I’m learning that a healthy relationship starts with me. If I’m not at peace with who I am as a person, then I will project my negative perception of me onto others. This projection will cause me to think how I feel about myself is what others see and feel. That causes friction in relationships because I will start treating them the way I think they think. For instance, one of the things I discovered about myself last week was that deep down in my core I believe that I’m not good enough, not valuable, not important, and not significant. Now intellectually, I know that’s not true. But early in my childhood, I internalized those lies and they’ve been driving my emotions, thoughts, and interactions with people ever since. I noticed it even with this blog. I’ve been writing on this blog for months, but yesterday I chose to share it with the world. I realize that I had been hesitant to share it because I thought that what I had to say wasn’t good enough. But when I finally got down to the truth of what I believed about myself last week, I had to combat it with truth which has liberated me. I found scriptures on value, worth, and significance to start meditating on. I was reminded in Proverbs 31:10 that my price is far above rubies. Isaiah 43:3-4 showed me that I am a precious commodity to God. John 3:16 spoke to me that I was worth dying for. Isaiah 43:1 showed me that I am a child of the King, so that means I’m royalty. Reading these scriptures shifted my perspective and empowered me to think differently.
For so long I looked for unhealthy doses of acceptance, validation, and love from a man. My belief system led me to chase after the wrong types of men, thinking that I had to prove my worth and value to them. I was attracting men who treated me like the person I thought I was. I engaged in attention seeking behavior so that they could notice me and see me as special and worth being with. I thought that my identity, significance, and worth was contingent upon whether a man had chosen me. As you can imagine, when I wasn’t with someone, I felt unworthy, unwanted, and unloved. But God showed me through His Word, that my worth, value, and significance is in Him. The more I believe that about myself, the more healthy relationships I can have with other people.
Let me ask you a question…what do you think people think about you? If a lot of negative thoughts come to mind, I’m willing to bet that’s how you feel about you. Where do those thoughts come from? At some point in your life, you internalized those things about yourself and now you feel that others believe that too. I encourage you to explore your internal belief system about find out what you really believe about you. Once you do that, search the Bible for the truth. Compare what you believe to what God says about you. Meditate on those truths so that can change your belief system about you. Before you can have the healthy relationship you truly desire, you have to have a healthy relationship with you.
One of the things I realized about myself today is that I’m afraid of making the same relationship mistakes that I made in the past. Recently I’ve been conversing with a guy, just getting to know him as a person, and I realized I was comparing him to another guy from my past who turned out to be emotionally unavailable. I invested a lot in that relationship so I fear doing that again.
When I saw that I was making this comparison today, I had to stop and journal to process my emotions and get to the root of what’s going on within me. I realized that I needed to forgive myself for the unhealthy relationship decisions I made in the past. I also had to admit to myself that I’m not that same person anymore. I’m more aware of my emotions and have been making healthier decisions. I have a closer relationship with God and have to trust that He will guide me. I don’t know what this current guy’s purpose in my life is, so I trust that in time God will reveal that. In the meantime I will get to know him as a friend and continue working on myself.
I share this with you to encourage you not to compare the next guy you meet to a guy from your past. It’s not fair to the new guy, and it’s not fair to you. If you’ve been doing the work to become better, then you’re growing and not who you used to be. Forgive yourself for the decisions you made in the past and pray that God will lead you in the future. Release yourself from the old perception of you and start embracing the new you. You’re different and it’s time for you to acknowledge that.
When I woke up this morning I heard these words in my head from a Dewayne Woods song, “God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever…” Now I hadn’t heard that song in a while so I felt that was the Holy Spirit sending me a message, so I Googled the words to see what scripture that came from. It was from Psalm 73:26 which says, “My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” These words were right on time because today I go to court for my final divorce hearing. So what I took from this scripture is that God was telling me He is the one who strengthens and heals my heart. It showed me that God cares about what I will go through today. He sent me a word to encourage me today. I’m so thankful that He cares.
When I look back over these two years of being separated from my husband, I can see how God has strengthened my heart. Who I was the day that my husband left is different from who I am today, and it’s all because of God. He sent me scriptures that spoke to me. He blessed me with friends to encourage and support me. He sent me to counseling to help me learn about me. He protected me as I healed. For all of that , I am truly grateful. Today, as I face the reality of ending a broken marriage, my heart feels strengthened and at peace. Thank you Lord for being the strength of my heart and my portion forever. I love you.
I don’t know what you may be going through today, but know that God cares. You may feel alone but know that you’re never alone. He is always there. Quiet your mind and heart and listen to what He wants to say to you. He is always speaking and has a message just for you.