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In the last article on this subject, The Hardest Relationships are the Strongest (Part 1/3), I talked about how the deepest relationships often come with the most difficult connections.
In this article, I’ll talk a bit more about personal experience and how it affected my views on the subject.
How it got hard for me
Socially speaking, I fumble quite a bit. I grew up toward the darker side of life. More specifically, my social experience as a kid was riddled with some pretty ugly moments. And because I developed an early aversion to face to face experience, I ended up spending a great deal of my early days with my nose buried in books. While the other kids were out doing other-kid stuff, I was often parked in a chair at the library, digging through stacks of books for hours. And when I wasn’t there, I was often sitting in the family garage tinkering with machines and electronic devices.
While the library is a wonderful place for a child, a quiet, private corner isn’t a great place to learn to make friends or even acquaintances. So being social and being a decent friend has always been an ongoing project. I’ve paid for many failures in that department. On the brighter side, thanks to God’s system of forgiveness, I’ve also had some success.
It got better
These days, engaging with a group or an individual is not so bad. I’ve spent a lot of time on the self-improvement gig and it’s made complete flips in much of my relationships.
Now keep in mind, I grew up often being the one who would damage relationships. But because I grew up on Earth and was embedded early on into some of it’s worst communities, I’ve also had plenty of relationships with others who also struggled to connect and caused their own problems. I’m not whining, I’m getting to the point.
How this relates to my relationship with God
God doesn’t need to read up on psychology or social interaction. He doesn’t struggle like many of us do to make connections, at least not on his end of the deal. While many of us rebel against the spiritual connection, God has it down. He’s got all the right answers and the perfect timing to go with them. So when I tell you my relationship has been difficult with him at times, you can safely bet the difficulty was my own fault.
First off, I’m stubborn. That’s strike one in a relationship with someone of authority and wisdom. Next quality of mine that got in his way… resistance. God would often tell me what I needed to do at any given time, I would often believe that, because I’m the one living my life, I know more about what goes into it than anyone else, including him.
For the grand finally in my personal display of misinformation, the most damaging aspect of my walk with the big guy… my past and the riddles it produced. I often went against divine instruction because I couldn’t answer some of the most common, burning questions toward spirituality, like, “If there’s a God, why are we allowed to destroy each other? Why are so many things wrong with his planet?” I now have the answer and as it’s a long one that deserves detailed explanation. The article will be along soon.
So, needless to type, the bond I had with my heavenly father was a very hard start.
How my relationship with God continues
How did I get from rebellious child to, as I say to my daughter, “Good Listener!”? A truckload, scratch that… a trainload of trial and error, decades of doing stupid-human tricks, passing out bad information and poor behavior.
I’m often a Doubting Thomas, having to see things and live them before I believe them. As I get older, that trait lessens, much more so when listening to divine messages. It was lengthy build, constructing a mind that listens and absorbs wisdom. Of course I still slip as the learning curve comes toward an end, but now, 95% of the time when I’m told something, I listen and do it. By the way, how to listen is also the subject of an upcoming article.
What’s the relationship like now?
Between God and myself, it’s awesome! (and I almost never use exclamation marks) I still rebel with the little things sometimes, but those moments are few, far between and quickly dying. It’s not just awesome because he’s great to talk to. It’s awesome because, when I listen and act accordingly, things work out better in my life than they ever have.
I don’t just have a sounding board. I don’t just have some average level of guidance. I have a spiritual father, someone who answers everything with love, even my worst stupidities. I have a family member who understands and forgives everything I’ve ever done wrong. No human can do that because no human can fully understand why people do what they do.
There’s something else. God has the bird’s eye view of the battlefield we’re on. When I listen, I’m plugged in to that view. Because God’s eyes can reach infinite times further than mine, he can see what I often cannot, what my next move should be. It keeps me out of a lot of potential trouble, in better relationships and much more informed on what I can’t know by myself.
How this relates to my relationships with people
I have trouble forgiving others for certain behaviors. Someone bumps me on the shoulder, no problem. But if I’ve spoken to someone over and over about a behavior that irritates me? Different story.
My partner and I are a good example. She has certain behaviors that she knows cause damage and yet she still struggles with them. Some of them have gone on for years.
In the past I let those issues drive a wedge between her and I. But now that we have a child, it’s especially important that I demonstrate forgiveness. So, upon divine request and human word, I’ve been practicing more and more of forgetting the things that irritate me, even for constantly recurring issues.
It’s hard, like, “blowing a pebble a mile up a hill with a straw” hard. I’m far from perfect at it, but as it becomes more common for me, everything gets better. We get past the hardships between us and become closer regularly. It’s good for us and good for the fact that I don’t have to fake forgiveness in front of my little girl.
It was a difficult road for me, learning to trust what comes down from a higher source. It was even harder to dedicate my self and my work to someone I can’t see with my own eyes. I didn’t do this blindly. Read the blog, stay up to date and you’ll know I don’t invest my persona easily into any relationship.
The idea of this article is to show the payoff of connecting to others through social hardship. It works with God, but it also works with our brothers and sisters. It’s not just about one relationship. It’s about strengthening our entire global family.