Monday, February 27, 2012

Why Do We Return?

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. Proverbs 26:11

Why do we do it? Why do we return to the things that hurt us; the things that so evidently bring disease and sickness to our souls.

Why do we try the same things over and over expecting a different outcome? Albert Einstein called this behavior insane. It is insanity to think that things we’ll be different this time around. But many have convinced themselves otherwise.

Don’t get me wrong, I have just as much hope as the next person (maybe more). I will always believe in the possibility of change and growth in people. I will always hope and pray for the best in those I love. But I will not pretend that I am the only one capable of bringing it out of them. I will not convince myself that they are lost without me.

I learned the hard way that you cannot be someone’s savior. As much as I wanted to be the one who brought out the good I couldn’t be. For some reason I was toxic to the person I was trying to help. Instead of pulling him up, I held his hand as we weighed each other down and plummeted. I prayed over him, cried over him, and racked my brain about ways to make things better. I tried SO hard to lift him up, but my arms weren’t strong enough.

But I loved him, so I stayed. And when he finally let me go, I realized how weak I had become by holding onto him.

It’s a tricky thing, bearing someone’s burdens. You are trying so hard to drag them out of the desert; you don’t even realize you yourself are quickly becoming thirsty and drained of strength. But when you finally stop to take a breath, and no one offers to carry you for a while, you see the situation for what it is.

It’s not hard to recognize when something/someone is bad for you. I think anyone in a toxic relationship is at least aware of the toxicity to some degree. And even if you are playing the fool and pretending not to notice, I am sure those closest to you have pointed out their concerns in one way or another.

When we finally take our hands off of our eyes and our fingers out of our ears, some of us find the strength to walk away. Something happens that turns us upside down and in that moment we make the right choice. In that moment we see things clearly. We are confident and strong in our decision. But then the time passes and the decision sets in. Nostalgia hits and our minds flood with the FEW good memories of our relationship. And because of those few things, we return.

I tell you now, from someone who has experienced this, it is a vicious cycle.

You return hoping for better. And because he lost you for a while, he pretends to have changed. For a little while you are convinced that things are different. But eventually things return to how they used to be. People get lazy, guards get let down, and you are squashed back under the weight of an unnecessary burden.

It is not yours to bear.

Ladies, we were not created to lead men. We can be a strong support system and continually point them to truth. We can walk beside them and help them stand, but we cannot carry them on our shoulders.

No man worthy of spending the rest of your life with would allow you to do so.

We were created as whole people; men and women alike. If the man you love is not complete, you need to understand that you cannot complete him. Don’t lose half of yourself trying to be the other half he needs.

Too many times we fall in love with someone’s potential, with who they could be; but are you ok with spending forever waiting for them to become it?

Married women, obviously this is a different battle. No, you should not leave him, but you cannot try to fulfill him either. His fulfillment has to come from Christ or you will squeeze the life out of each other. Pray and pray again. Call out the best in him. Challenge him to rise, but understand you cannot get him there on your own.

Single women; be brave enough to walk away and strong enough to stay away. Remember that nothing can change him like Jesus can. Be fervent in prayer for him, but mentally, physically and emotionally let him go. Things will not get better if you stay in the picture. In the same way he is distracting you, you are distracting him. You have to bow out and let God take it from there.

Remember that you are a glorious creation. You were made with a purpose. You have your own battles to fight and your own destiny to fulfill. Do not become distracted.

The right one will be whole.
And when he comes along so will a peace that cannot be explained.
Wait for him.

Me and my Caleb.


  1. I LOVE THIS! "Don’t lose half of yourself trying to be the other half he needs." Amen. A-FREAKING-men. thank you so much, best friend!
    So true.

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  3. Absolutely true! Love it Brit...and you!

  4. love it, Brit!! tell it like it is!