Yes it happened again, someone found me very vulnerable and I felt powerless. As I began to process why I decided to share it with my “friends” as I learn about relationships I want to share. We all need to deepen and learn how to connect well in our relationships and that even means those relationships we struggle with or don’t want or have hurt us in the past. Hopefully this will help someone process or perhaps treat someone they know differently or better.
The past year I have been facing and dealing with a physical illness that has required a lot of changes in my life, from lifestyle, to food, to job, etc. With all that shifting so have a lot of my relationships shifted as each person has to process how this shift in me affects them. So I am used to looking for changes in my relationship thru this process. To protect and preserve me personal energy I have opted to communicate my path thru email which a friend is managing for me. I trust this friend to communicate on my behalf and have put trusted friends and family on this communication as I want to honor them all with up to date information. However as time goes on I am running more and more into people that are not on that list and not trusted friends coming up to me to say they want to know “How am I doing?” This question coming from a person I really don’t have relationship with due to their or my choices or because they were not a trusted relationship is unsettling.
The reason for this form of group email communication is to be covered in prayer. For me this means people who know me will pray for my needs, my destiny, my family, my relationship with God and support me in whatever way they are connected to me. But I am finding that EVERYONE who hears about my health issues thinks they have the right to pray for me and want to let me know.
While their concern for my health is genuine. Their friendship has been proven to be less than genuine or perhaps even absent or carries a hurtful bond with me. What should my response be. What would Jesus do. Say I’m touched with their concern and thank them. For what. Concern doesn’t mean care, doesn’t mean friendship or that they have an investment in my relationship or my calling. Do they really pray for me and how do they know to pray what for me. Being ill is vulnerable and people cross normal lines of friendship or relationship for this reason in many ways. Why I wonder will that move them when my friendship doesn’t mean anything or was reason to shun me in the past. When you approach someone. Ask yourself. Do you have the relationship with them that sustains what you are about to say. Words often are meaningless and remember actions say much more. Have you earned the right to be this for this person, to stand and pray for them.
I found myself doing this this week, I became angry and felt so vulnerable, powerless. When a person who has betrayed and hurt me greatly came close to ask “How are you?” I’ve been hearing about your health.” If this person had greeted me with “I’ve missed you.” So good to see you or anything that indicated a personal care for ME as a person, not as a sick person to pray for, it would have felt different. My question was why did I feel angry or so vulnerable that I just wanted to run or tell this person the truth of how I feel about them. That this is none of their business if they don’t care for me as a person or treated me like dirt when we were in relationship, when I was perfectly healthy. Being unhealthy or struggling with health is not immediate license to get closer to someone you have no relationship with. Like always a relationship is built, has history and should honor each other. This boundary feels like it is free game for anyone to run over as I continue to experience this kind of thing. I desire genuine relationship, connection with people is a priority of mine but not at the expense of safety or pain or dishonor. We are wired for connection is it such a pressing need that we will connect without counting the cost of the connection to either ourselves or the one we connect with. I have often found myself saying to people that most people do not know how to do relationships in a healthy way. It takes time and energy to process relationships and learn and our world track is so fast we just don’t do it in a healthy way cause we don’t know healthy.
My lesson learned than is this:
- I have no right to ask anyone a question that is more intimate than my connection with them is.
- Do I do this to God, find myself going to him just to answer a question or need I have and not really care about my relationship or connection to Him as long as I get my answer?
Please leave any comments or ponderings to share that are beneficial, honoring or helpful to strengthen connections.