Abandonment

Cat and Dog on Relationships

Recently Updated3A friend just posted a cute video of her pets and I had one of those moments of recognition. I borrowed stole some still-shots from the video for visuals. First, her mean kitty came up to the new kitty’s cage to hiss at her. Then the sweet sweet dog came and chased the mean cat away and hovered over the kitty to let her know she was safe.

While watching I was like, “Crap, I’m the mean cat.” I want so badly to be the hovering loving protective dog, but if I am honest with myself, I guess I should be honest with you too….I might reach nice dog status 30% of the time. The other 70% I am definitely in the cat-scratch-your-eyes-out mode.

I’m just cranky. People threaten me.

As I watched the mean kitty all defensive and aggressive, the principle that the therapist has been trying to teach me came to my mind’s forefront:

I have to rid myself of the fear of abandonment if I am ever going to have fulfilling close relationships.

In plain terms – I can’t be scared of other people because if I am I will use aggression, control, and other ineffective defense mechanisms to save myself from being hurt. Acting in such ways just causes me hurt because it pushes people away and that is what I was afraid of in the first place.

Funny sidestory – I am just remembering my kids showing a video from their ipod of Caroline crying the other day. One of my kids said matter-of-factly, “Caroline has abandonment issues.” Their 9 year old playmate was like, Wha? What is abandonment issues?” Yes, this is the stuff we talk about at our house.

Back to the dog and the cat. Remember my recent post about feeling lonely. I’m learning how vital relationships are to living a happy fulfilling life. We all need to connect. Joy is found in connection. I believe  progress will be easy if I can let go of the fear.

To gain greater connection with others I will be working on seeing others as harmless little kittens that need my love and affection, not as threats to my stability and way of life. All the pet owners in the world have room for another pet….even the cranky cats.

“Yesterday I was a dog.
Today I’m a dog.
Tomorrow I’ll probably still be a dog.
Sigh!
There’s so little hope for advancement.” ~Charles M. Schulz

Don’t listen to him…there’s always hope for advancement.

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Faith and Trust

trust
As I chatted with a friend in need yesterday, I was able to walk her through some of her abandonment issues. We are very much alike. She was at the end of her rope with the issues in her marriage and was ready to call it quits.

I asked her if she had received any answers from her prayers about what she should do. She easily spouted off two different thoughts that she had been having, but immediately dismissed them as answers from the past. “What I need is an answer for right now”, she lamented.

I questioned, “But, you thought about those two previous answers in the last few days, right?”

She answered, “Yes.”

I questioned, “And you don’t consider that an answer?”

She sheepishly admitted that maybe it was. She was just so caught up in protecting herself that she didn’t want to listen.

I get that. I get it intimately.

You see, her and I both have great faith, but what we lack is the ability to trust that God will work all things together for our good. We have abandonment issues therefore no one can be fully trusted, including God Almighty. We will push everyone away first so that they can’t be blamed later for letting us down. Our delicate little hearts don’t think they can handle any form of disappointment no matter how minor so we choose misery for ourselves without admitting it. When we look back on our lives, we can spout of thousands of ways we have been abandoned. Maybe millions if given enough time.

The problem in lacking that trust is that we create extreme distress in our lives. We can’t be happy in any moment (good or bad) because we can’t trust that 1- we are worthy of happiness and 2-there is anything better out there for us. We base our most important decisions from the lens of the darkest glasses.

“But, what if He is going to work it out?” I asked. “What if you are going to get the happy ending, would that change your decision today?”

The answer came without a whole of conviction, “Probably.” It hit me between the eyes. Probably? She couldn’t even commit to changing her thought patterns even with the greatest future scenario. In that moment I got my message from God. I can’t change my thought patterns either. But, what if I could? How would I change? If I could really 100% trust Him would I do things differently?

My answer was a resounding, “Yes.” And right at that moment yesterday I made the decision that if I can’t trust my loving Heavenly Father to give me the best that he has, I might as well pack up and head straight to hell because that is where I am stuck when I don’t trust. If I can trust, He can give me all that hath. First I have to believe it, and so today trusting is my focus. It is scary. Real scary.

And now I know why Proverbs 3:5-6 has always been one of my favorites:

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Paths are plural and way too often I don’t take his paths because I can’t trust that they are better than mine. I’m a fool.

Here is a great message about faith and trust.