Tonight, I am the most frustrated.
I would say that I am a fairly relational person; I crave healthy relationships and intimacy with others. Now, I don’t mean some sort of weird sexual intimacy with people, but genuine, healthy, communal intimacy with friends and family. I desire to know and to be known, and I think that’s how we all are.
However, one of my greatest hobbies is getting to know someone. I enjoy it more than I probably should.
If I can spend two hours just asking you questions about who you are and how your brain works and about your childhood and what makes you come alive and what drains you and the biggest insecurities you struggle with and your favorite food and your love languages and everything under the sun, then I am going to leave that conversation feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and alive. But if I have to endure ten minutes of small-talk, I am ready to strangle someone.
Why? Because I hate investing in shallow people and shallow conversation. I hate wasting my time on pointless conversation. I hate having to endure the questions of “how was your day?” from so many people who really couldn’t care less about how my day was. Ultimately, if you’re just talking to me to avoid awkward silence or to hear yourself talk or to appease your need to feel like you’re a “good” or “social” person, please, don’t talk to me.
That seems rude, but really, it’s not.
Back to my point, I love intimacy with people and knowing who people really are. I don’t want to just connect with you on a preferential level, i.e. we have common interests, but I want to connect on a heart level.
This is just who I am and how I do relationship. I jump in quickly, and sometimes I commit prematurely.
But I’m realizing that being this person and doing relationship this way sucks sometimes… actually, it sucks a lot of the time because it’s a really good way to get hurt.
And tonight, I am hurt and frustrated.
I’m learning that a lot of these relational issues in my life stem from my inability to form healthy attachments to people. I never have known what it means to have a healthy attachment with a parent, so I attempt to replace that lacking attachment with new people. Yikes. I probably sound like a crazy person at this point… that’s likely.
But in all seriousness, I’ve been exploring this thought, asking questions like, “What does it mean to form a healthy attachment?” “What does a healthy attachment to someone look like?” “What is it that I am attempting to fill in my life/heart that is lacking?” and “Am I even supposed to have attachments at all to people in my life? And if so, who?”
I don’t possess many answers to these questions. I don’t know how attachment works or why I struggle so much feeling secure in relationships and what it means to set healthy boundaries and when is the appropriate amount of time before forging intimacy with someone.
I swear, I sound like the craziest of all people.
But I do know that Abba has reminded me time after time that it was he that raised me. He* is the one who nurtured me into becoming a woman and healing a lot of brokenness. It is he who has provided for me in ways financially, spiritually, emotionally, relationally, mentally, and physically. It is he who taught me how to love him and love others. It is he who saw me in my need for a parent and chose to become that for me. While I do have parents who love me, it is Abba who raised me when he saw that I possessed a need to be adopted.
Therefore, I know it is Abba that can teach me how to form appropriate and healthy attachments to people.
With every relationship, I’m submitting my emotions, desires, and energy to him. I’m asking him to show me what it looks like to have a healthy attachment to each person, since every relationship is different. It’s a process and I don’t expect to learn about this concept in its entirety immediately.
I also recognize that psychologists would probably note that forming attachments isn’t something that is learned, but rather, it is acquired naturally through life experiences at a young age, and after a given time, one remains forming either healthy or unhealthy attachments as a persistent trend. Therefore, I am without hope.
But this is a faith moment for me–a moment of dancing with my Beloved and allowing my Beloved to woo me and romance me. I’m going to allow God to become as close and intimate with me as he desires. I’m going to allow the false paradigms and ideologies to be destroyed, so that I can find him. He isn’t the means to an end, i.e. he isn’t the medium through which I find healthy relationships, but rather, he is the end. He is the fulfillment of what I’m lacking and longing for and desiring. He is making me new, so I believe that includes my attachments and my issues in that area.
Tonight, I may have lost a friend because I became too attached too quickly. I had high expectations and received low reciprocation of effort. I had more faith in friendship than my daughterhood in Abba. I trusted in a false intimacy that I created in my mind. It’s embarrassing really.
But I’m not going to keep living in shame because of how I do relationship, but rather, I am going to allow the Restorer to restore; the Creator to re-create; the Redeemer to redeem; and the Lover of my soul to love. He’s not ashamed of me, so I won’t be either.
There’s freedom in that… in recognizing that maybe you’re a little crazy and you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re broken, but that he isn’t disappointed, embarrassed, or ashamed in that. Rather, he adopts you, invites you in, calls you his own, and makes all that craziness beautiful.
*I recognize that God is neither male nor female, and that gender-inclusive language is ideal, but for the purpose of consistency in writing (and to not confuse readers who legitimately think God is male), I chose the generic “he” pronoun. Have some grace.