Tuesday 16 December 2008

Listening for Permission to be "Me": A look at relationships, love, and life: in our exile from heaven

Relationships are neither heaven or hell, maybe they are all purgatory. Is a relationship supposed to be mediocre, I’m not settling for mediocre? We don’t want a tolerable coexistence. We all want “ecstasy” true companionship with an anticipated lifetime of this happiness, I want my knight in shining armor, to come flying in and sweep me off my feet and make all my dreams come true with one heck of a spiritual base, a fairy tale with my soulmate that I have been waiting to meet throughout my lifetime … do you think I am dreaming, I’ll certainly keep you posted.

No relationship is ideal or easy, thats not the fairy tale. If anyone tells you that their relationship is perfect it is not true. Was Adam and Eve perfect or closest to it, he didn’t have to hear about all the other guys she could have married and she didn’t have to listen to him say how his mother cooked better. Ouch, enter the intrusions of sin.

At the beginning you have a huge chemistry with each other, they might be very handsome or beautiful and have caught your eye, you get these butterflies in your stomach, you want to learn about this person and a friendship begins. Everything from the outside is good, but what about the inside, is the inside complete, mature and able? They have a fabulous job, marvelous personality, so totally hot and handsome, it'd be the perfect match right, life would be easy, but …

Throughout our lives we meet all kinds of people, some will stay and some will go, they all bring different experiences into our lives, why do some become part of our lives forever, maybe even become part of our family or our spouse? Do we have a check list of qualifications that are needed to cross that friendship line into maybe something more like a beautiful marriage?? Do Catholics only marry Catholics, what if you are a practicing catholic and marry a cradle catholic (one born with the name catholic)?? Will that work? What if you fall in love with a non-catholic, yikes then what? Would it rip your heart out if you fell in love with someone and they said you have to have these certain qualifications before there would even be a possibility of a future together ... after the fact you have fallen in love? Relationships are brutal sometimes and hurt … those are the true facts!!

Falling in love sometimes sneaks completely up on you, its not lust, its deep, its understanding where that other person is coming from, its making sure that persons needs are met sometimes before yours. Sometimes you don't even realize you are in love with someone right in front of you and you are looking?? It’s a lot more giving than receiving. Loving relationships aren’t always just couples. The first and biggest thing in any relationship is learning really hard to listen. Listening to what your significant other, girlfriend, boyfriend, friend or spouse is saying to you, not what you are saying or what you want to hear, listening to their thoughts first. Great communications skills penetrate your heart and soul. These are base skills. We all lack these skills and they are superior to anything else.

Are you in fear of being assertive, speaking your true thoughts, for fear of disappointing them your partner, friend, associate or hurting them, not being you, being the person they desire first?? Awe, what about spiritual communication, the glue to the relationship, God? Do we need God in our relationships as couples even if we are perfect for each other? Uh-huh, I'm warning you we all need God, that I know for sure and I learnt the hard way.

We all spend time learning skills in school, taking courses etc., but does anyone spend time connecting and learning the psychology of relationships? What about the teachings or classes taken before getting married, are they effective? Are you taking the class or just attending because it’s a pre-requisite or are you truly involved and participating in that class??

It always bamboozles me to learn that sometimes we wake up after several years together in a relationship or marriage and really do not know a person. We scream “eish” at the top of our lungs, it happens sometimes after a couple of years together dating or twenty years later married and you realize your partner doesn’t know who or what you are all about, this is not uncommon, but it sure is sad. It a lack of communication and effort on one or both partners in any relationship. It happens frequently. This wasn't discussed in any course that I attended?

It takes huge amounts of time and commitment to keep a relationship happy and making it grow, it doesn’t just happen, its work and lots of work, harder work than you can imagine with huge communication skills and trust that each of you must realize this.

Its strange that sometimes during a relationship we get this awakening to the fact that something is wrong with this union, it’s in your stomach and intuition, you might not want to realize this, you might argue a lot, not hear what the other person is saying, you truly love this person and want it to work. You ignore these waves inside you for fear of what the unknown?

You might realize you have never had a true heart to heart talk, person to person totally connecting and understanding each other as individuals. Maybe you have but you don't get that feeling of connection. We are are always individuals regardless of any relationship or marriage. Sometimes as much as you love a certain individual you are fighting to keep it together and Gods powers are saying something different. The grass isn’t greener on the other side, this person is truly good but its like you are fighting against something, nobody is perfect and you wonder why this working isn’t. Both parties seem to want it to work??

A good relationship requires core teaching of loving myself first, connecting with our loving God.

We live in a world where sin affects all of us, individually and in married couples. Why is this, because nobody is perfect and each of us is flawed with huge idiosyncrasies, immature neurotic traits and they don’t go away when you say “I do” and that most beautiful diamond is slipped onto your finger. They become magnified by the significant other immature neurotic behaviors of the partner, girlfriend or spouse in the relationship.

