Image courtesy of Flickr user:lel4nd
You can't protect your heart until you realize that it is being attacked. And you won't protect it unless you believe your heart is worth protecting.
This post expands on my post On why it is okay to protect your heart.
For the past several weeks, I have been praying for wisdom on how to deal with a particular person. God answered in an unexpected place.
Parents and daughters sat down in a semicircle around a large whiteboard. Lindsey, our energetic instructor for the GLI workshop, asked us what we observed (in general )about the relationships between girls vs. boys.
No boys were present to represent their viewpoint. There are always exceptions, but here are the results of our discussion.
Based on the girls and a few mother's comments, Lindsey wrote for the boys: physical; get over it faster; say it all, silent treatment.
On the girls side, she wrote: talk behind your back, covert, silent treatment, hold their feelings in, make nice.
Next, she wrote girls tend to engage more often than boys in "Relational Aggression": Silent Treatment (most overt form) and Threaten with relationship/use friendship as a weapon.
"The Silent Treatment" One day she and you are talking and the next day, she doesn't return your phone calls and/or she publicly ignores you.
"Threaten to withdraw friendship unless..." You know, the old, I won't be your friend unless you [do this or don't do whatever the demanded action is].
Suddenly I had an "Ah ha" moment as I realized that certain individuals had practiced relational aggression towards me for most of my life.
And I had let them get away with it because I had valued these important relationships too much. Thankfully, over the past year or so, I have begun to be more protective of my heart, but I still sometimes battle false guilt.
It is funny how God works as the workshop was for our daughter and to give us tools to help her navigate the potential minefield of girl-girl relationships.
The Sunday sermon before this workshop, Pastor Scott talked about how sometimes not all conflict can be resolved and he quoted Romans 12:18.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Rom. 12:18 ESV
In the past, Pastor Scott and other skilled professionals told me the same thing: I had done everything possible to try to mend/improve these relationships.
But I can be stubborn. Over the past several years, I am learning to release them to God. My heart longs for healthy relationships but I am beginning to accept that I can only change myself.
With each potential encounter, I pray for wisdom and love. No easy answers. Dang it.
Have you ever experienced relational aggression in your relationships, or observed it in other people's relationships? How do you protect your heart while still being open to love?
Thank you for being part of my journey and for sharing yours with me. Grateful.
Counting thanks with Ann:
- Last week, our girl used one of the tools she learned from GLI as she expressed her feelings to a friend about an incident that was bothering her.
- It was an answer to prayer as we had prayed the night before that God would give her courage to talk to her friend.
- The gift of praying for another
- The gift of being prayed for by another
Being prayed for by Barbie as part of The Bloggers Prayer Project. Check it out...
- Hearing missionary Don Burgess share about how God has provided as he has worked with the Tarahamara Indians for the past 50 years
- How God uniquely prepared Don as he went to Mexico when he was 16 with his photojournalist father and then he later worked on building a railroad in Mexico
- For my husband and friends who help me to put aside false guilt and who value my heart
- For how learning to value my heart helps me to encourage others to value their hearts
- For God's grace and patience with me
Linking with sweet friend Laura for a play date
and giving thanks with wise Ann
and talented L.L. Barkat
and the amazing Jen
© Soul Stops/Dolly Lee 2012. Limited License: Okay for noncommercial use if you attribute this post to me and link to my permalink and blog.