To make a relationship work, we can’t be hung up on our own rules, emotions, and opinions. We need to get over ourselves so that we can find the truth! The first step to finding the truth is to acknowledge, recognize, and accept every thought and emotion that is happening inside of ourselves. If we haven’t done that or if we are unwilling to do that, then we will never be able to change ourselves for the better. Why? Because how can we change something that we know nothing about? We need to learn about ourselves, and we need to get over ourselves to do it. Guess what, everybody in the room sees right through us. They know what thoughts and emotions we deny and what lies we tell to cover up our denials.
The point is that we can’t deny our own thoughts and emotions. We can’t say that those thoughts and emotions that I am having right now aren’t me. Why? Because, obviously, those thoughts and emotions are me considering that I am having them right now. And it doesn’t matter how bad we don’t want to be having them—it doesn’t matter how much we deny them and say that I am not that—because, again, obviously, that isn’t true. Our intentions and our wishes have nothing to do with who we are. They only have to do with who we want to become.
Good questions to ask ourselves are Why would I get mad at that? Why does that even matter? Why do I feel like I’m less in this relationship when I know he or she doesn’t view me as less?
How do we find the truth? Work. Work is a great way to find truth. What works? Can we light a candle with water? No, that doesn’t work.
There’s a difference between good work and bad work. Good work is the kind that leaves no mess for our coworkers to clean up. Good work is the kind that comes with mistakes, but we still take responsibility to fix those mistakes before we leave. Work is a relationship. There are always multiple people involved in work, and when one worker is bad, everybody in the relationship suffers.
Jesus values work. When he talks about relationships, he talks about work. He talks about truth. Work equals truth. In other words, Jesus would say, “Here’s what works—here is the truth.”
So, if we want good relationships in our lives, we need to work to get them and we need to work to keep them. What are the qualifications for filling a successful relationship position? What kind of work does the job require? The job requires forgiveness, patience, and self control. Those characteristics are required to do the job because they are selfless. They don’t pick fights because of hurt pride. They don’t hold grudges. They are honest. And they point the finger at ourselves first before they point the finger at others. They ask, “What did I do wrong in all of this?” They enjoy peace and they enjoy the work that it takes to keep a relationship healthy and happy.
Remember, we all need to learn how to work with our partners. Give it time and be good teachers and students who are willing to listen, learn, and change. True love is to submit to the truth and stop doing what isn’t right. And if we don’t know what the truth is, then maybe we should just have patience until we figure it out . . . even if it takes five years to come to us.
It’s safe to say that it is easiest to have forgiveness, patience, and self control at the beginning of each of our relationships, because the more time we spend with each other, the more we begin to lose our patience with each other—the harder it gets to forgive each other because we have already forgiven him or her one hundred times. Haven’t they learned by now? Guess what? Buck up cowboys and cowgirls, they haven’t, so that means it’s time to drag out those old tools again—it’s time to use patience, forgiveness, and self control regardless of our desires.
We do not have to be slaves to our desires. We can control them—that’s what it means to have self control. So, when we don’t want to apologize, we still can. When we don’t want to have to forgive that dummy again, we still can. And we’ll be glad we did, because after all of the hard work is done—after all of the forgiving and apologizing and admitting that we were wrong is done—we can then go back to enjoying our relationships . . . until the next time.