First and foremost, don't read too much into this. Don't assume there's something going on in my life that is sparking the following post. Sometimes its just all stemming from a conversation or something in someone else's life. Again, don't assume that we're talking about me or anyone in particular. It would be hazardous to your health.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about good relationships, bad relationships, and the defining factors in each. Sometimes the defining factors are more than just the two people in the currently relationship. Sometimes the defining factors are (still) events, experiences, and people from our past relationships. The Ghosts of Relationships Past if you will.
I often think that the hardest part about being in a relationship is our own individual insecurities. It isn't actually how difficult the other person can be - it is how our insecurities react to the other person. With every new person that we meet we must let go of prejudices and bad experiences from past relationships, and bravely open ourselves to new experiences. If you have never been hurt in a past relationship, you can't begin to imagine why someone would think you must be "brave" when entering a new relationship. If you have been hurt, you probably understand where I am coming from. You know who your ghosts are and you know where they live. What you don't know is when your ghosts will come back to haunt you.
Sometimes it is letting go of the past, letting go of the hurt, and letting go of negative expectations that can be so difficult. And then conversely you have to know when to learn from the past! When do you let those past pains be a cautious reminder and learning experience versus knowing when to let go and walk away? These tend to be the sort of feelings and behaviors that we hide from other people. Very rarely can we truly learn from other's mistakes in this area because it is so private and personal. (Ghosts are only visible to their owners. They can't be seen by everyone!)
And then there is the challenge of not repeating past behaviors. And also the challenge of figuring out when the problem is you and your ghost, or that you are drawn to or more open with people with certain behaviors or ghosts of their own, or when the problem is plain and simple the other person. When it comes to personal matters and personal relationships there is very rarely any one person in our lives who knows us so well as to truly see our scenarios for what they are, that they are qualified to offer unbiased advice. And so we are left to figure such things out on our own at a time when maybe our own judgment is the last thing we should trust.
And so we are left to our own devices, faith, and confidence. We cannot expect the answers to come from any outside source. (Note: I do not consider the Lord to be an outside source. He is very much within us.)
That all being said, I'll throw this out into the universe.
My Dear Outside Sources: This week I will be asking myself (and my ghosts) how can you tell if someone really means to be a jerk, or if they are just insecure? Insecure we can work with and be patient with. Jerks we kick to the curb. Does anyone have a litmus test for deciphering such behavior?