I worked till very late last night and this morning my mom’s pup woke me up for a toilet break. So I made myself a cup of coffee and came and sit like a true zombie on the couch . My brain was in my nothing box. Yes, I have discovered that I have one too. I think the Holy Spirit loves me in that state, cause then He can speak to me. We don’t speak about profound things. I once heard that if a man and a woman can sit next to each other without saying a word to each other and they are completely at peace, it is a sure sign that they are soul mates.
With me and the Holy Spirit it is the same. I love just sitting with Him.
I started to think of the Kingdom. We all have definitions of it and each of us live according to our revelation of it. I have learned a long time ago to trust the Holy Spirit in each one of us to guide us through His ways. Whether He reveals Himself through preaching or worship or the Word, it is up to Him to connect with His children and I can’t interfere with that process. He does have guidelines, like revelations being based on His Truth. What is truth, Truth is a Person and as long as your revelations reflect the Person of Truth, you are on a safe journey.
Anyway, not what I want to speak about. My journey the last couple of years is all about relationships. To me, the glue of the Kingdom is relationships, with each other and our God. I study it in my own life, read many books about is and came to many conclusions. I don’t say that I am King of this Castle,but here are my thoughts.
Offense destroys. Period. In my own life I have seen how it can steal. One particular relationship that I have wanted to build, was destroyed in early phase of the relationship by the opposite party’s offense of one of my actions. Instead of coming to me and talking about it, they kept it against me and use that to judge me everyday. If I would go my way and live my life, they would judge me according to their offense in me and would distance themselves more. Eventually, I had to confront and all the offenses came out. It was sad to hear and I did acknowledge my part, but it was to late. The hurt was already caused and to recover was to difficult.
I also struggled with offense. I can remember the moment when I finally handed to situation over to God and confronted the parties involved. It was the most difficult thing that I ever did and I took a risk by exposing my vulnerability, but it paid off. Through my years I learned to speak my mind in love, rather than keeping it shut and poisoning me and the people around me with my offense.
I note that many people took offense by the church. I did too, eventually I had to ask myself, How is that working for you? I was created to be in a community and by taking offense by a church organization, I distanced myself from my community. Even those not in the church, I grew skeptical of. I was just outright skeptical of all Christians. Not a leka place to be in.
Man was not created to live on an island. Today it is way easier to forgive the church and to bless it , than to keep my grudge and curse the organization.
” You don’t have a soul, you are a soul with a body.” C.S Lewis.
One of the human being’s most beautiful thing is his soul. We each have one, our piece of Our Creator. Vulnerability is exposing that lovely soul to other people.. Showing them your heart. Wisdom guides us here to not expose it to people who will not respect it.
I have learned this in the hard way. I used to carry my heart on my sleeve, and even though it is who I am , I encountered many people who did not respect my heart. If you show vulnerability to someone and they stomp all over your heart, it affects your self worth. When I learned how worthy I am, I learned to share myself with people who would respect my heart.
I am fierce about this. If I detect that you would not respect my heart, I will not share. A relationship is suppose to be a safe place where each party feels safe to share their vulnerability. Many people miss this, some see the step of vulnerability the opposite person take as a personal attack against them and immediately go into defense mode, meanwhile the person sharing, is giving you the biggest compliment they can possibly give. They show themselves.
Healthy conflict is suppose to draw you closer to each other. What makes it difficult is the giving and receiving end of it. Respect and honour yourself and the person you are talking to.
Some guidelines in sharing:
- Use I statements rather than you statements for example: I felt dishonored by your statement.
- Listen : Listen to what the person is actually saying. Don’t go into defense mode immediately.
- Believe in yourself. You are beautifully created, if you enter conflict with a healthy mindset of yourself, you will not see the person’s vulnerability as an attack on you.
- Truly apologize. When you apologize you don’t admit that you were wrong. An apology is not about right and wrong, it is about connection. It is about a valuing the other person’s heart and bold step of vulnerability.
- take a action step. Give a hug, ask how to handle the situation better next time? How would they prefer it? Be vulnerable yourself, if their expectations are to high of you, say it in a loving manner.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away. If the conflict is disrespectful and ugly, stop it and walk away with respect. You are not there to fight, but to connect.
- As far as possible don’t try and dissolve conflict through email of facebook. Written communication can be so misunderstood. If the people are far way, read through carefully and ask a friend to read through as well. The heart of conflict is to come back into connection.
- The goal of communication is to express yourself, not to convince the opposite party.
Define the relationship:
The vulnerability I spoke of in the above part, is meant for a relationship that is deeply connected. Learn to define your relationships and learn to communicate that definition to people. Be honest, once again, don’t communicate a standard that you can’t keep.
One of my most blissful relationships is with a dear friend called Grace. She took the time to define the way she sees me. Today we live on opposite hemispheres and don’t chat that often,still I know where I stand with her. To define your relationship, really brings about so much freedom. It can be as simple as: “You are my laughing friend.” or ” I feel safe to share my heart with you.”
Another dear friendship is with my friend Suvi, we were neighbours and we became very close. I remember the day she sat with me and defined my role to her! I love it! She also lives in the Northern Hemisphere!
I have many times over commit and under deliver. This brings about a feelings of betrayal. Since I married my husband, I have learned to communicate what I enjoy of each relationship.
Healthy relationships are extremely blessed and so much fun!