Valentine's Day was last week, and I was covered in vomit.
Ya....not the picture of loving bliss. But completely covered in love. My youngest came down with the flu--which never terrified me before but since the media is completely dramatizing it, I spent a night awake and worrying. The worst thoughts ran through my head. I couldn't sleep. It Was Fun Times, let me tell you. After I prayed over her and my own fears, I fell fast asleep. I had in my mind a Valentine's Day night with a gourmet home made dinner, flowers and cards and boom shickawawa. In reality I got leftovers, a sick child on top of me, pinning me to the couch and no flowers or card since we agreed to not spend the money (we are currently doing Dave Ramsey's Finacial Peace University.) And James asleep on the couch at 8pm. I stared out at the tv, re-visiting the night. All my expecatations of the evening were thrown to the wind and I smiled.
I have found so much freedom in letting go of unmet expectations. Hands down, mine and James worst arguments have happened over unspoken, or unknown expectations that we have placed on each other. I think an event will go one way, it falls flat and then I'm upset. He doesn't love me. I'm not cherished. This sucks. All thoughts That Yes, may seem over dramatic but are honest and have happened.
Do I know the truth? That I am cherished, loved and honored by him? Absolutely! But in an emotional moment, seeds of irrational fears can come over me and then I REACT. I turn inward, and become quiet. I seem withdrawn and phyiscally become cold to him. He knows me so well, that he knows the cycle well and without fail he asks "what's wrong, Carla."
"Nothing. Nothing is wrong" famous words from the mouth of any female.
But he sees right through me and depending on his own emotional and physical state he calls me out on my behavior in a number of ways.
We go through this repetitive cycle with him trying to pull it out of me and me denying and fighting him tryng to get to the root of it. But bless him, and I thank God every single day for this man who puts up with my shenanigan. He loves me so well.
We have finally found the key to unraveling our time-sucking, emotionally-draining ridiculous arguements over nothing.
Whoever is NOT in the pit of reaction and ridiculousness will call the other one out. Most of the time this is him being the bigger person. I'm working on it, I am. Trust me! But at times it is me. We speak out loud some friendly reminders.
It goes like this.
"Let's remind each other that we were put together for a purpose. One that we feel , God orchestrated. He has big plans for us. And Satan wants to divide us because two are stronger together. We are a team, and have the same goals. We work together for our betterment. If I have done something to make you feel less than or unloved, please tell me. I want to be the best for you and don't ever want you to feel like I don't care. If is something that I can change and fix, I'm happy to do so."
Or something to that affect. James says it in his words, I say it in mine. It diffuses the tift on the spot, every time.
If we can stop for a second in the middle of unmet relational expectations and not go into the train of doubting thoughts, and speak love to the other. WHOA! Does that break down any walls that the other has put up. It works EVERY SINGLE TIME to speak loving truth---to say "Hey, we are ont the same team! I am FOR you!" Not blaming truth, not "hey, you suck at this... truth." But LOVING "I AM FOR YOU. HOW CAN I BE BETTER?"
James has an easier time of doing this than I do. But he has taught me so much. My past woundings often rear their ugly heads. He has lovingly brought me back to truth too many times to count. And that's the thing that stands out. You might be the "James" in your relationship. You might have had less woundings from other relationships, you may be quicker to forgive and apologize. But to make a team work, it takes someone being the bigger person. I aim to be the bigger person. If both parties are striving to be the bigger person, oh man the intimate relationship that will emerge. I know hands down to be true, that what you want in a realtionship is often the very thing that you have to give away. If you want grace give grace. If you want more love from your partner, give more love. If you want less drama, be less drama filled.
You know what was the BEST thing about Valentine's Day last week? Since we couldn't buy each other cards (thanks Dave Ransey) James wrote the most AMAZING hand written love note to me that I will cherish FOREVER!
Be the change you are hoping to see in your relationship.