Today I came across this post that I wrote for an older blog 3 years ago. With so many different family configurations, I felt that this might be a good post to share again.
Recently, I hit a wall with trying to express some of my outlooks on the world when it hit me that I didn’t make sense to people because while they were looking at this married father form, it was the single mother in me speaking. I was talking to a female friend about some of the unreasonable expectations that people bring into relationships. She admitted that she too had those expectations of her partner, while simultaneously realizing that all of her expectations were not logical. They were not illogical because she does not have the right to have certain expectations from a relationship, but because she expected her partner to be something for her that she could not be for herself and she wanted to be for him that which he did not want, expect, or need her to be. Consciously knowing this, it becomes her responsibility to understand why she has those expectations. Being on spiritual paths to living from our God created wholeness, we both live in that space where we know that we cannot hold other’s responsible for our fulfillment–even if that person is our life-partner.
If you saw the video above, you should have some idea of the context that I am speaking out of. Growing up with a single mom who ran a small business in order to provide for my brothers and me, I had the dubious advantage of not expecting stability from the world. I learned early that although relationships offer us the opportunity to practice our internal ideals, we cannot expect that what comes back will always line up with our expectations. That’s why I got down with Jesus the way I did. Talking about a dude who did not hold people to his expectations. He looked at people like they were diamonds even when they acted like doodoo. At the same time he was not a pushover. He knew that trying to live from that space of Oneness was going to draw some attention and it’s disproportionate amount of negative projection. Even though it hurt him, he just stayed in his awareness that one and God is a majority. He embodied the Shema Yisrael–“Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.”
What’s that got to do with me claiming to be a single mother in a married father’s body? Well if you saw the video then you know the four points that females I was in relationships with shared about why we didn’t work out.
- I didn’t need them
- They didn’t feel special
- I was not romantic enough
I explain in the video my take on these points, but to connect it to the Jesus point above, I point to Luke 14:2 which quotes Jesus as saying, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.”
Yes. That is correct. So why did Jesus say this? Long story short, I think he said it so the people would know the cost of trying to walk in wholeness in a world that cultivates impoverished hearts in people who always feel like something is missing from their lives. He says a lot of things like this about special relationships, because he knows that these types of relationships were never meant to fulfill anyone. On their best days, these relationships can give you a foretaste of what one can experience when they live out of the Oneness of relationship with God–our Completion. But to expect a human to be that completion is just unreasonable. I still love the women who gave me that feedback, but the fact is that as long as anyone expects for those four points to come from a person, they will never experience them in reality. That’s what I have learned from the single mother in me and it is what I share with everyone–to include those I am in special relationships with. It does not always go over well, but it is reality. Finally, I learned that I cannot expect anyone to be for me what I am unwilling to be for myself or for them. We reap what we sow right?
Now does that mean we don’t need other people in our lives? No. What it means is that when we receive from people we should look for the God in them, because it is the God in them that is fulfilling our highest expectations. If you look at the disciples, you see that they wanted from Jesus the same things that my partners wanted from me. He never gave it. He pointed away from that seeming need and toward seeking the will of God. My experience of growing up with a single parent showed me that God enters our hearts in those seemingly empty spaces. I had no dad in the house so God was my Dad. Maybe you didn’t have a mom or a sibling or romantic relationship. God fills in those spaces where you feel like your earthly relationships are lacking. So though it sounds crazy, I suggest that rather than trying to find a person or some earthly form to be that piece you think is missing, thank God for creating the perfect space to enter your life. And maybe just maybe God will take on flesh for you so you can feel the reality of your wholeness in physical form.