14 April 2017

How To Not Conform

Recently I was given some news that shocked me, but didn't surprise me. I was told that a married man in my world was having an affair. This is horrible and not good, but I knew the woman and my interactions with her weren't too good either. I watched the couple date and marry and saw the red flags from the beginning, but of course stayed silent for fear of looking jealous and really the relationship to speak up wasn't there. We weren’t good friends and it wasn’t my life, so there is that. But basically I was the waiter at the restaurant to this girl and if you're not nice to the waiter then you're really not a nice person. 

Although, I am single I have seen this in a couple of relationships that are now unhappy. In those cases I spoke my peace and kept a good face to keep the relationship. I root for them continuously as I want them to succeed. You don't get marriage, I am told, but I am human and I do get basic relationship and character and if we are truly honest with ourselves isn’t it the same thing. 

I remember when my friend messaged me to tell me about the affair. She said did you hear about so and so,  my response was yes and I have been hearing little things about his unhappiness off and on for about 6 years now, I just never mentioned it. He hasn't looked truly happy on Instagram ever. I mean she looks happy, but does he? The response… I guess I knew he was unhappy too, I just wasn’t sure and didn’t want to say anything. I am glad my friend trusts me enough to tell me her truth, because it really is none of our business. But, I mean, how does your wife vacation all year, hardly work, not give anything she promised while dating from profession to misleading you about the basics. For instance, you love coffee so you take your girlfriend out for coffee regularly. Coffee dates are a part of your two year dating/engagement life, she sits across from you and drinks coffee and then you get married and she lets you know she never liked coffee, who does that?! Who the heck is this person and how and why did they lie for so long about something seemingly insignificant. Don't happy couples vacation and see the world together? Of course you are still learning about your spouse but a 180 is sort of strange no? 

This couple has decided to stay together and if this is real and for the right reasons with her getting the help she needs not for being cheated on but for everything else listed above I am thrilled and wish them all the happiness that life has to offer. I know no one ever wants to say the women contributed but I know this guy and with being single and going on dates I hear the stories of women not doing right. Some men want happily ever after too.  

I am so grateful for the people in my life who had the balls to leave unhappiness, get happy and breathe. Because after you've done all you can, God wants you free. There is no honor in staying married to save face. I believe in counseling and getting help but if that fails, you're just wasting your life. 

A while back I was dating a guy and a good guy, but not the guy for me. I noticed things I didn’t want in a husband, but a few of my friends attempted to silence those voices. Well, my husband was like that, literally the worst parts of their spouse and he changed. Why do you want me to suffer and be anything but completely happy? Well, it's only been a few weeks stick it out, they would say. Then I got clever, let me say the same exact thing but flip it so it sounds like it's in the other person's best interest. I think he deserves someone who wants to honor him stronger than me, I think he deserves a woman who can handle XYZ and they bought it. Why did that happen? Because they identified with the traits I was pointing out as negative in their own lives and wanted me to validate what they had been through and are going through. Instead of admitting they should have noticed that in the first place.

We all want to be good people and we want wisdom, discernment and truth. Of course presented kindly no one wants to be spoken down to but seriously, we want to have honest conversations.

It's one thing to lie to others, but when you lie to yourself it brings sickness to your soul. I remember being that, pretending to believe everything I was told and I hated myself.

Here are some tips on not conforming and hurting yourself in the midst of life circumstances. 

  1. Don't lie - keep a brave face, try not to gossip but don't lie. We do these things because our heart is good, but turning a blind eye and lying to yourself will only hurt you and invalidate your truth. When you see something happening around you smile and speak your truth internally. But, when asked, if the relationship isn’t there change the subject or dismiss yourself. Lying makes you look na├»ve. Also, the people involved may think they need to keep pretending to keep their friends.
  2.   Don't like, comment or share. This is perpetuating phoniness. If you don't agree don't pretend you do. It amazes me that 7 people can see something and say, oh I wasn't sure so. Sweet Lord, what does your gut tell you? I am blessed / cursed with the gift of discernment so I just see things, but you probably do too and if your heart is in the right place free of jealously and anger and other issues, what you are seeing is probably real. You have a good heart you want to love people so don’t be ashamed of seeing things.
  3.  Pray or mediate - do your best to center yourself. It's amazing how their situation has brought pain and fear into my world. What happens next? Is he stable Will he harm himself Am I stuck with her being the same person and  playing the victim for the next 20 years? Will she be my leader still?  Will I be cheated on by my husband? What makes men cheat? Pray, get revelation and seek your center. You are the only person that can do this, no one can really do this for you.
  4.   Be honest with someone. It's sort of funny that I have noticed the unhappiness for years, but never spoke of it as I shouldn't have, it's not my business and the rumors came to me. But, when you put your marriage out there as perfection when people know it isn't it puts everyone in a weird spot. I do remember speaking to an older friend a couple of years ago about the type of person I thought this woman was and the fear I had about her being in leadership over me. I was quickly silenced and told to never say that to anyone, ever because I sound mean and she doesn't want that to negatively affect me. She said this woman is trying to fill big shoes, but forgive me, I never saw the effort being put forth. Finally, I am venting to a friend (not any of the friends above) who doesn't know them and I can say anything and not be judged, she knows me well and isn’t reading into what I say for validation of herself and if I notice that she is I can call her on it. Be careful if you don't have that friend, vent to a professional. You CAN NOT talk to everyone! The old school idea about counseling is stupid. If you are busy like me, you really can't handle anything rolling around for long periods of time in your mind without a purpose. Go unload get the tools to put things in healthy little candy wrappers and keep the party bus moving. You probably only need about an hour to vent and then you can move on.
  5.  Let people make mistakes. All of the people above are humans and they are doing the best they can. I easily side with honesty, I made a mistake here are my flaws, let's work through this and when that happens I forgive and move on. If someone can't be honest and vulnerable then you must  admit their mistakes for yourself. You have discernment and you can see what's happening so write that down. I am seeing this person behave like this even if they are not strong enough to be honest with you the practice of seeing their stuff on paper will help you. This practice gives words to your emotions and when they behave that way again your mind has a trait to attach grace to. They are afraid so be kind, they are jealous, so have mercy don’t brag and uplift them. Write it, admit it and use it to help yourself navigate the situations that will arise. Some people just can't see themselves as anything but perfect, so help yourself and view their flaws for awareness. 

Well peeps that's so long, but I know it will help you as it has been helping me.


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