I have a confession to make…I really don’t understand this human experience 90% of the time. I am particularly baffled by relationships and the disposable nature in which they come and go. I’m not necessarily talking about marriage, I understand how they dissolve, it takes intentional negligence for a marriage to die. I’m talking about friendships.
I have come to the conclusion that in order for me to fully discern whether a person is supposed to be in my life for a moment, a season or a lifetime, I am going to have to do some serious research on human behavior. As much as I love the idea of doing life with a chosen few, I get that this desire is simply not enough. So, for the past couple of days, I’ve gone to two different libraries picking up books with titles such as:
Make Peace with Anyone (Breakthrough Strategies to quickly end any conflict, feud, or estrangement) by David J. Lieberman, PhD
I really like this one so far. I’m only on the second chapter but I’ve already learned a lot about caring for people who have low self-esteem.
The Law of Forgiveness – Connie Domino
Authentic Relationships – Wayne Jacobsen & Clay Jacobsen
I recommend this one to people who prefer to read Christian authors. Very insightful on why “church” friendships don’t always last.
Living with Your Heart Wide Open (How mindfulness & compassion can free you from unworthiness, inadequacy and shame) – Steve Flowers, MFT & Bob Stahl, PhD
A Weekend to Change Your Life (Find your authentic self after a lifetime of being all things to all people) – Joan Anderson
If it Hurts It Isn’t Love (and 365 other principles to heal and transform your relationships) Chuck Spezzano, PhD
Last but not least…
Being in Balance (9 Principles for Creating Habits to Match Your Desires) – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
As you can tell, I’m on a mission to attract more positive, loving and thoughtful people into my life, who want to commit to lifelong relationships. However, this will not come without an effort to understand human behavior and uncover the mistakes that I have made in the past. I have much tolerance for my own quirkiness but very little for someone else’s at times. This is partially because I have become proficient at being my own best friend and therefore I’ve learned to forgive myself more often than I have learned to forgive others. I think that this is a common behavior with most people.
On my new journey, with the help of God, prayer, meditation and the desire to read at least three books at once, I hope to achieve a profound sense of empathy, patience and compassion for others. I hope to see into the hearts of people close to me and understand their actions when they are unable to communicate with words. I would also love to be a soft place to fall when my friends are overcome with hurt and pain. Not to be mistaken however, for an emergency crash pad where people spin out of control and land on you, baggage and all.
I realize that even after all of my efforts, there will still be those encounters that leave me baffled but at least I will be better able to discern the behavior and remove myself quicker without taking it personally. Minimize the damage…yes, that would be nice.
It’s Sunday and it’s the only day of the week that I am truly alone for at least a few hours. I've shut the dog out of my room, listened to Israel Houghton (my favorite Sunday sound), I’m dressed in my “I am NOT leaving the house” clothes and now I’m ready to dig into some reading. I’ll start with the scriptures and work my way through the rest of the books, reading a chapter here, and another there.
Wish me well…the clock of life is ticking and so I must begin…
Love and Peace to You