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First of all, sorry for being SO LATE with writing a new blog post! I’ve been tied up with my own personal life, but HERE WE ARE FINALLY: the last week of this 5-part “Living in Abundance” series. As the title suggests, this post is about RELATIONSHIPS — how the difference between living in “abundance” versus “lack” can dramatically change how we deal with others.
When we have plenty, we give plenty. But when we view ourselves as lacking, we’re less likely to give of ourselves to others. We either fear that our offering isn’t enough, or we become so absorbed with filling our own “voids”that we unintentionally forget to serve others.
Entering a relationship from a place of “lack” means perceiving ourselves as INCOMPLETE. The phrase “You complete me” describes it exactly: we depend on the other person to complete us, to fill whatever void we perceive is lacking in our lives. There are several problems with this:
- It sets us up with a selfish mentality. We become so absorbed with what we’re gaining from the relationship that we forget about giving.
- We become unreasonably demanding of the other person to meet our needs. When they are unable to, we grow impatient and start blaming them, pointing out their faults rather than affirming them.
- Our entire self-worth depends on the other’s capacity to love and accept us. If one day they choose not to accept us anymore, we, too, turn against ourselves. This amplifies our sense of “incompleteness”, so we look for another relationship to numb the pain or to give us a temporary sense of security. A vicious cycle begins. We approach all relationships with desperate need; without them we fear we’ll never feel validated.
- This frees us to love selflessly. Every relationship involves a “give-and-take”. When we feel abundant in God’s love, we’re not only more able to give love to another person, but we’re also more capable of graciously receiving love as well. We’re no longer focused on filling our own emptiness; rather, we’re allowing the love of God to flow from us to others.
- The relationship becomes a ‘pleasant want‘ rather than a ‘desperate need‘. It becomes a wonderful addition to our life, not a dire necessity. Rather than treating the other person like an object being used for our own means, we treat them like a human being who is truly valued for who they are.
- Our validation comes from God. Whether or not this person stays in our life, we have a deep reassurance that we’ll be fine: we’re beautiful, valuable, and worthwhile all the same. Having this security allows us to enjoy the relationship rather than being plagued by fear and insecurity all the time.