I was thinking today about how much relationships impact all of our lives, and particularly the lives of women. Whether it’s a relationship with a family member, friend, spouse or significant other, what happens in our relationships can have a longterm impact on how we think and feel, and the choices that we make.
Many people commit suicide, go into severe depression, give up on their dreams or turn to violence and addictions over relationship breakups and dysfunction.
And relationships with spouses and significant others, often can make or break a woman (or a man) if she’s not careful. There’s something about romantic relationships that seem to plow through a woman’s heart almost like nothing else when the relationships begins to deteriorate.
Our relationships touch us so deeply that when something goes terribly and consistently wrong, it affects almost every area of our lives. Because when someone you love breaks your heart or otherwise betrays your trust, it can be devastatingly painful. And, as with severe physical pain, prolonged emotional pain can wear the body down, making us mentally and physically unstable. For this reason, doctor’s often warn people who are depressed and upset not to make any important decisions until they feel better and/or have had time to work through their pain.
However, many women continue making important life decisions, often without realizing that they have not resolved the source of their pain. So, again, without recognizing what’s going on, we may become vulnerable to making poor choices and decisions that are, in part, motivated by the lingering pain of past hurts, such as remaining in a relationship that makes us unhappy and insecure.
The Bible reminds us in Proverbs 4:23 to “above all things, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (NIV).
Therefore, in much the same way that our physical heart organ pumps blood throughout the body to keep us alive and is protected beneath the ribcage, our emotional heart center feeds information to our mind, body and spirit that plays a key role in our thoughts, feelings, desires, and even in our will to live and thrive. Since our emotional heart center has such a strong influence on our entire being, we must make it our business to safeguard our hearts.
However, we won’t be able to guard our hearts until we acknowledge our own value and worth, until we love ourselves enough to say “no” to people and things that cause us unnecessary pain and heartbreak. “No” to people and things that don’t celebrate and support who we are. “No” to people and things – and our own choices – that are not working for our good, aren’t taking us in the direction that we want to go, and do not help to fill us with love, joy and peace.
Listen, do not wait for a man or woman to tell you that you are worthy of better. Tell yourself! Know it for yourself, and more importantly, never be afraid to let it speak through your daily choices and decisions that affirm what is true and best for you in your journey. Doing so simplifies the decision-making process because your criteria for your life, decisions and choices will be based largely on how the choice/decision impacts your emotional heart health and your level of love, joy and peace within yourself and about the situation. As women, we must get to this place where we are ‘pro-self’ in a healthy and balanced way and proud to be!