What does it mean to love well? How do you trust someone enough to put your messy complicated, wildly imperfect life out there for someone else to see, be part of and come alongside?
I’ve been thinking about this statement, this concept for a while. For whatever reason, relationships (whatever they look like) have been (and probably will always be) a very front and center topic in my life. When I read those questions, my first thought goes to the romantic… however relationships are the very core of all humanity, not just romantic ones, but a true connecting of oneself to another. We are all wired for relationships; the very fact that we are created in HIS image (and HE is relational) proves that. Relationships require us to be vulnerable (to a certain level), to be transparent and to be willing to put our messy lives out there? Some would say that personality, trust, circumstances or other factors play into our openness and depth of relationships, but in my opinion is that it’s a choice. We CHOOSE how much to allow people to be part of our lives. There is great value in openness and vulnerability, as well as wisdom in knowing who to have in the closer relational roles of our lives!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen a few movies and have had many conversations talking about relationships and how messy they can be. Movies often portray unrealistic relationships, because we don’t want to see what we have on screen, we want to see what could be…. In reality, some relationships “just happen”, but I would challenge that and say that I think the “good ones” which are healthy and growing are those where people are intentional, open and possess a willingness to be the real self — and even allowing their messy-bits to be known. No one is perfect and we all have complicated, messy parts of our lives, but they are what make us who we are.
I recently watched a movie where there was some tough relational issues happening and yet when it came to the closing scenes, I was moved by the honestly and vulnerability of the main characters.
“I love you! And I want to look at you for a long, long time! But I will hurt you… in a way, lots of little ways and I won’t mean to, but I will. And you’ll hurt me… and you’ll change on me — even if you promise today not to…” (Then She Found Me)
I LOVED the realistic perspective she spoke of. Our very intentions in relationships are not to hurt – but to love and to be loved – truly, but it requires us to combine our messes with those around us and to put ourselves in places where we can hurt or be hurt. Relationships can be difficult but they can also be some of the most rewarding things we ever have. Life is a journey, personally and with other in relationships!