In 2010 my sister gave me the Boundaries book by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. So when I saw “Beyond Boundaries” by Dr. John Townsend I felt compelled to read this book. I’m glad I did.
Since getting the diagnosis that I am now in remission from Wegener’s and the doctor telling me it is time to focus on other aspects of my life. I’ve been struggling with what that means and looks like for me. I don’t have a healthy track record with choosing healthy partners or friends in my life. My past relationships go like this. I give to them, every aspect of what I have. They give me a roller coaster ride of I want to be with you, get out of my life to I miss you, come back into my life. Both males I chose to have in my life did that to me. It hurt me terribly, but I felt alone. I felt like I needed them to make me who I am. Talk about unhealthy thinking, right? Now that it has been 5 years since I have seen the latest male in my life and 11 years since the other one passed away. I am reconsidering what a relationship with the opposite sex would look like. Can I have a healthy relationship with one that is not a family member?
Please don’t think this book is about romantic relationships, because it isn’t. It is about building intimacy and trust in all relationships in your life. Co-workers, husbands, boyfriends, wives, sister, brothers, nephews, best friends, anyone in your life that you have a connection with. Relationships cannot be healthy if they are not built on a firm and strong foundation. I realize that mine with these two males I wrote about above wasn’t. My desperation lead me to overlook and ignore many of the red flags that they sprung at me. I also didn’t listen to a few people in my life who were trying to stir me away from both of these men.
One of the things that hit the hardest to my heart was when he wrote that each person in a relationship can make a choice and sometimes one wants to work on the relationship and the other doesn’t. They just want to cut it off and walk away. I am one of those who wants to work on the relationship, no matter who it is. But I have to realize and learn to let go of those who have decided to let me go walk out the door. Let them disappear into the fog of their own lives. Then take a breather and be with those in my life who have chosen to be in healthy, intimate relationship with me. I’m not so good at the letting go part. I like to think I am, but in reality I am not.
After the last guy left, I chose to abstain from connecting to another male who isn’t family. I chose to allow my heart to heal. I chose to become a woman of authenticity, integrity, and growth so that I can make the relationships in my life healthy. A couple of years ago, I decided that I didn’t know Jesus well. I only knew what others have shared with me or told me. I didn’t know. I started reading the bible, having prayer time, and just a time for me to surrender to my resistance of connecting with a male. I did not want to be hurt again. That meant that I had to tear open my heart and grieve the losses in my life along with the traumas. I had to share it with the one person who I now know is not going to betray me or decided to leave the relationship.
It is hard to be real. It is hard to acknowledge the dark aspects of our own heart, thoughts, and soul. It is hard to allow grief to happen. Most just want to be happy, glittery, and joyful people. That isn’t Jesus, that isn’t reality. Sadness and grief is part of life. It is part of relationship. But being honest enough to say I am hurt by what you said or what you did is a healthy way to deal with the pain. But also letting go of those who have decided to walk away from a relationship in your life even when they are still coming around is a hard thing to do. I’m still working on it. Townsends book is an insightful and healing read. I recommend all to read.