Ok this is where I confess that I am actually slacking. This is becoming a habit. And no be say I no get things to be grateful about o! I’m just letting life and it’s plenty busyness get to me.
So today I was reading through my journals and some of my old letters. Journals are great btw. There are few things as good for establishing growth as reading your thoughts and experiences from a year or 2 past. Every time I read a journal entry, I am just overwhelmed with gratitude for how far God has brought me, because I can see the changes within me so clearly.
Anyway I was reading these letters I once wrote to someone I was madly in love with. We weren’t in the same place and so we communicated by writing long letters to each other. It inspired me today to talk about all the things I am grateful for in love and relationships. Not just romantic relationships but in friendships, work and even family relationships:
1. I am grateful for all the people I have had the privilege to love and be loved by. It is not easy…in fact it is really scary to open your heart to someone, understanding that this relationship has the potential to cause you pain. So I am grateful for each person that looked at me and decided that I was a chance worth taking.
2. I am grateful for the lessons they taught me. Each relationship has taught me something.
- One day, in an argument, an ex said to me “If you keep complaining that people treat you this particular way, it’s not them, it’s YOU!”. It was said in anger but I tell you it opened my eyes and it showed me that it was MY responsibility to decide how I would like to be treated
- After an evening sitting with some frenemies – you know them, smiles face to face, sharp daggers soon as you turn, I just decided that I would no longer do this. I made a promise that I would only engage in mutually affirming friendships and I would have nothing to do with people that I knew did not like me. And I haven’t since.
- Every relationship has cleared a new truth for me – the things that matter to me, those that don’t and why. I understand myself, why I act the way I do, the types of people I should never date and much more.
There are many many more like that. Things that I have picked up along the way and which have helped me as I have crafted the person that I am becoming.
3. I am grateful for every single period in my life. See, I love being single…maybe too much sef. But you know, there is a blessing in the seasons of aloneness. When you can up and move without worrying. When you can apprise a situation and see exactly how it works for you. Being single has given me the freedom several times to take chances or steps or make decisions as they needed to be made. I enjoy my “me” season to the fullest so that when there is a “we” season, I will have no reason to complain about things that I could’ve done but didn’t.
4. I am also grateful because I have learned to value of my affection. See…many of us treat love like we are being done a favour. yes we should be grateful for our partners and their value in our lives, but that gratitude must be balanced by a healthy appreciation of what we are bringing into the equation. This is not arrogance – I am an awesome partner; I know this. It took me some time and a great many tears to learn this, but having done so, I have gained the ability to enter a relationship knowing that the person I am with is encountering an asset. I am less likely to waste my time with relationships that are not profitable to either of us and I am able to love freely, knowing that my value is not dependent on the person I am with, but on who I am. I acknowledge expectations but do not trap myself into meeting every single one. It means that rather than accepting everyone that walks into my life, I weigh…I treat every encounter deliberately and everyone that is in my life is there because I have chosen to keep them there.
5. I am grateful and excited about the future. I look forward daily to a value adding, mutually beneficial relationship. I am excited about learning about this special person that God will bring into my life. I look forward to being a blessing and being blessed. I know that it will be beautiful…I will accept nothing less.
6. Loving people has taught me more about loving God. Like I said previously, I grew up with a rule book of how God should be loved. Having thrown away the rulebook, sometimes I am confused. It helps to ask myself “How would my partner/sister/friend like to be treated in this circumstance? When I am trying to get out of praying, I remind myself about how much I love chatting with my boo just before I sleep, and realise that God would probably like that too. When I am grumbling about reading my Bible, I remember the “Good morning baby” messages that ensure I start my day with a smile, how much more a love note from the Lover of my soul? When I don’t feel worthy of His love, I think of just how much it pleases me to lavish love, and then I understand.
7. I am grateful for every heartbreak. Guys…every heartbreak has stretched my heart, made it softer, made it bigger. I love deeply. I love children, I love sunsets, I love rainy days, I love people. Sometimes it feels to me that my heart is just so full of love that I must pour it out. I am learning to love like God and there is no way my heart could be as big as it has become without every heartbreak. I have encountered shades and colours of love…I know that love is not perfect and I accept that it is not meant to be; I understand that its beauty is in its many flaws and in its frailty and so I take as I am given, valuing and affirming myself and those around me in the process.
There’s much more to be grateful for, but my washing machine has just sung its “I’m done” tune and I need to go hang out the clothes. Have an awesome awesome Saturday people! God bless