The Wholesome Reality

Quality is everything. How much are we willing to overlook it when impatience has us making quick and hasty decisions?  Life is often about what we can get with no time to wait. Companies have capitalised on this human flaw multiplying $$$ dollars. They market us with cheap products so that we can own it faster. It’s all in the numbers rather than the quality of the product itself.

It’s about fast & quick!

It’s about saving time and making more.

It’s about beating the competition.

It’s about getting in and out as quick as you can.

We are living in a world of numbers and duplication with very little patience. Companies and individuals strive to get $$$ dollars into their bank accounts often overlooking quality and long term consequences.

We do this in relationships.

We rush in without a second thought.

The dream of having that perfect marriage/family/house can have us rushing the process.

As a young person I rushed into marriage without thinking about the consequences. Marriage in itself is not bad by any means, it can be wonderful. It is more about the person you are marrying, who are they? Are they someone of quality? Are they right for you?

My dream was to have a family that owned their home and had built financial security ensuring their children had a good start to life. To be married to a man who was respected in the community/family/friendship groups, a man who was successful on every level in particular a man of good character. I’ve dreamed of having a man that is respected and admired, who loves/protects his family/wife and cares deeply for his children.

This picture I’ve painted sounds achievable and normal to some. Perhaps you are one of the fortunate who can say they have all of that and more.

I’m certain I speak for many who have visualised the same as I have yet reality proves to be the opposite.

IF you can imagine for a moment a house made of bricks. Every brick layered on top of another brick perfectly in line, the brick work giving the house an overall appearance of how a house should look. Windows and doors all measured into place. The house has been built to plan to ensure time frames and budgets are followed.   Tradesmen follow the plan and do their best to put everything where it needs to be. The final product is eventually complete and there you have a house.

For some of us our lives don’t quite work to plan all accurately measured and tidy.

Mine didn’t.

Despite the dreams I held in my heart over the past few decades my life has not been that of a house with perfectly lined bricks with windows and doors in place. My life resembles that of an olden day style house perhaps built with stones. Different sized stones. One stone placed upon another stone. It doesn’t have an appearance of perfection it has an appearance of character and hard work. There are very few smooth edges and a lot of bumps and rough corners. The average house can take up to 6 months to build my life resembles a house which has taken many years and is still incomplete. My life is like that building you drive past which is looking incomplete after many years of construction.

Every stone that has been placed upon another stone in my life has come from all sorts of difficult circumstances. These stones are held in place by tears mixed with loneliness, confusion, pain, hurt, anxiety and even depression at times. Every stone and layer represents wholesome lessons learned and healing from pain. Unlike the straw house depicted in the children’s rhyme with the pig huffing and puffing and blowing that house down, my life having been built by heavy stones has progressively been growing stronger by the day.

Anything of quality takes time and effort with a lot of patience.

How often do we buy into products advertised and sold in large numbers only to be disillusioned once the product breaks down in a short time or once we realise the product doesn’t really do what they claimed it would do!!!

The truth is we often go through the hard stuff to get to the good stuff!

Having been in an unhealthy marriage and a roller coaster ride over the past few decades I appreciate life very differently now.

I love the fact that I can walk into my little unit knowing that I can relax without the fear I used to live with of what was going to happen next week or next month? My life was up and down and insecure, filled with contradictions and instability. I lost trust in the people I should have trusted the most. I even lost trust in myself.

Everything was a big fat question mark?????

I was always reliant on my ex-husband. I believed most things he told me even though the facts in front of me showed otherwise. In order to survive living in the relationship I had to push down my own values and what I held dear. To leave the relationship was unthinkable although I had thought about it on several occasions. The trouble was that I had the fear that God was going to smite me if I left.

That’s another topic right there!

Spiritual control was equally as strong in the relationship as was the emotional control.

As quick as we can be at buying those products which are lacking quality we can be equally as quick at settling for a partner that lacks wholesome character. A person can say all of the right things yet who they really are is shown in what they do.

I was sold on what I was hearing and led to believe.

The battle always began when actions were opposite to what I was told. Any questions I had were diffused with convincing sets of answers. Often my questions were turned back onto me. In psychology they call this ‘gas lighting’ in which the victim is always questioning their own reality.

Essentially what I am saying is don’t settle for anything less than good quality.

Be patient!

Don’t rush it!

As every decision we make will have consequences for the rest of our lives. Of course we can’t live in a bubble and think we will avoid every problem in life however we certainly can minimise the difficulties if we just consider our decisions that little bit longer.

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Is the Price too High?

Call me a penny pincher if you must but I’ve always been a person that doesn’t like wasting money on something I want or need to buy. I’m the sort of person that likes to investigate the options available with the hope that I can purchase an item for much less elsewhere.

This Christmas my shopping was minimal due to my peanut budget and life change, I held back on buying an item for my nine year old as I wasn’t satisfied with the cost. Waiting and sweating it out saved me some money which was exactly what I was hoping for. I happened to walk into the store on an unexpected ‘one day sale’. My patience paid off as I managed to buy my sons main Christmas present for less.

