In a culture that glorifies cutting others off, it is hard to appreciate the beauty of humanness and the essence of people. Relationships (of every kind) are worth the investment and as much as they require lots of discernment and attention, they also require openness and a true appreciation of what each person brings to the table. In my journey, I have had to segment my relationships with people so by all means I understand that you do not need to carry everyone along because each of us is on a unique, beautiful journey of purpose. On the other hand, I truly believe that people need people – not to be used, but to be loved, appreciated and celebrated. People need people because it is an intrinsic part of who we are. We were never configured to be loners. How do you create the balance without having the feeling of being clingy or needy? I have asked myself. Recognize people for who they are, set the necessary boundaries and ensure that definitions are mutual.
Let us take a typical corporate setting. Your boss and you. ‘ Your boss is not your friend’ is the first piece of advice that helped me a lot. It helped me create a healthy boundary and it has worked for four years. Granted, each work environment is peculiar and I will be the last person to offer a blueprint on your relationship with your boss. However, I always say this – be the person that creates the mental and physical space for your boss to be a boss. Leaders are visionary, they are always thinking ahead, making countless appointments, forming other avenues of income, fixing things before they are broken, trying to figure out how “I went to my great great uncles’ wife’s funeral” is a reason not to show up at work. As much as you need them, they need you too. They need you to carry out tasks diligently and proactively so that they can function as they ought to. If you still have a traditional 9-5, you will understand that demands and expectations are high and sometimes, you are tempted to follow the voice that screams, ‘you can be your own person’. What if the time is not right? Timing is everything in life and it is something I’m learning to be sensitive to. I have learnt to savor every moment as precious and make the best use of every environment I find myself. Most importantly, I have learnt to appreciate people for who they are and understand that they form a crucial part of who God wants me to be. Sometimes as believers, our thinking pattern has nothing to do with Godliness. Believers in corporate environments will produce low quality work and have the most sanctified excuse. Other times, we fail to relate properly with others (unbelievers included) because we lean on our myopic view of life. In listening to Apostle Selman’s message, I learnt that many times your destiny helpers do not come in ways that you expect. God can use anybody, at any place, anytime and anywhere and all you will be left with is an open mouth and a humble spirit. I am a witness. Did you think that Joseph could have done without Pharaoh? Do you think Jesus could have done without Mary Magdalene? When you have an opportunity to relate with people who think differently than you or do things differently than you, begin from a place of humility, because they may be the answer to that “mountain” which refuses to move.
When you have an opportunity to relate with people who think differently than you or do things differently than you, begin from a place of humility, because they may be the answer to that “mountain” which refuses to move.
Let us not be vainly optimistic though. Relationships require work and every relationship will require a level of vulnerability. The lesson I am slowly (very slowly) learning. I wish we were all in Wonderland sometimes. You know, if you step on my toes, I can just frown and then when you apologize, I can “forgive” you, and then be on guard so you do not step on my toes again. Life does not work that way. In true relationships, people are bound to step on your toes and you, like everyone will step on others toes too. Being on guard is the defensive route. It feels like the safer route but what it really does is that it prevents you from truly enjoying others. People become careful with you, and then you become restricted with them, when all it requires is to be yourself. Truly, forgiveness is everything and as long as you live, it is the lesson that you should carry along in each phase of life. Erring makes us human, forgiveness makes us Godly. God, by the help of His Spirit, empowers us to forgive the moment we say ‘I want to forgive’. And we should be willing, no matter how many times we feel offended, because God is willing with us each and every single day of our lives. Amen somebody! (The “somebody” is me).
I have begun to consciously put priority on all my relationships. They are the wealth of my lifetime and I’m determined to relate much better than before. Everybody carries something that you need. You carry something that others need. That is how it works. Do not be caught up in cutting people off that you forget the essence of true living. Again, I want to say that it is not everyone you can carry along on your journey but if you know that it is a relationship worth investing, invest in it. God will always use people. I mean he can use a donkey, but we are His prime concern. In saving a dying world, he sent his Son. As much as lies within you, connect with people, get to know people, celebrate people, honor those that need to be honored, love those that need some good “lovings”(no hugging just yet though), encourage others. At the same time, set the necessary boundaries and keep learning as you go.
It is worth it.
Lots of “lovings” and light.