I remember a wise woman once telling me that it takes thirty days to make a behavior and thirty days to break a behavior. Gigi Dellaire... I don't know if she remembers saying that and if she does remember... that she helped mold my management style through that one sentence.
I've adopted this in my every day life too when it's something I want to add into my routine and most recently it's waking up a bit earlier and reading a few devotionals each morning. I committed to reading these each morning and it starts my day out right. It starts my day with a grateful and loving heart. It often gives practical advice that sets my day on the intended path. Each morning a few things jump out at me and I copy them into my notes.
Thursday morning, I was reading the devotional that is emailed to me each morning and it usually has a variety of authors. Thursday morning's author was Ann Voskamp and it was an excerpt from her book "The Broken Way..."
The whole reading was about love and how even when we get hurt, what we gain from loving another is far more abundant than the loss or pain or void left when that person is no longer in our lives for whatever the reason.
Several things jumped out at me and kept biting at my heart...
"I am what I love and I will love
you like Jesus, because of Jesus, through the strength of Jesus. I will
love when I’m not loved back. I will love when I’m hurt and disappointed
and betrayed and inconvenienced and rejected. I simply will love, no
expectations, no conditions, no demands. Love is not always agreement
with someone, but it is always sacrifice for someone."
"What matters most is not if our love makes other people change, but that in loving, we change. "
As a single mama who has dated... it's often risky to put yourself back out there on the dating scene. All of the doubts that go running through your mind and your heart. And after a few hurts you begin to doubt whether you want to do it all again. I mean shoot... you thought when you got married it was forever and look at how well that turned out.
But that is the devil whispering in your ear telling you that you're never going to be enough. You're never going to find the one that makes your heart sing ... the one that you WANT in your life not that you HAVE to have in your life. No, that kind of sustaining love is for other people. The ones that God must love more than He loves you.
This isn't something that is whispered all the time. Noooooo.. because you finally decide to get back "out there" and do it again. You might start talking to someone and make plans to go out. You go out and either its meh.. like a warm dishrag or there are sparks or maybe somewhere in between and it's worth investigating further. Every once in a blue moon you might even have a spark that blows you away. The kind that fairy tales are written about, but those are extremely rare and precious. They don't always work out but when THAT happens, you treasure the time you DO get. Any way you slice it though, it involves being vulnerable and trusting enough to even try again.
It's the passages above though that keep ME going. I can't speak for everyone else but at least for me.. I am a hopeless romantic and I honestly believe that God has a plan for the person he wants me to be with. It might be someone who has already traveled into my life and it might be someone that I have never met yet. It might be the man I cross path's with at Kroger and it might be someone driving down my street that never notices me until ... well until he does.
The cool thing is that I learn from each and every one of these relationships. The heartbreaks, the laughter, the communication, the things I want to continue and the things I need to NEVER do again. Now, I do see the world through my baggage but I also understand that I am carrying that big ole suitcase of fun and it doesn't dictate the type of relationships I enter into. It only gives me information on what things need to be looked at as a red flag and which ones I can overlook.
I guess what I am saying is that we all have to get back up and try again. We need to love people unconditionally and not because of what they can give us or because they are "safe" or "what we are used to" but rather for WHO they are. People in our lives make sacrifices to love us and we make sacrifices to love them. It's hard to not have expectations though. It's almost as hard as surrendering to God's plan and knowing that He's working for the better of all. If we can get out of our own way and stop trying to control things then God can do his work in our lives. Damn you FREE WILL!
Thirty days to make a behavior and thirty days to break a behavior. So I choose to work on loving unconditionally and without demands each and every day. I will choose love and I will change for the better because of it each day. I will choose to be vulnerable because when I am, the risk is not really a risk at all.