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Friday, August 30, 2013

Dumbing Down Relationships?

Do you ever feel like you don't measure up? How about feeling like you measure up too much?

 That's how I'm feeling right now. For awhile now actually. As I'm growing older, I'm noticing how my friendships are more like acquaintances. Talking superficial topics, nothing to risk exposing ourselves of pain, hurt or disappointment. I know for many years leading back to the first friend I've ever had, I've been crushed by friendship breakups. I know in part, it's life's cycle, but to always have it happen, it's heartbreaking. I put my all into all friendships no matter how many I have, and how long they last, which usually never is reciprocated. By the end, I'm used and thrown out like yesterday's trash.
I'm to the point of not sharing anything about myself because it ends up being used against me in the future. I met someone new on my birthday. We had coffee together and I thought we hit it off. I now believe I overshared. I told her about my life, my accomplishments, and my letdowns in life. Now there is silence on the otherside of this relationship. Another piece of me, thrown away.
What's my version of a friend?
 My version of a friendship consists of trust, sharing, intimacy, laughter, and growing old together...when the going gets rough, they are the first person you call, day or night!
Is that too much to ask in an age where social media dominates our true face to face relationships?
You've got Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogging, Pinterest.. and I know there is so much more. In the homeschooling community you have The Homeschool Lounge and tons upon tons of forums to choose from in any topic you can think of. So with that, why is America, me included, feeling so alone?
My husband keeps expressing to me that you'll only have acquaintances and not the friendship I describe above. People that come and go in your life and to expect true, deep, meaningful relationships is more of a myth than truth. A thing of the past.. Something made up for the movies?
 Have we really denied ourselves in today's culture actual intimate relationships?
Have we let go of one on one relationships for social media? A false sense of closeness, friendship, togetherness? We now can share our feelings within seconds with Facebook and Twitter.
Does that really fill us up each day to know that we are truly, deep down, loved and cared for because we were able to share it in cyberspace?

I highly recommend everyone who uses social media to read this book below. It truly changed my view of the social media epidemic..

Unfriend Yourself: Three Days to Detox, Discern, and Decide About Social Media
I guess I'm old fashioned. I WANT the relationship I've described above. I don't want superficial talk about the weather and how your grass is growing. I want to be intimate with friends. Sharing our lives together, crying together and laughing together.
Is that really too much to ask of today's society? Is there really time in others lives to stop, slow down, making room for other people in your day to day lives?
We are more ready to dive into doing something, filling our to do lists full and making zero room for relationships. I notice in the homeschooling community more than any area of my life. We are working so hard to give our kids the best opportunities and to overachieve above and beyond private and public schools that we don't give ourselves time to actually care about relationships outside our immediate family.
Do we really want to sell ourselves short and give no room to the joys of friendship?
Proverbs 17:17 says "A friend loves at all times."
God designed us to be intimate with others. He desires us to love our friends and neighbors. If we don't have friendships, then how can we really read this scripture and truly apply it to our lives?
I found a quote by C.S. Lewis that says “Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?”

What a wonderful thing to picture. I desire that.
Lately though, I've felt like my life to others is too perfect. My own father in law said that too me. Yep! Told me if his life was as perfect as ours then he wouldn't know what to do with himself. Can you believe to get that kind of talk from your own family? Well, I have and then some..
I've had other people, not related shy away from me because of my accomplishments. Should I have to hide who I truly am around others to make them feel better about themselves? I try really hard to have compassion for others, to not judge others, but lately it seems that's not the case for me.
Nobody really wants to get to know me? Me on the inside.. The intimate me! My feelings, likes, dislikes. They just see what I'm DOING. Painting my cabinets, organizing my house, cleaning, simplifying, making cakes, running, eating healthy, baking and cooking. The list goes on.....

I feel like I'm putting forth the effort 95% of the time and getting just 5% in return. Reaching out to them, either by phone calls, emails, trying to visit, inviting them over.. but it falls short when it's time to return the gesture...
Should I stop what I'm doing? No... I want others to accept me for who I am. I want to do the same for others but I feel like nobody wants to give me a chance to do so.
Has my life always been this way.. NO!!! I've been on my own since before I was 17. I've had to grow up quickly in a difficult world. My first marriage ended in an ugly divorce, ripping my family apart and taking my beautiful daughter away from me for 12 years was not easy. It was heart wrenching and physically, emotionally and mentally painful each and everyday.
Nobody sees that. Nobody takes the time to see the trials that I've gone through, that my family has gone through to make it to who I am today... They truly believe deep down, that I've always been this way.
I've not always been organized, I've been divorced, filed bankruptcy 12 yrs ago because I was not diligent with money, I ate junk food, fast food, drank soda, didn't exercise, my house was a mess, I was 35 pounds overweight, I had depression for over 2 yrs, and we had little to no extra spending money. I even had to work outside the home when my children were young. When I first got married, I had no idea how to cook and to make it from scratch would of made me laugh. I spent more time ordering out food than using my kitchen to cook. I used to joke all the time that if I was running it was because someone was chasing me..
Now look at me.. This just shows that you can change. I owe every change I've done to my almighty God.
  • I'm now diligent with our finances.
  • We are now debt free and owe only on our house.
  • My marriage is stronger than it ever has been (15 yrs + )
  • I let go of fast food and soda back in 2005
  • Started exercising and now love to run and lift weights
  • My house is no longer a mess because I got tired of wasting time looking for stuff
  • I lost 35lbs because I wanted a change for myself
  • I no longer have to work outside my home because my wonderful husband provides enough for all of us.
  • I found out I LOVE TO COOK.. from scratch.. whole unprocessed foods (why? watch Food Inc. and SuperSize Me)
  • I had to go on medication to get out of my deep depression but with God's power I was able to let go of that and heal naturally back in 2007
  • 3 yrs ago I really took simplifying my life seriously because I was overwhelmed by too much stuff and activities. I was reviewing curriculum, books, taking care of the house, homeschooling etc etc. I knew I needed a change when right after I woke up, I wanted to go back to bed.
  • I chose SIMPLIFY as my word for the year. Everytime something came up, I would say, "Does this simplify my life?" If the answer was no, then the answer was no to whatever was trying to pull me in.
  • It became a habit after 12 months of asking that question. This also meant stuff in my house. I went from room to room and cleaned out EVERYTHING. Dump, thrift store or sold a ton of stuff. Now everything has a place. If I buy something else now, if it doesn't have a home, then something else has to go or I don't buy something new.
This has taken me YEARS to get to where I am today. One thing at a time, one step at a time, one decision at a time. Failing, succeeding and failing some more. I'll never be done with this because I'm a sinner, with faults, and I tend to slide back into old habits but I find the strength from God to perservere and move forward.
I'm not perfect.. I just would love to find someone else not perfect like me, so that we can share our lives together. I hope someday I will find such friendships...

1 comment:

  1. Well said friend! I too have issues with real in person friends by me-cannot find many and not sure where to even go. Then get burned or they just float away. Wish we were closer, you know how much trouble we get into and I know we click! LOL Hugs


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