If you’re new to my blog, I was baptized this past July (2015). And ever since then, my life has taken on new meaning. I’ve taken a different approach and view on life. I don’t know how to explain it, other than the biggest change being in how I approach relationships (and men in general).
I used to crave attention and affection…one could probably say I was even addicted to it. I wasn’t happy unless I was getting that attention and affection from a guy. And it didn’t matter if it was the right guy or just someone who was giving me attention. I would overlook a lot of things just to get that attention. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit that, actually.
It’s also sad to admit that it took me 33 years to truly understand that I wasn’t going to find the affection I was craving from a man. I needed to first love and accept myself (which took awhile to do, trust me), and second, I needed to place my love, trust, affection, and attention in and on God.
These were two of the hardest lessons I ever had to learn. I literally had to hit rock bottom...actually fall apart and feel as if I wasn’t ever going to find happiness…in order to learn those two things.
I can honestly say that while the trying times in my life (circa March/April/May 2015) were not ones I would wish on even my worst enemies, they were ones that I absolutely, without a doubt needed. Sometimes we have to hit the lowest of lows to make the changes that are necessary. God sees to that…but He also sees us through it.
Loving myself, valuing myself, learning my self-worth…these are things I have incorporated into every aspect of my life. I am no longer self-conscious when I walk into a room of people by myself. Would I rather be with someone I knew (i.e., a safety net)? Sure. But it is no longer necessary! I used to be terrified of going to church by myself…I thought people would judge me or look at me funny. And I love, love, love that I am now able to go without a worry in the world of what anyone else thinks. It’s pretty darn freeing!!
Knowing that my life isn’t run by the opinions of others has been such an amazing revelation! I know it may seem crazy to some of you, but I used to care so much about what others thought of me and what I was doing. I’d always wonder if they were looking at and critiquing me, or whether they thought my decisions were good ones.
Seriously. What kind of life is that?!
The only opinion that matters is God’s. I want to live my life for Him…and I want to live a life that makes me happy. You know the only person that requires pleasing? Yup…ME (and God, of course!). But other people’s opinions don’t pay my bills…nor do they have to live with my decisions.
When I let go of those beliefs, I let go of a lot of stress and unhappiness and worries. If I am happy with myself and my decisions, and I’m living my life for God, then nobody else’s opinions or beliefs matter. Do I respect and understand them? Sure. But I don’t guide my life based on them anymore! Doing that up to this point led to a lot of unhappiness!!
Another area where this came into play was in the guys I was dating. I put a lot of stock into what others’ thought of the current boyfriend (think my mom, my best friend, other close friends, etc.). Yes, my opinion and feelings mattered, but theirs also mattered. I was so worried about them liking the guy that it often led to a lot of strife and discontent within my relationship(s).
It feels silly to say that out loud…to actually admit how much stock I put into it. But, again, I needed that rock bottom to learn it was okay to live my life for ME and not for everyone else. Seriously, I’m the only one who has to live with my choices, so how could I let other people decide who I was dating?
I’ve also been doing a lot of reading and educating myself on being a good Christian girlfriend, friend, daughter, future wife, and what that means. I’m currently reading a book called Every Woman’s Battle, by Shannon Ethridge. She says something so profound...it really spoke to me...so I have to share it with you:
"Why are we attracted to some people and not to others? The reasons vary from person to person and are many times based on your experiences growing up. For example, I once felt a strong attraction to a family friend. I couldn’t understand why until I learned about imago therapy, which teaches that certain people simply “fit your mold” and each person’s mold is different. That is why you may have heard a friend rant and rave over her new boyfriend, but then you met him and thought, What on earth does she see in him? He fits her mold. He doesn’t fit yours."
I never understood this concept as I’ve had several friends where I thought that very thing about their choice in men! But you know what? It’s not my mold! It’s not my decision! I don’t have to live with him!
Such an amazing revelation and something that I truly take to heart. Because my mold, my choices, my decisions…they are different from everyone else’s. And that doesn’t make them wrong or silly. It just makes them different…and 100% my own.
I love that. Again, such a freeing concept!
So when you find yourself doubting your choices or worrying about what others think, remember that your mold, your decisions, your choices matter! They are precious and unique and yours alone to make!
Have a beautiful, uniquely you day!!
With love and wellness,