I am told the first relationship a child forms shapes all other relationships in their adult years. Wow!!!!!! I want you to pause and just take a moment to let this sink in. To think about whom we had our first relationships with and then reflect on every other relationship formed after this.
I believe my first relationship was with my parents. I remember when I was young my father would return home every evening with a toy unfailingly. I would learn to sit expectantly at the door knowing that when my father returned he would have a gift for me. The value of the gift was not as important as the thought behind it, because I knew that as my father finished work on his way home I would be on his mind and he would do everything he could to make sure that his little girl had a smile on her face. No matter the day he had on the outside, I was still at the forefront of his mind when he made his way home. I knew I was loved.
As I grew the gifts changed from being physical to being gifts that were verbally graced my way. With each outfit I wore my father would compliment me from the hair style I had on my head to the very shoes that I wore, it was as if he did not see the adolescent spots that covered my face, or the bulges of fat that I saw when I looked in the mirror. All he saw was beauty. I never felt my father’s struggles because he always gave me anything he could afford; that was within his means. Even down to my very first car. In my mind I was driving a Mercedez because of the way my father pumped me with so much pride. I spent so much time and effort caring for my little car and held it in high esteem that I did not notice how outdated it was. My father’s words were enough to change my outward perception, that the value of the car no longer compared to the thought behind it.
I went on to expect that the man I meet or choose to spend the rest of my life with, would carry on what my father had started. I was expectant from the very start and would be disappointed when I did not receive the way of love I was used to. I soon began to adapt to another type of love- love that was no longer one sided. I was also expected to give Love…? I was not used to giving, I thought my presence was enough, because my presence was enough to my father.
I struggled to understand what was being expected of me because I never had to give to be loved before. I struggled with hearing criticism and having my flaws pointed out to me, because according to my father I was perfect. I was shocked to know that this man in my life could see the spots on my face, the bulges of fat on my body and the flaws in my character. When I looked in the mirror it was almost as if I did not recognize myself, it was like I was sleeping all along and woke up to the reality of my imperfections. In that moment of disbelief I opened up my ears to hear what the people around had to say and allowed my eyes to scan other girls for approval, which only left me feeling even worse about myself. All these people on social media are so perfect, but I had flaws!
At this point in my life my fathers words could no longer comfort me as it used to. I came to realize that his love had cushioned me in my early years but could no longer hold the gravity on my adult falls.
I allowed this man- my first adult relationship to reshape what love was. I realized that Love away from home was not a given but earned. I had to work to get the love I was used to getting freely. Love began to feel hard and burdensome with someone else’s expectations pushed upon me and falling short of it. Is this what relationships are like away from home? I took time to ponder on this and was determined not to loose myself in someone else’s expectations. Perhaps I would be better off on my own…?
That was the best decision made! The initial few weeks were difficult considering what if I don’t find someone else? What if I made a mistake? But on the journey of finding self, I found the art of being content and believing in God’s timing for my life.
It has been an amazing journey and I have come to the realisation that my first relationship – was with Self. From the moment I was born to this very day, my relationship with self is important, but I had allowed what I heard and seen to alter my perception of self. I valued the relationship of others over the relationship I have with myself until I realised the value of Self love!
It is important that the love for others does not become unhealthily secondary to the love you have for yourself. We all get a little lost along the way, but what is most important is that we find ourselves.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Leave a comment let me know your thoughts and follow my blog page.
Have a good week. x
Crystal Williams UD