY.
I know that sounds odd, but seriously, think about it.
We utilize so much energy PUTTING ON A FRONT like everything is peachy, just to go home later, lay in misery and cry, when we come back to the REALITY that it ISN’T.
1 Peter 5:6-7, the MESSAGE version says this, “So be content with who you are, and DON’T put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you.”
Let’s break down the ‘a’ clause really quickly, “be content in who you are,” that doesn’t specify according to whether or not you like WHO you are that day.
The language of the text would suggest that you should be content in who you are NO MATTER the circumstances.
Good, bad, ugly, or indifferent, BE CONTENT.
Next portion, “don’t put on airs.” I don’t know about you but, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that this translates into modern day terms of STOP FRONTING!
Remember earlier, I mentioned that I wasn’t the problem, IN THE BEGINNING, so, it’s safe to assume that as time went on, something changed.
I say, I wasn’t the problem in the beginning, because I had no control over the actions of another person.
However, when the person became a REPEAT OFFENDER, THAT put the ball in MY COURT.
You see, a long time ago, my pastor said something very simple but very profound and it was this (paraphrased of course), “If you are in the boxing ring with someone and they continue to hit you AND you DO NOT MOVE, the results of the hits you take become YOUR FAULT.”
As profound as that statement was, it took me YEARS to truly figure that out.
Which, blatantly put, is what led to my initial steps of going to counseling. Here I was, 26 at the time, just now figuring out, I NEEDED HELP.
At 26, I slowed and considered the PATTERNS of my relationships and finally had my “WHOA IT’S ME” moment.
I had matured to a new place where I discovered that I WAS THE CAUSE of my own cycles and in return my own heartbreaks.
The ROOT of all the heartbreak, disappointment, carelessness, and continual hits was a lack of BOUNDARIES and in essence brokenness.
Simply put, I was emotionally scarred and COULD NOT SEE IT. I suffered with issues of self-worth.
I was not emotionally healthy nor emotionally intelligent and I lacked overall self-awareness.
I attracted emotionally unhealthy people because I too was emotionally unhealthy.
Always remember, YOU ARE what you attract.
Eventually, what began initially as a platonic friendship transferred over to what was once called a “situationship” because I lacked healthy boundaries and executed poor communication skills.
Time after time again, I made assumptions that because the people I dealt with, who I called friends, were recently out of a relationship, would not “try me” in any relational or emotional manner, my guard was already half way down.
In my mind, I NEVER had to worry about being vulnerable because feelings, emotions, and all of that lovey dovey stuff, would be the LAST thing on their minds.
BUT boyyyy was I wrong!
What started as harmless communications, venting, and being a supportive friend, became so much more.
I was a listening ear, but I NEVER slowed to think about what the consequences of being that ear to someone, who was recently out of relationship, would be.
The harmless communications became CONSISTENT and the types of conversations taking place became very emotionally involved.
And eventually, feelings seemed to have “come out of nowhere” not just on their behalf but for me too.
Which led to an EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT being formed; because from the beginning, BOUNDARIES didn’t exist within the “friendship”.
EXPECTATIONS of what the relationship was, would, and wouldn’t be were NEVER communicated.
And after a while, here I was, emotionally invested, to later hear, “I AM JUST NOT READY”.
Every time, I was CRUSHED.
However, one day, I began to think “Why does this continue to happen?”
And the answer eventually became VERY SIMPLE, I lacked boundaries. I was too busy being a dumping pot and listening ear, that I FORGOT, about me.
I forgot to GUARD my heart, my mind, and my soul. AND, in the heat of the moment, I never analyzed why I continued to attract what I did in male company.
However, it’s very important to know that EVERY relationship in your life needs HEALTHY BOUNDARIES.
It DOES NOT matter whether or not the relationship is male and male, female and male, female and female, mother, father, uncle, sister, brother, friend, etc.
UNLESS you’re married, there will always be a need to have some type of line drawn that creates boundaries in conversation, time and attention, access, and even money.
My pastor said this during Sunday’s message, “When you STOP making excuses, you BEGIN to DEAL with your hurt.”
He went on to say, “You CAN change it, IF you STOP BLAMING it. IT DOES NOT MATTER how you got here.”
My challenge and homework to you today is this, ANALYZE the continual unhealthy cycles in your life especially as it pertains to your relationships, platonic and romantic.
What do the situations have in common as it pertains to you, the people, and circumstances in which the cycle occurs?
I encourage you to keep a journal of these things so that you are able to track your progression or even stagnation in taking steps towards acknowledging your hurt, recognizing continual cycles, and the implementation of boundaries.