Stories of Disconnection #3

Different hearts: One heart that believes and loves single-mindedly, and one heart that doubts itself and tries to love with a concern for self. Truth: Unbelief and lack of trust in self erodes the foundation of healthy love in a person’s heart.

Lack of freedom: Commitment without a basis for mutual consent, mutual self expression, and a lack of mutual understanding and accountability for healthy relationship dynamics and structure. Truth: If we do not allow our selves to truly choose in our heart, true love cannot exist.

Lack of responsibility for self: Deferring to other’s wishes and seeking to please their opinions, needs, and desires; waiting and procrastinating, addictively and habitually rewarding our self with the uneasy comfort of short term gratificationTruth: Continual servitude without self-care and maintenance of our own boundaries prevents a full capacity to love our self and truly give our whole self away.  Truth: Not working hard in the present moment debilitates our will, resolve, and personal dignity.

These three dynamics are the answer to why she and I were disconnected. I could come up with all the reasons that made our relationship difficult, but this is the core of it: lack of integrity to self.

All The Other Reasons

Not the opposite personalities. Not the reversed gender roles. How did two of the rarest gender personalities type combinations (male INFJ and female ENTJ) ever find each other in love anyway? Not the differing love languages that required faithfully serving each other outside our comfort zones and getting no reward for following our natural tendencies. Not the different familial influences and parental patterns of love, marriage and relationships embedded in our conditioned beliefs. Not the soft boundaries that enabled chronic dysfunction. Not the layers of unspoken communication and unresolved conflict. Not the brave faces, bold words, desired promises, and masks we often put on for each other that hid our real selves. Not our desire for comfort and companionship that lead to maintaining harmony, playing roles for one another, and perpetuating inner pain. Not the objective commitment and self sacrifice that emptied our hearts into one another, without being able to be filled back up together. Not the feeling of emptiness and pain that followed the pursuits of loving actions with no reward due to lack of response and mutual appreciation. Not the lack of accountability to create deliberate and lasting connection at all cost. And not the lack of real communication about our hearts, intentions, and wishes with mutual understanding.

Perhaps all these reasons eroded the foundations of trust, integrity to self, and faithfulness to confront the issues on our hearts. Perhaps it created a division and separation, and a hiding of true feelings. Perhaps the many attempts at communication through these issues never fully got off the ground in our hearts and minds – together, as a couple. Perhaps the many failed bids for connection and true intimacy led to complacency and we stopped being powerful people who took responsibility for our relationship. Or perhaps there was lack of earnest belief in my heart that we could make our relationship work even through these issues. But, is there a relationship in the first place if these issues persist?

Despite all the time and attention, despite all the work we did to try and connect to each other through these differences, love – as I know it – never remained in my heart. Though I still desired her, regardless of the reasons and dysfunction, I wasn’t going to give my heart away where there was not love within. Even so, my failure to love her – the real her, the her behind all the dysfunction – remains as the greatest remorse on my heart.

Yet Bittersweet

Even despite all these reasons and pain, I still couldn’t shake my assessment that we just weren’t compatible. Could we be? In what misery and personal adjustment and change would we need to have a serviceable relationship? Amidst the inevitable demands of life, from kids, work, romance, leadership, and caring for others, I felt that our relationship as well as our individuality and pursuits of God would be unsustainable. Long term compatibility would be a struggle and stress rather than a fountain of life.

I believed it; this assessment stood in my heart. Relationships should be built upon the foundations of two hearts. Both better be wholehearted and powerful. But whatever we built together toppled as my heart sank deeper and deeper into inescapable doubt and doom for our relationship.

Even so, I tried to fight through my selfishness. I tried to fight the thoughts of “why I should ever be with a person who never will understand me.” I tried to “focus on the strengths and the valuable characteristics of her as a person and as a child of God.” But, the continual exposure of dysfunction and the sinking feeling in my heart about not living in powerful choice of love, crushed my spirits and hopes. As I refused to move forward, desiring to ensure healthy hearts, healthy decisions, and restore myself in hope, our relationship ended for legitimate reasons; the experience is yet bittersweet. I broke so many promises. So many. Our relationship ended because I refused to stay committed, and desired to heal instead. My heart still hasn’t grieved completely, and so a veil on my heart remains. It will take me getting more lost in God and convictions of the Holy Spirit in love to release and heal me completely.

Today marks 3 years since I first met her and began to know her. The emotional transformation, self discovery journey, spiritual development, and yet emotional wounds that we both experienced in the 3 years together remains as one of the more intense times of our lives. In the end, having to face the end of a relationship where we were more emotionally attached and invested in than any other – a relationship that was supremely desired to work out – is a transitional process both emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

This time around, I’ve given us ample time to separate and detach intellectually, emotionally, and from our relational and social identity together. By now, it almost feels as if we were together a life time ago. Part of that is because I have changed and matured from all the trials, lessons, and perseverance endured as part of our 3 year saga. Another part is that God has captured ever more of my heart, and trusting Him in the present, and not looking backward or worrying, enables my heart to truly find its place in the present and align my identity in Christ.

Purposefully Forward

I knew when we broke up that I finally had to follow my heart to absolute fullness in God. During my relationship with her, I was always longing for God. I yearned with an independence to step into the fullness of Gods light. Whenever I found myself wholly in God, it drew me away from her. Something about that phenomenon revealed something about my heart for her and where God wanted me to be. Perhaps we were not equally yoked in the ways of the Lord and our passions for pursuing God.

You see, a spiritual reality is that God redeems our life once we bring everything through Him first. He gives us a new life completely because we become are rooted in Christ for our identity and we obtain and learn to walk by His Holy Spirit. Our fleshly hearts become holy and are sanctified piece by piece as we continue on our walk. Often, we don’t just gain a new life, but we begin to see our old life anew! For my heart to be drawn away from her when I was with God meant to me that I should follow where God provided grace and lightness to pursue. When we connect to God, He generally provides a greater capacity and energy for us to love others because we have found our self in Him alone; we have abided in Christ. But, my hunger for God only grew, not my capacity or desire to stay with her. I needed to believe this movement of my heart and move forward. It was my mistake and my sin of unbelief and pride to drag out our relationship, especially when I knew I needed to leave in love, and for love.

It is time to move forward, presently in God. It is all I want. It is all I need. Jesus is the source and truth of the spiritual reality – and we are free from sin and bound to love. Believe it! Time to purposefully put it into practice. I dare you (me) to move! I dare you to believe.

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