The other session which I have not yet spoken of was about healthy relationships. It was basically an overview of the book and course of How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk. We wrote on the board a list of traits that one would find in a jerk. And she pointed out that we have all been guilty of some of those traits ourselves. But then she reminded us that there is a difference between sometimes acting like a jerk (because we all make mistakes) and being a jerk (which is persistent resistance to change). Some of the things she breezed over were familiar to me because I've heard Sis. Snell talk about them. Indeed, I was hoping to get the book some time. Now I am determined to do so soon. Especially as it talks more about the Relationship Attachment Model and hopefully more about the 12 general areas of compatibility.
The relationship stuff was all good info, but what stood out the most to me were the necessary ingredients for change.
1. Insight (see that you need to change)
2. New information (research; read books that deal with this, etc.)
3. Deliberate Effort (and have a way to measure it)
4. Time (and forgiveness of self and others)
This is such a great list to have on hand for any and all the future times that change will need to take place in my life. But I loved that I was able to step back and look over the last 18 months of my life, particularly related to dating and social life. These 4 ingredients were emblazoned over those 18 months. I was finally ready to get back in the dating world, but I knew something wasn't working. I knew it was me, but I wasn't sure what it was about me. And then Sis. Snell entered my life. She was the beginning source for me to obtain new information. I've been reading her materials as well as articles and other books. My eyes were opened to so much and understanding was flowing in. But I think a huge reason it was able to flow in was because I was ready for change--I was embracing it. (Which was a very difficult thing for me only a few years ago.)
I have certainly been making deliberate efforts. There are very, very few people in my life who truly understand just how difficult it has been for me to make those efforts. It is against my nature in so many ways, and light years from my comfort zone. But that was one of the things that needed changing. Not that I'm changing who I am, but that I needed to change some habits and views and behaviors in my efforts so that change could come about. And it has. So amazingly, it has. I still can't believe how far I've come in the last year when I took my first step into the scary, unknown darkness. Alone. And the Lord has greatly blessed me for those efforts. He continues to do so. Thus, when I have my disheartening moments, as I have been feeling a lot over the last week or two, I need to remember that 4th ingredient. Time. Forgive myself for the mistakes I have made and continue to make. Forgive others related to this in my past as well as presently. And be patient and diligent in that time as I keep on with my deliberate efforts. I can't have my breakfast brought to me. I have to go make it. I can and I will.
To end, I shall leave you with this quote that she gave, which I find absolutely brilliant: Love is a fulness to give, not an emptiness to fill.