Guarding Your Heart

The heart is not only one of the most vital organs in our body it is also one of the most sensitive organs that requires protection physically and emotionally. Last night I was reading the following passage in my amplified bible “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:21, 23 AMP)” What I learned from this scripture is that the heart is the center of all that is good in human beings. It is important that we protect our heart because once our heart is damaged it is difficult for us to function.

After reflecting on the importance of the heart I began to examine ways that I have allowed my heart to be damaged, because I failed to protect it. So, here goes a little disclosure; in the past I was guilty of allowing others to hurt me and therefore hurting my heart. Every time I allowed my mate (past not present) to verbally assault me, every time I entered into impossible relationships that I knew ahead of time would not be able to fulfill my emotional needs, and every time I pretended I had control over others and their poor decision-making, therefore blaming myself when they inflicted pain upon themselves.

Whenever I listen to negative messages that counter the positive messages I normally tell myself, I am guilty of not guarding my heart. Words are some of the most common ways in which we do not guard our heart. I have learned that I am responsible for guarding my heart and I must take this task seriously. So many times I had difficulty functioning because my heart was afflicted with pain. Pain that I allowed into my life and my heart. Now that I am wiser and stronger I have learned to guard my heart, and I have learned that this is an ongoing task; I have to work on this task everyday.

Be sure to guard your heart!

 

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No Longer On The List

Who do you have on your friendship list? How did that person make it to the list? How are individuals removed from the list? Your friendship list should be sacred, only a select few allowed. Those that exemplify love, compassion, support, and time when interacting with you should be allowed into the friendship circle. There is no room in the circle for jealously, envy, and those who do not practice reciprocity (returning phone calls and texts and love). In relationships distance is sometimes needed to protect your heart and conserve your time.

What does it look like when someone is no longer on the list?

  1. No longer given priority in relation to time.
  2. No longer going the extra mile to inquire about their day.
  3. In the words of Martin Lawrence “I will see you when I see you”
  4. No longer make the first contact, they should know how to find you, if they want to.
  5. No longer put their concerns before yours.

Misguided Hatred

Quite often, the saying “hate is a wasted emotion” is used, perhaps there is some truth to this saying. Hate usually leaves the individual feeling angry and unhappy.  Dictionary.com  describes hatred as “the feeling of one who hates, intense dislike or extreme aversion or hostility.” Usually when the term hatred is used it is directed toward a specific person, place, or thing. Unfortunately, I think it is highly misused against people.  What does it really mean to hate someone? Does one have to know an individual personally in order to hate them? You would think so, but think of the numerous celebrities that are hated by the general public, most likely for unjust reasons, but yet still hated. I say unjust because how does one hate someone they do not know? The hip hop culture often use the term “he hatin on me” which carries the connotation that someone is disliked or the victim of someone else’s jealous feelings without justification.

What about unjustified hate toward a friend or family member? I often wonder how does someone claim friendship and yet hate the person at the same time?  When the term hate is so loosely used, we forget that sometime the thing that makes us so envious of others could very well be the talent or blessing that God has placed upon them. If you compare yourself to your friend, or become angry or enraged when they acquire material possessions, a new spouse, have a special talent, a raise a work etc., then be careful, because you may be hating a blessing from God. So it’s not really the person you are hating, maybe it’s the blessing, and if it’s the blessing then you run the risk of hating God.

Maybe you should take a personal inventory and examine the next time you feel hate towards someone. Ask yourself, why am I so annoyed by this person, why do I dislike this person?  Think of how unfair it is for the other person who considers you a friend. They spend time with you and share their hopes and dreams, just to have you speak ill behind their backs and to betray their confidence. How unfair for the person who looks at you as a friend, how hurtful. Maybe if you cannot be a true friend without hate or envy then you should let the friendship dissolve. What are you gaining by pretending, every time your friend comes around you feel annoyed or angry; this is your issue not your friend’s. If someone is your friend you should be able to cheer for them and all their successes and help them in times of their failure. Practicing the art of “Fake  Friendship” is a waste of time and is hurtful to the other person.  Just as hate is also a waste of time, because it usually accomplishes nothing.

Knowing When to Relinquish a Relationship

How do you know when it is time to release yourself from a relationship? When I say relationship I mean all relationships, romantic, friendship, business, and family relationships.  When do you call it quits? When is relinquishing a relationship for the best, and when is it considered being a quitter because it’s too hard? It may be a good idea to end a relationship, if you have tried to make things better by communicating with the other person, you tried being flexible and compromising, you have humbled yourself and did not allow your pride to rule your decision-making. Perhaps you are not producing or receiving anything good from the relationship, maybe the relationship is one-sided, you give and the other person takes.  Eventually you will grow tired of giving that you become depleted. How many times must you apologize, choose to quiet your voice, or overlook hurtful words or actions.  

Why would one choose to stay in such a relationship state? Perhaps it is something that you learned early on in life, maybe this is the sort of relationship that you had with your parents or siblings, and you think that this is how relationships are supposed to be.  Maybe, you don’t think you deserve better. You think love or relationships consist of you pursuing and the other party or individual running and mistreating you.  Somewhere on your relationship DNA you were fooled into thinking that this sort of one-sided relationship is good, but deep down you know it is not right.  At what point do you value yourself enough to relinquish the past and walk toward something new and rewarding?

Perhaps, it is time to stop making excuses, and start making healthy choices that will allow you to prosper and grow as an individual. Perhaps, it is time to receive some of the love that you constantly share with others. Maybe, just maybe, every relationship is not worth saving. So, how do you know when it is time to move on to new endeavors and relationships? Here are some helpful hints:

  1. If you are in a one-sided relationship, constantly giving but never receiving.
  2. If your relationship is not producing any income, mutual learning, or emotional connection.
  3. If you are constantly second guessing yourself, trying to figure out how to make the other person happy, but in reality there is no making them happy, because they could care less about you.
  4. If you are being physically, emotionally, or verbally abused or financially depleted/manipulated.
  5. If you are not being appreciated.
  6. If you are dispensable to the other person, they really don’t care if you live or die, show up or cancel, call or don’t call.
  7. If you have given a good faith effort, and still there has been no change.
  8. If you are emotionally, financially, or intellectually depleted (there is simply nothing left).
  9. If you are not learning, prospering, or changing for the better.
  10. If the current relationship is hindering you from new relationships and opportunities.