Building Better

You have to hit rock bottom before you can change anything from the bottom up.

You want a great, wholesome, honest relationship full of integrity? Expect to get a divorce. Do you want money flowing to you easily, and be financially rewarded for enjoying what you do? Expect to get laid off.

That’s what happened to me. I’m not trying to be the negative ninny or the naysayer here. It’s just that I’ve noticed that when you have a heartfelt desire for something grand and wonderful, built on timeless foundations like love, truth and honesty, you often have to start over. That’s where most of us get confused and disgruntled, because we expect to continue building from where we are. This is typically how the scenario goes. See if this sounds familiar.

You are in a relationship for a number of years, and you’re basically happy. Your needs are met, there are no big surprises, and you’re skating along without too many extremes, one way or the other. In this ordinary, run of the mill place, you begin to think about the next level. And rightfully you should. As you have made it to a plateau, safe and sound. Congratulations.

Many of your peers will stay here, and that’s perfectly fine. The world turns everyday with people who enjoy being in their usual place, doing their usual things. And I would argue that we certainly need the cog turners to provide stability. Let’s be thankful for the role they play. You, on the other hand, begin to feel a stirring inside for the next level, for growth, for depth, for more. It could be as simple as wanting more adventure. Or as complicated as yearning for an entirely new experience. Naturally, you look to your current circumstance to see how you can make the shift. In my case, I looked to my spouse to see how our marriage could go from ordinary to extraordinary. So my quest began. First I read books on great relationships. Oh boy was I educated! I learned that we had a long way to go to get to marital bliss. But I was up for the challenge, as the loud arguments and silent nights had taken their toll on me. Then there was counseling. We both went-jointly and separately. Jointly to see the dynamics in our relationship that was unhealthy, and separately to simultaneously work on us. As any counselor worth their salt will tell you, you can only change yourself, and don’t expect to change anyone else. And then there was prayer. And fasting and prayer. And prayer groups. Did I mention praying? I realized that if indeed this marriage could be worked on and saved, it would take the work of a Savior.

The marriage got worse, and I got a divorce. I am certainly not an advocate of divorce; quite the contrary. I love blissful unions and wish them for everyone. However, it takes two blissful individuals to make that blissful whole. Sorry, I digressed. As much as I hated that grueling rock bottom, dark night of the soul period. it was necessary. And here’s why. When my relationship began with the man who eventually became my husband, it was built on lies. He was not honest with me about who he was. He told me lies to impress me. I found that out later, but preceded with the marriage anyway, as I had too much “invested”, so I thought. And I was not being honest with him about why I wanted to get married. I gave him the expected reasons like love and family. But my primary reason had nothing to do with that. Ever heard the story about the house built on sand? Yes, that’s right. Solid foundations of truth, love, and integrity are required to build something grand and grounded. Firm foundations have to be build from the bottom up, so that they are lasting and stand against the winds of trying times and unexpected chaos. Otherwise, your relationship will crumble when the time of testing teeters at your door.

What I have noticed is that often times when you have that yearning for more and better, in any area of your life, it means that you are ready to take on the new challenge. But be cautious that building something of true magnificence—be it a career, family, relationship, or product—often means that you have to go back to the drawing board and examine the purity of every part. What is not worthy of a pure and solid foundation has to be destroyed, in order to produce a pure and solid product and end result.

So if you find yourself in that place of wanting something better, and all of a sudden your world crumbles, instead of being in a funk for days, give thanks. Give thanks, even through your tears, for an opportunity to build something better, something lasting, on solid ground.

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