Farmer watering crops

Relationships need our ongoing work

All too often we are unaware that this is the only moment we are alive. Much of our lives can be reduced to trivialities. We can easily forget that relationships don’t ‘just happen’, but that they need work in order to be life-giving. A farmer can’t just sit all day on his stoep and dream about a good harvest. Fruitfulness will take his ongoing effort.

God has made all of us creatures of need. Our need (not neediness) is something beautiful, something that makes us alive. As we accept this by meeting our own and others’ needs appropriately we find our joy and fulfilment. Sometimes though, if we have pain through having been hurt in these areas we may be tempted to try to deny that we have needs.

Into each day we carry our past emotional profile, a record of our experiences and how we felt about them. Into this present moment come our issues, say, with trusting others or for them to be or to do something for us. This prescriptive ‘cookie cutter’ way will prevent us from receiving each moment as a gift. We can’t look to others to resolve and fix the feelings we are feeling inside. That is our responsibility. It takes courage to stay open. We are risking getting hurt again. But if we can allow the moment to be open it will show us ourselves, as if in a mirror. It will reveal our mistrust, where we cannot let go of things.

We can continue to choose to try to squeeze the moment into our shape, or can allow it to surprise and change us. We know we will be disappointed again. We need to learn not to overburden relationships with un-dealt-with hurts. As we stop running and see our wounds, we can begin to work with them. Thus we can avoid repeating known destructive patterns, say, of projecting our hurts onto others and so damaging connection.

What do we learn from broken trust? Simply saying, “Everyone always lets me down.”, will disempower us and make us into victims. It can be that, if healed, our wounds actually become our gifts. For we may now know how to hold the trust of others and how to avoid falling into that same hole again. We are invited to enter each new day with growing openness. Can we push on the side of discomfort and trust a little more than usual? Each passing moment is a gift, that if we can stop controlling, can lead us out into a fulfilling place of being more ourselves and of deeper trusting connection with God and others too. 

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