We all have issues from the past that shape the way that we deal with life and relationship now. The way that we were raised has such an impact on everything that we do in our lives – how we react to things and who we allow to surround us. We create boundaries based on things that make us uncomfortable from our past. Sometimes these boundaries are conscious and sometimes we draw lines in the sand without even knowing what we are doing.
One of the things that I cannot allow in my life is secrets. I grew up with secrets in my home. For the most part my parents were competent parents; we weren’t abused or neglected in any way. I always felt like there was something going on that I couldn’t put my finger on, though. I was a very perceptive and investigative child and I wasn’t content until I figured out what it was.
I asked questions, but was always put off. This further aggravated the niggling feeling of uncertainty that plagued me for most of my life. It wasn’t until I was grown that my parents finally came clean and told me what the big ‘secret’ was. I remember thinking that the secret itself was really not that big of a deal. If I had grown up knowing it, it would have been incidental to my daily life. It was the secrecy that bothered me more than anything else.
This is why secrecy is a drop dead deal breaker in my relationships. I do not enjoy a secret when I am out of the loop. It makes me very uncomfortable. That is not to say that my friends and family must tell me everything move they make, but as far as it pertains to me – I need to know about it.
The worst excuse for leaving me out of the circle of information is that someone didn’t want to hurt me. Maybe it bothers me so much because my mom is often known to use this excuse. “I didn’t want to tell you because I was afraid you would be upset.” Um…so you think keeping a secret isn’t going to hurt me? Think again. It does. Deeply. I don’t blame her for my reaction, but it does explain it. Perhaps I allow it to hurt me more profoundly than it should. It is feasible that I need to work on that. *Sigh* One more thing I need to work on in my life.
So, like I said, everyone has them; those things that we just can’t cope with in our lives and relationships. The trick is to be aware of these things in the lives of other people as well as being able to set boundaries in our own lives. I don’t know which is harder to tell you the truth.
Getting along with others is so hard sometimes, but at the end of our lives all we really have are our connections. Our accomplishments and amassed fortunes don’t mean much if we have left everyone in the dust on our journey. There is give and take in relationships. We just need to know when to give and when to take; when to cut it off and when to overlook things. It is a delicate sojourn, but well worth the effort in the long run.
It takes an unwavering dedication to not only know and love ourselves, but also to love and know those around us as well. As Christians we are told to love our neighbor as ourselves. We have to first have a firm grasp on ourselves and why we react the way that we do; why we are who we are. This leads to acceptance, and ultimately, to love for ourselves. Once we do this, we are able to see clearly what loving someone else really means. Then we are free to let the love we fell for ourselves spill over and cover those around us.
13You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.