When the relationship between two people starts to disintegrate there is friction, some panic, become afraid, don’t want to lose the other person, hurt and fear being alone, nobody wants to be lonely or spend their life alone. This is difficult time in any relationship to endure, both individuals know when something is not quite right and most know that relationships will change they don’t stay all happy. Sometime this comes from a sense of disillusionment. At some point in a relationship you each realize the shocking realization that romantic dreams of a perfect relationship or matrimonial bliss is unrealistic. The wife or girlfriend wants continued courtship with lasting, loving attention from her prince charming, the one she will marry and the wife is disappointed if this becomes a dashed dream after marriage. We get caught up in the wants in life.

The boyfriend or husband is disconsolate because he isn’t receiving the love and respect he assumed would always be there. The reality of it all hurts, hurts real bad. Relationships take lots of work, tons of work, but none of it is going to work without the faith of God inside any type of relationship first, if you don’t have this, no amount of love or work is going to help, you are missing the base of faith. You can never have the rest though regardless how hard you try or good without this faith?? Who knew?

Having a broken relationship before marriage is Gods way of telling you to look deep inside. It doesn’t matter how much it hurts or time spent together, what people say about how good of a couple you are together, listen to your conscience and not a broken heart. A broken marriage can be brutal, you endure the whispers, gossip, and condescension of others, and the worst is you have to bare Gods’ disdain as well??

Whether a relationship is broken or still hanging together by a thread, what is that gnawing feeling inside us that tells us its unreasonable and impossible for this to ever be, why when we are lonely and only just want this to be does it have to be??

The relationship gives you a sense of peace or makes you laugh, its teaches you something and the joy you receive is still unbelievable but it’s still not right and its goes away. It can’t withstand something to keep it strong and it’s not meant to be, oh it could be the most beautiful relationship you have ever had but it’s an experience inside your heart only. A life experience you will take onto the next. Sometimes we make mistakes and never realize this for fear of being alone or lonely so we settle and ignore that thing inside your stomach. We wait.

Any relationship needs realization that it is a lot of work and giving and compromise are a priority. Nobody can provide you with a sense of worth or wholeness like God. All is never lost if a relationship breaks down along with a marital breakdown, God is still there. God is forgiving and doesn’t want anyone unhappy, there are reasons things happen along our paths.

A successful relationship that has a chance will consist of three people, a woman, a man and God. God is the most essential component in your life when your relationship is successful or unsuccessful. You have to have faith together or there is no chance. Don’t be desperate for relationships or marriage be desperate for God in your life.

Simple rule of honoring God is doing what he expects of you. By doing so you will have a positive influence in a relationship. You can’t change the attitudes of the other member of the relationship or for that matter members of your family. Infusing any relationship with a godly character that comes directly from you is the best thing. You have to love when you don’t feel like it. Love when you aren’t loved back. Love when it appears there is no hope of reconciliations.

The greatest test of love is whether we can love those who act unloving towards us. Forgiveness is 70 x 7, indefinite forgiveness.

Even if you are well-intentioned the breakdown of relationships whether married or not can be initiated by outside factors, different goals, family ideas, financial problems, health challenges, or conflicts of belief. Sometimes it’s just not meant to be and that’s hard to swallow.

When a relationship or marriage is failing or has failed you cannot be responsible for or capable of changing the attitudes of the other member. We must remember the poem, some people come into our lives for a reason, some stay for awhile, some teach us something and then go regardless if they take a part of our heart with them. Sometimes someone comes along and you know deep inside they are staying for a lifetime and nothing is taking them away from you, you know this inside your heart immediately, it’s an experience you have shared, they are the keepers and require work, Gods work. They are lifetime relationships and friends. This might not even be or become a spouse it’s just a relationship, a really good one.

We all want these lifetime relationships. These relationships teach us a lesson. Things we build on in order to have an emotional solid foundation. We accept the lesson wholeheartedly, and know everything we have learnt from past relationships and areas of our lives is going to be put into this certain relationship. We pray and we keep our fingers crossed and with God we wait for that realtionship which might be once in a lifetime, sometimes its more than once. Sometimes it becomes our spouse other times not but we pray for this regardless, God will let us know and you will have no doubt when it happens it will be crystal clear, its only what I believe, hope and have faith for us all.

Note from editor:

While marriage is indessolvible, sometimes it never occured in the first place, a breakdown or sense may be justification of looking into whether or not canonically marriage even occured: a way to save one from the mortal sin of Fornication. Also, a marriage may be indessolveable, but a civil divorce is acceptible, but cannot separate what God has made one: marriage cannot be dissolved by civil authority: yet when some breakdowns occur, living apart is often a necessity. c.f. Canon Law. Use our Scripturelink Search engine on the side or:

EWTN global Catholic TV and Radio, and Information Network
Annulments: EWTN

Annulments: In Light of the Law: an Expet in Canon Law
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Some Canons in Vatican Site
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