Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Email: Taking the high road [JB]

It sounds like you are stretched thin emotionally. If you don't have the patience to wade through the good men (ignore the jerks), then you are right to not be dating online. You need to do what makes you happy, as opposed to taking any actions out of fear or insecurity or neediness. Just be safe and careful above all.

Be a grownup, not a bitter grapes person bitching about things that never happened the way you think. (Blaming others always comes from not accepting your own part first.) Also and more importantly, you receive [from others] the happiness or the anger that you radiate in your heart.

Don't focus on the hurt, focus on the healing. Don't complain or justify the bad things (that's accepting them), stand up for yourself and do whatever it takes to find or make a difference.

If you weren't Christian, [yes] you could have sex but it would be empty. Sex is meaningless without the context of an emotionally intimate relationship. Emotional intimacy feeds physical intimacy, not the other way around. (How many times do I have to repeat this post-adolescent truth to grown adults? How empty is a man who would accept a woman who is hollow herself?) Never do anything you are afraid of or are not ready for; you will surely regret it (and these days, such regret can also be your death sentence).

Don't start the whole "I'm wasting the prime of my life" bit; down that road lies desperation and regret. DO NOT ACT OUT OF FEAR OR DESPERATION. A human can only take so many broken hearts, and I know that if you continue in your state, you will reach your limit. You need to protect your heart now, not risk it. Please read Pia Mellody's The Intimacy Factor and find a counselor who is familiar with her techniques.

Your church members are trying to protect you too, though they're using metaphors ("be a china cup not a styrofoam cup") like a chimp might use a trowel. But just the fact that you've revealed so much of your "needs" with them (not a professional counselor) tells me that you absolutely need to learn about personal boundaries. Please read Pia's book (or the one by Cloud and Townsend, which every church bookstore carries). You have self esteem issues that must be resolved for you to be happy at all.

You need to find pride in yourself. Any time that you can stand up for yourself is a good thing.

There are ministers in name only that do hateful things (sometimes when dating, sometimes while destroying a church). That's why I say avoid self-appointed, uncredentialed and nondenominational ministers. They don't have the chops that a seminary-trained graduate-degree-holding minister with portfolio will have.

Think of what the high road is like, and take that, instead of the low road, which always cries out for desperate measures.


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