If your current style of relating with this or that person isn’t working very well, before dumping the relationship, consider the fact that you’ve got a hard heart toward that person.
You may be thinking, ‘Fact? How is he taking as a fact that I’ve got a hard heart toward the other person?’
That’s an easy one. If you’re open to ending a relationship with anyone – except in a circumstance of pretty extreme ongoing abuse, etc. – then it is a given that your heart is not open to that person. It’s closed. It’s hardened. Obviously you have reasons for feeling the way you feel. But – and this is an absolute fact, not an opinion – feelings can be changed.
In the case of feeling disinclined to like pineapple daiquiri frozen yogurt: no big deal. In the case of a relationship with another human being, you owe it to yourself – yes, you have a moral obligation – to pause, realize your thoughts are supposed to control your feelings and not the other way around, and then choose to open your heart to making a gratitude list and start allowing rational thought to bring balance to your feelings.
And sure, maybe the other person’s got a hard heart toward you too, but you can’t do anything about that. You can, however, choose to change your heart. That much is in your control.
And – hello! – if the other person doesn’t have a hard heart toward you, what’s your excuse? Are you really going to keep justifying your feelings, objectifying the other person, and letting your pain from the past rule the present? Really?
The great Leonardo da Vinci wrote, “Obstacles cannot crush me, every obstacle yields to stern resolve.” Have stern resolve. Look honestly at the parts of your style of relating that have not worked for you very well and open your heart to something new.
1. Let the gratitude flow. I’ve discussed this throughout this article. Be grateful. Stop taking for granted those things, and those people, we ought to be appreciating. Let the gratitude flow.
2. Have few friends. Yes, you read right. Have few friends and actual loved ones; a number you can manage. That might sound awfully self-centered, but it isn’t at all. I’m suggesting that the friends and loved ones that we choose to surround ourselves with ought to be real friends and real loved ones; people we really do love and value; people who we are willing to be accountable to; people we tell the truth to – about ourselves and about them… when they ask for it.
These would be people who you personally like and enjoy being with, not people that you are told you’re obligated to spend time with.
With the help of social media sites like Facebook, too many people think they have lots and lots of friends. At the same time, many of those people have no actual real friends.
Real friendship is more than just going to places where everybody knows your name. It’s more than just seeing that your troubles are all the same.
Real friendship is making a commitment and keeping a commitment. It requires a level of maturity that most of us are not accustomed to or ready for. It involves accountability. And when your friend falls and/or fails, even when he or she fails you, personally, you’re committed to not retreat into hypocrisy and punish them, using your pain and/or ignorance as an excuse.
Grow up. Keep in the conversation. Learn better communication skills. Listen. Gain understanding. Be grateful for those around you, especially folks you’re in any form of conflict with. Don’t expect them to know and understand what you now know and understand. Lead by example. It will make a difference. If only for you, I promise you’ll find that your determination will be worth the effort.
I challenge you to show this article to one other person; someone you trust; someone who you’d like to have a real friendship with. Tell them that it is your intention to apply at least some of what you’ve learned here and that you want them to hold you accountable. Give them permission to call you on any form of hypocrisy and justifying you might otherwise engage in going forward.
So, first things first. Deal with your own obstacles. Give the love you want to get. The rest will take care of itself.
We all want to be loved. You’re not getting the love you want and need? The solution to that problem is simple. In the words of my best friend, here it is: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” — Jesus