Sunday, February 28, 2010

Examination of desires or Relationships, part 3

As I have taken time to ponder and think lately more Perhaps the most potent is, "Do I seek a relationship to fulfill my need of being loved and social or do I seek one to help her?" Or better stated, "Do I want a relationship for my own selfish reasons or am I trying to give of myself?" These questions seem to plague me as of late yet I also realize they are potentially faith destroying because they introduce heistancy and doubt. A small amount of hesitancy, which can also be named precaution, is healthy for it causes us to reflect, ponder, and eventually will lead us to some sort of conclusion.
When I answer the questions honestly, often I find that my desires are two-fold, rather than single-sided. I want a constant steady relationship so that I can feel more loved and have some attention (which causes me to wonder if I have a mild case of adult ADD) but also for the chance to be caring and giving and to fulfill another's need of being loved and cherished.
Possibly the worst side of these questions for me is that after fasting, prayer, and temple service I know what I need to do. I still should date around a little more, just for a little while longer. In reflecting on my answer and the answers to the previous questions I feel doubt in my inspired answer. I feel hesitant to act on it. I do have righteous desires and I'm determined to make a new relationship work even better than previous ones. So I ask if the Lord really wants me to wait a little longer. I see doubt setting in.
My unique character once again rises to combat the doubt and fear setting in. I muster up all the faith I can to remain strong in my determined course. The internal struggle continues, but I will win. I shall not stop. I came to win and there's no stopping me this time.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Relationships, part 2

Tonight I seek an insight into myself. I realize that it has been a while and I detracted from my usual routine of posting weekly. There is change coming into my life. I have observed that when change comes I often let go of a few good, choice, or worthwhile habits. This is a challenge for me since a change often requires holding onto what I have attained to (as touching on habits I may develop) and acquire or acquiesce the new. Always my challenge has been to retain my good habits while encouraging the growth of the new. As time marches forth I shall stretch and grow in this regard.
I wish to write more with respect to relationships, but rather than write about my view on outward relationships and what I personally would do, I desire to analyze two types of relationships in existence. Finally, after examining the two types I wish to determine what I hope to cultivate of the said.
The first is the long-established relationship with friends. These are dear relationships, all of which have treasured moments in the past. Friends to me have always been near to the heart. Approximately eight and a half years ago I began to develop a certain discernment of people. I began seeing people in a new light and realized that those whom I had selected to be my friends were not all the best for me to have around. So amidst the treacherous grounds of high school (and being a freshman no less) I began hoping that great people would come my way, and I hoped to become a great friend to someone else. Great friends were found and dear friendships developed.
Now that I and these friends have aged and matured with time and experience I have to question: which of these friends do I stay closest to? Where do I draw lines for behavior? Should I allow certain friendships to decrease? Which of these is most vital for further development?
The male friends I have always enjoyed having as friends shall remain as friends. These relationships I feel actually need little to keep them alive. True they may not be as strong as they once were, but they have also bloomed and developed to the point that they are nearly self-sustaining.
The young women are a different story. With men, I can always go hang out and have a good time with. However, friendships with the ladies are intrinsically different. When they begin to date and fall in love with other men, I must respect that and back away. Be a friend, be kind, warm and courteous as always, but no more. I do not wish to intrude on her relationship with her boyfriend/male interest/husband/fiancee. In some cases it is also necessary so that I can more easily remove far from me any romantic feelings for said daughter of God.
Those sweet young ladies who are still single however deserve a little attention. Now is the time to get to know her on a personal, intimate level. I do not speak just of likes and dislikes but also of personality traits and characteristic behaviors. It's time to know her values and make sure that mine are not conflicting. It's time to assess the friendship and decide if such will blossom into marriage and romance.
Now there are friendships that are new. People I've recently met or begun to get to know. There are interesting, intriguing and impressive people whose path has so graciously crossed mine. These relationships deserve some attention. Being freshly planted in my life's garden, they too need nourishment.
I face a conundrum, a difficult one indeed. I have many cherished friendships. Many due to their existence during a particularly arduous time of my life. Then the second group, new ones. Do I keep the old ones and deny the new? Do I cut off the old ones entirely and cultivate the new? Do I cut back the old while nourishing the new? If the third, which do I keep and which do I let go?
When faced with needing to teach more people and wondering which investigators to keep, I often made a difficult decision, which to keep and which to let go. Those current investigators who were keeping their promises and commitments we were encouraged to continue teaching. Those who weren't were counted as former investigators with a prayer that they would eventually progress. Former investigators became such for the simple reason that they no longer kept or desired to keep their promises with the missionaries or the Lord. We did keep in touch with and visit them occasionally thereafter.
Relating this to my present condition I reach a conclusion a little easier. Especially since I'm rather concerned with dating and eventually marrying. Those lady friends who are dating or are too busy shall receive less contact from me. Those who are meeting with me receive more attention. The newer friends deserve attention as well. Both groups merit attention and care so that the relationship can progress.
I propose and self-searching question: to which group will I eventually give more importance the old friends or the new? Even more importantly, why? Do I give the old friends more time and attention because of the existing relationship? Do I develop the new friendships in order to meet new people? Do I begin dating exclusively an old friend to hang onto the memories? I've already written extensively about the past. I believe that if I date seriously an old friend now, it is because I'm rediscovering who she is. Also, if I chose rather to date a new friend it will be to discover this young lady. In both cases I hope to find great qualities that I would desire in the mother of my children and in my eternal companion.
Now I encounter another question: where do I find a balance with what I want and not demanding that she have all the qualities I want? Which qualities may come out with time and which need to be presently in practice? I understand the deeply personal aspect of the gospel and realize that all God's children are at varying levels of progress in their journey. So what do I look for being a practice and what do I hope will come out? What things might I hope go away?