How much of what we see in shops is overpriced?

Assuming for a moment that I lived with more than a peanut budget, I don’t think it would change how I feel about wasting money. For me it is a matter of principle, I just can’t bring myself to pay more than I should. I know full well it won’t be long until a particular item I looked at buying will eventually be marked down. When I can buy something that has been marked down a sense of satisfaction leaves me feeling content as it results in saving some money. My bank account isn’t emptied nor do I need to sit at home regretting my decision.

In reality clothes are clothes, shoes are shoes, toys are toys and so on…. The differences between the cost of clothes for instance is determined by where you are looking to buy them. Designer clothes are going to cost you more than the clothes you buy from a department store. Most people are satisfied that designer wear will cost them more. They are willing to spend on the quality of the material and its design as it’s not merely an item that has been stitched together only to last for a few weeks. That being said I’ve never bought designer wear! I can see the sense in spending more on quality I’ve just never had the money to do that.

Where am I going with this you might be wondering?

As I was thinking about the idea for this blog I thought about how much I have paid in my relationships over the years. By relationships I refer to any type of one, whether it is a marriage, girlfriend/boyfriend, friend, sibling, parents or associates.

In terms of relationships I’ve always found it more difficult to recognise how much I am willing to pay. There is always a cost in terms of your time, energy and other resources we all have access to. Relationships require an investment from you. It isn’t about money but rather a giving of yourself to someone. Depending on the type of relationship determines how much you give or invest into the other person.

Often times though it doesn’t matter how much we invest into someone the other person may not be as invested into us. It could be a friendship in which the other person is only thinking about what they can get from you.

It reminds me of a time years ago when I lived in Sydney. I had a friend that used to ring me pretty much every day. She often called me and spoke for hours. I had young children and plenty of chores to do throughout the day yet somehow I was willing to give hours of my time to this person. I thought I was doing the right thing? However over time I began realising that she was only focused on herself and draining me in the process. I got to a point in which I had nothing left for my own children. I was oblivious to the fact that she was constantly taking from me everything that I had. She wasn’t satisfied with her life and found it hard to make the necessary changes for things to change! Her life was going around in circles and while I had good intentions I was also going around in circles with her.  I needed to jump off that ride!

I was exhausted on every level; emotionally, mentally and physically…..

There is nothing wrong with being there for a friend however you need to consider at what cost? Sometimes people only want to hear what they want to hear!

In a marriage relationship you are invested completely. All of who you are is shared with another person. For a marriage to be successful both partners need to invest completely. It isn’t enough for one partner to invest emotionally when the other may be holding back. Eventually the one giving emotionally will start feeling empty.

We often hear people say that you need to keep yourself happy. Yes that is true however if you are in a relationship with someone and your significant other is not providing anything back the relationship will lose connection and intimacy. For a relationship to work it requires both partners to take the time by investing into each other. Putting in zero investment equals zero return!

Money is important and we should take measures to manage it as best we can but what about the other resources such as; our emotions, heart, physical and mental state.

Do we continue investing into a relationship until we are so empty that we can’t even take care of ourselves anymore?

I do believe in loyalty and commitment in a relationship. I’m also aware that in many circumstances and in different seasons you will often find yourself investing more into a relationship than perhaps you are getting back and vice versa.  However there comes a time when you need to take a good look at things if you are falling apart and unraveling into a nervous wreck. ….

Not every relationship needs to fall apart.

Some do and some don’t.

Mine did unfortunately!

I can however live with myself knowing that I did everything possible for far too long in trying to make something work that was never going to move beyond certain foundational issues. These issues were damaging and unhealthy. The amount of times that I personally experienced high levels of anxiety and stress due to the relationship should have been enough to wake me up. I was so determined to “do the right thing” that I overlooked areas I should not have ignored. It got so bad towards the end that I had what I believe to be a nervous breakdown the night before exiting the marriage. I had well and truly reached the limits of what I could take.  There was nothing left in me, I was completely empty. My heart had closed off and I was aware that there was absolutely nothing that I could do to repair the damage that had been done. The price that I had already paid up until that point was enormous.

I appreciate the difficultly in coming to terms with a partner not being as invested into a relationship with you as much as you might want them to be. Consider how much you are willing to pay in order to keep trying. If the cost sends you bankrupt with no hope of recovery it’s time to pay attention to what is going on. The longer you ignore the issues the more damage occurs.

Perhaps when issues are sorted earlier rather than later there is more hope in restoration?

Again that depends if both parties are willing and wanting to have a great relationship. In my case I went above and beyond for many years with no success.

The results speak for themselves today!

It isn’t hard to accept that quality items are going to cost more financially as much as quality relationships are built on both partners investing everything of themselves.

The question is whether the relationship is one of quality? Is it a genuine and healthy relationship? Or a strained unhealthy damaging relationship?