One thing that I have come to realize this past week or two is that I am not very good at being selfless – I am, without a doubt, one of the most selfish people I know. (Well, maybe second… but it’s a close one.)
I’ve never viewed myself as co-dependent. I’ve always felt I am independent because I like my space and I like to do things myself. However, once again, I’ve proven otherwise to myself.
This last week, I’ve personally dealt with more emotions than I ever have. I had moments where I was super happy and in the best mood ever and in a matter of a few minutes I was down and out and couldn’t snap myself out of it. See, it all starts with my brain seeing or thinking something that may or may not be there and all of a sudden, things are blown way out of hand.
This past week, I experienced a borderline break down which I never want to experience again. I was at work just doing my daily work grind, when something just didn’t feel right. I had gotten a SnapChat from Shane and that’s about all it took to fuel the fire. Now, before you jump to conclusions – there was nothing wrong with the SnapChat – not one thing. My brain saw something that wasn’t there. In a matter of 15 minutes, I had completed a task that should have taken at least an hour and a half. I quickly gathered my things and told my co-worker I was heading out to the house next door to do inventory count – which I was, but I also had other intentions.
See, the place I work is a family owned and operated so they are on high security; cameras everywhere, microphones everywhere… there is no privacy. The only place where we can go to get away from all of the security devices is the house which they own next door. The house is used to store all of our pop overflow, cup overflow, water overflow, etc.
As soon as I walked into the door, I couldn’t hold it back anymore. My mind had gotten too far from me and I broke down into tears and collapsed onto the closest “chair” I could find – 3 BiBs stacked on top of one another. My face hit the palm of my hands and I was down for the count. I couldn’t stop no matter how hard I tried. It got so out of hand that I worried myself physically sick – I’ve never been so upset or worried in my life. I felt like something was being hid in our relationship. Something was off and I didn’t like it. Shane has NEVER given me reason to doubt him or lose trust in him. He’s been wonderful. But whatever got into me within that 15 minutes, wasn’t letting go and all I could think about is that I didn’t want to lose the best thing to ever happen to me. Slowly, it moved on from what my brain ‘saw’ to being so pissed at myself that I was being selfish. Shane is a grown man and owes me no explanation or a step by step guide to his entire day; I know that he can make responsible decisions. All I’ve wanted in this relationship was to leave the past in the past. I wanted to be that amazing girlfriend who didn’t have situations like that come up, I wanted to be the girlfriend who has never ending trust in her boyfriend and the girlfriend who is understanding about everything and anything with no judgement. I had let myself down. I had let Shane down. I set my expectations of myself too high, therefore, I failed to reach them. I felt that what I wanted was still so far out of my reach that all I could do is grasp and grasp and still come up empty handed. I felt so worthless, so low, and so lost.
I’ve been in too many relationships and have had too many “interests” where I’ve been lied to about petty stuff – friends that were girls, where people were, what they were doing, etc., when in the end, it turned out to be not so petty. It ended up ruining my trust for some and for others, it made me feel like I wasn’t worth anything or that I was never going to be worth anything. Those feelings were all rushing back and I didn’t know how to handle them. The best I could do was remove myself from the public eye and cope with it how I could…alone – or so I thought.
Shane knew something wasn’t right and immediately asked me about it. I told him exactly how I felt that that moment in time: I felt like a terrible girlfriend. Because my brain thought too far into something, my walls that him and I spent so much time trying to take down immediately went back up. Being the understanding (THANK GOD) person he is, he talked me through the worst of it, he made me feel like, once again, I was worth something to someone. He sent me pictures of us that he had stored on his phone that brought back every positive feeling and emotion that I had ever felt. I went from fears and tears to smiles and feelings worthwhile.
I made the trip to Pipestone that night because there was no way that I was going to go through all of those feelings and not show up to try and personally make things right. We needed to address the issue face to face. Every time I make the trip from Brookings, I get butterflies in my stomach and my palms get sweaty; that night was no different, it was actually worse. I stopped at a gas station in Flandreu because I thought I was going to be sick, again. I pulled into the garage and was gathering my things to go inside when I opened the door and there he stood. He gave me a weak smile and gave me one of his bear hugs – the kind that makes you just feel so secure and safe. We stood in silence for a moment and then he said the words that put a knife right through my heart: “You scared me… I thought I was losing you…”
I couldn’t stop the sting in my eyes. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt him or make him feel like he was losing me. If anything, I felt like I should have lost him – he didn’t have to deal with that. Hurting him wasn’t my intention. Honestly, I’m not even sure what my intentions were. To show myself that I suck as a girlfriend? To snap me back to reality and show me that you need to love selflessly not selfishly?
Luckily, just being there helped both of us. We were able to sit down at the kitchen table and lay everything out. I can’t thank God enough for how understanding he was about it all. He made me feel like I didn’t do anything wrong even though I know I did.
So over the last few days, I’ve done some research to try and re-route my brain. I found this other blog that more or less showed me how to love selflessly:
- Love is a firm decision – Feelings are too fickle they come and go on a whim. Selfless love is a decision. It is a firm commitment. One that you follow-through on even when you don’t feel like it.
- Love is sacrificial – You must give of yourself sacrificially well beyond what is comfortable if you want love to endure. Love should not be entered into lightly. If you aren’t prepared to make sacrifices in what you want for love’s sake, then don’t get into a serious relationship in the first place.
- Love endures much – Life is not always easy. It has its unexpected complications. That’s why marriage vows include, “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health…” Selfess love is long-suffering. It endures the hard times and presses on to enjoy brighter days beyond.
- Love is demanding – Real love requires a lot from you. It is going to ask that you put some of your desires aside. It is going to ask you to become a better person. It is going to ask you to give and compromise at times when you don’t want to.
- Love reigns – Love demands that it comes first in your life. It won’t always be easy or uncomplicated. There will definitely be times that you won’t feel like loving. Just remember, “The life and love we create is the life and love we live.”
We often get so wrapped up in what WE want and what WE feel that we don’t realize that “WE” are taking the other persons feelings and desires for granted and making them feel like they are worth less in the relationship than WE are. My challenge for you this week is try to go this whole week loving SELFLESSLY instead of SELFISHLY. Ready. Set. Go.