I’m going into this entry blind. I don’t know where I want to go with it, or what I want to say. I just know I need an escape, and writing has always been it.
The older you get, the harder relationships get. In general, in any sort. Friendships, families, romantic types. It’s harder to find them, and it’s harder to keep them. People get busy with the hustle and bustle of the world. Busy with jobs. Some can’t prioritize, some don’t want to. Feelings start to get in the way, feelings get hurt, and in a world of technology, things aren’t ever discussed as they should be. Face to face. Instead words get lost in text message form, everything feels like an attack. Things escalate, and things end, and no one ever even knows what happened. We don’t have time for a quick lunch, or a cup of coffee, but, we have time to update our social media, and check it daily. The likes we can get overcome the relationships we lose in the process. Our paychecks are more important than the people we go to bed with every night.
I’m re-reading (again) a book by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, titled Love & Respect. It’s a constant go to in a complicated communication world.
“It goes back to that we send each other messages in “code” based on gender, even if we don’t intend to. What I say is not what you hear, and what you think you heard is not what I meant at all.”
And that, my friends, can be the death of relationships if we don’t choose to fix it. Unfortunately, many of us don’t, because avoidance is easier than conflict. We’d rather choke on our own pride than allow it to get all the way down, swallow it, and have the conversation. Have the argument. Find the compromise.
I’ve had a recent conflict that is much comparable to this. I’m not going to lie, or pretend that I handled it well. I haven’t. I’ve made myself sick. I’ve went a full day without eating. Had to take a day off work. I’ve allowed the devil to fill my spirit with defeat in the form of depression. It’ll hurt some people to read that sentence and know that I am sharing it with all of you. But, guess what, I can’t be embarrassed. I also can’t keep it a secret. “Happy Holly” can’t be happy all the time. But, she can choose to give her worries to God, because that is what I have promised to do. What I have stood in front of my church and my God and promised to do. And right away, I was disobedient. I lost another night of sleep over it. I took things into my own hands, and they only ended uglier. Only allowed more of an attack. I was listening to my fickle feelings rather than to the Holy Spirit.
A story Dr. Eggerichs shared reminded me much of how this scenario went…
“I knew Sarah loved me and her outburst was caused by her desire to help me. She wanted me to appreciate her concern and understand that she was only doing it out of love, but the bottom line was I felt disrespected, attacked, and defensive…”
Have ya’ll seen about this Crazy Cycle he talks about it? It’s a pretty impressive thing.
Broken down in simple form, we, as women, need love…where men, need respect. Each without the other is a setup for failure. Unfortunately, sometimes we start the crazy cycle spinning so fast, before we even know we are on it, and we end up thrown on the ground; each so hurt, that we don’t really care at all what the other wants anymore.
You know what’s even worse? When one party still does care. Especially when the party is you. Everyone says, “cut your losses, you’ve been through it before” and with time, you probably will. But, it makes it really hard to be a woman who just needs to be loved in return.
“When the wife sees the spirit of her husband deflate, or he gets angry and won’t talk, his behavior seems childish to her. But, if a thousand men with blue sunglasses and blue hearing aids were watching and listening, they would say, ‘I know why that guy shut down on her. Good grief! Look at the way she’s talking to him. Unbelievable! Get that witch a broom!”
“Men hear criticism as contempt; women feel silence as hostility.”
That cuts like a knife. In observing many of the women in my life with the men they love, I can’t imagine a more accurate statement. The silence of the men causes the women to become even more infuriated with the situation, to the point that they start yelling, frantically, to the point that they don’t even really know why they are yelling, or the person they have become in that moment. When they talk to you about it, the common response is, “he doesn’t even act like he loves me, he just sits there, says and does nothing, acts like it never happened.” Crazy Cycle.
And that’s the thing with us women too, we need each other when we’re hurting. Our man does something, you better believe we’re calling up our girlfriends. You also better believe that girlfriends are going to have our back…and yours, only yours is going to have a knife in it. Because, sometimes, we’re crazy, but, it’s all out of love, there that word is again. Men don’t get that. “You told your friends?” They get mad. There’s pride again. They ball up, hush up, keep to themselves. We’re just different animals, men and women. You just have to decide if we’re worth sharing the lions den with. If it’s worth learning to love and to respect. Some animals aren’t capable and would rather be alone. There’s nothing more you can do for them, but to pray. Let God take care of it.
At the end of the day, I can be nothing other than what I am. A strong woman of God. A woman who cares a little too much sometimes. Who loves a little too loud, and a little too hard. But also a woman who is never going to apologize for sharing her words. For seeing the best in people. For finding the sparkle of your diamond, even when you are covered in dirt. Even when others are not good, I vow to always be.
Until next time.