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Guard your own gates!

"I've made up my mind to define my own destiny" Lauryn Hill/ The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill

My thought of the morning centers around the most important relationship that we have, next to that of the one that we have with Christ! This relationship also has the power to allow us to experience the greatest joys of life, as well as the greatest disappointments. I'm referring to the relationship that we have with ourselves if you hadn't already figured it out!

Initially I was thinking about how my relationships have been basically the same. Of course not exactly, and they all pretty much had begun differently, but as the course continued, they all went in the same direction. This is not say that these were bad relationships, I've had some great moments in all of them, even the short time that I spent married, but when problems began to occur, the similarities were too apparent not to notice.

I'd been made aware of the philosophy that you take yourself into all relationships, which is why you continue to have issues, and that it may be time for a self check! Yes, this

is true to an extent, but I believe it's deeper than just understanding that you could be the problem... Many of us don't consider having a relationship with ourselves before getting into a situation with someone else. Although I may have been physically ready to get into something after my last break-up, that hadn't meant that I was mentally. As men we often believe that we don't deal with emotions, and for the most part we don't, not as much as women, but we do have them, and it's necessary for us to heal just as much as women.

For me, healing meant getting to know who I was, what I liked, and how I wanted to move going forward. After break-ups, I hadn't felt super sad, or like I had been a victim, I didn't even feel like I had wasted my time! I did feel as though I was going down the path of insanity, I was doing all the same things, and my results weren't seeming to change as though they should have. After some examination, I realized I hadn't focused enough on what I needed the relationships to be for me. I'm not saying that I was always selfless, or that I didn't get anything from them, what I am saying is that I got what I got because I wasn't clear about what I needed. The time spent alone helped me to get to know myself, more than I'd probably ever had. It was a courting process, doing things the way I needed and wanted to do them.

During this time some people felt a certain way because I was very focused on my own direction, and I wasn't willing to compromise to please them. It wasn't always easy to say no, especially to close family and friends, but it was necessary and I'm glad I stayed the course!

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