Saturday, July 14, 2012

Goin' Courtin': My Best Interest

Earlier this year, I decided it would be a good idea to get some counseling to help me heal from my previous marriage.  I thought I would go in, talk about my story, get some pat answers and overused advice, then maybe I'd feel better.

My counselor listened. Then she gave me a book.  The first chapter (my homework assignment) talked about honoring yourself, and acting in your own best interest.


This was akin to blasphemy to my way of thinking.  I have that kind of personality that wants to please everyone, even at the expense of me.  I had mastered it so much that I no longer thought of me at all.  Every decision was what other people thought would be best: for me, for my children, for my future.  Think about myself? You're kidding, right?


The point that really struck home to me in that chapter was that almost 100% of the time, acting in your own best interest is in everyone else's best interest, too.

Talk about a paradigm shift!  To go from thinking only of others, to thinking only of my own interests was mind-boggling.

Here's how it relates to dating.

I'm very easily persuaded.  Unless deep-rooted, or consciously kept in mind, I often forget my own opinions when presented with strongly voice opinions of others.

And I cannot tell you how many times a man has started dating me and proceeded to fall in love immediately, only to be followed by the need to convince me we're meant to be together.  I have mentioned before how I have been seeing casually several men at a time.  Twice in the last three months, I have had 3-5 different men telling me we're meant to be together.  Now, I don't know of any religion, and certainly not mine, that allows polyandry here on earth or in heaven, so I knew they couldn't all be right.  But they were all so sure!!!  I knew I had to make a decision.  But which one?

I found myself talking about it in terms of how I could help them.  "I could be an example to him, his strength."  "He needs support." "He needs a mother for his kids."

Or I thought about what lessons I would be teaching my children: Marry in the temple, give second chances, there are exceptions, etc.

What I needed to think about, at least a little, was myself.  How do I feel when I'm with him? How do I feel when we're apart?  What personality traits are important to have? Which traits should I avoid?

As I asked myself these questions, I was finally able to sort through these men who all claimed me as theirs and decide on one I wanted to claim for myself.  I could see how I wasn't really what they needed or wanted.  I could see that they would be better with someone else.  I could see how my choice was also the best for my kids.

And I felt peace.

And I felt hope.

And I felt love.

It was and will be hard to break up with the others, but acting in my own best interest truly is best for everyone in the end.

1 comment:

Louisa said...

I love this! So right! It makes me think about being in an airplane and how they always ask you to secure your oxygen mask first before your children or helping others. The first time I heard that when I was a child I was offended!! How dare they tell the adults to put the poor helpless children LAST! But taking care of yourself first allows you to actually HAVE the oxygen to take care of your children! No one can serve from an empty bucket! And only you can control how full that bucket is and what goes into it. Love ya! Prayers to you and yours my friend!:)