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Relationships, ‘Deflation-ships’, Battleships, ‘Sinking-ships,’ and ‘Abandon-ships’

January 22, 2018

For many people the idea of trust is a mirage. They have had a spouse who walked out on them and their children; a parent who abused them; a business partner who bankrupted them; a politician or pastor who lied to them; a best friend who betrayed them. Their cry is, “How could you do this to me?” - leaving behind a plethora of fixer-uppers. What we are saying internally when this happens to us is “I hate you, but I need you.” Broken relationships produce more emotional baggage than anything else in life.
If I’m talking to you, please don’t become the voice in your head. If you do, you will end up taking your past into your present impeding your future. The past is a guide post, not a hitching post.
OK, let me lighten up for a moment. Let’s explore a concept you can apply today that could avoid trust-busting traps in the future. Read this story.
My friend Tom was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business. He knew he would inherit a fortune once his sickly father died. Tom wanted two things. To learn how to invest his inheritance and secondly, to find a wife to share his fortune.
One evening at an investment meeting, he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away. "I may look like just an ordinary man," he said to her, "but in just a few years, my father will die, and I'll inherit twenty million dollars." Impressed, the woman obtained his business card. Two weeks later, she became his stepmother. Women are so much better at estate planning than men.
This funny story (unless you are Tom) may not seem to fit at first glance. But the last sentence says it all to me. While I don’t condone the woman’s ethics and I’m concerned about the emotional baggage Tom is going to have to deal with, I’m impressed with how she planned for her future. What if we adopted a wise future relationship estate plan? Why? If we don’t handle our relationships, our relationships will handle us. To do something about the mess, we need to embrace the mess. Move from “Why me?” to “What’s next?”
Did you know the big iceberg did not sink the ill-fated Titanic? A rift in the side of the boat sunk the Titanic. The design of the ship called for rivets to be placed in the side of the ship every six inches. However, because they wanted to build the ship quickly with less cost, the builders of the ship placed rivets in the side of the boat every twelve inches. If they would have built the ship the way according to the plans, the future of the boat and over a thousand people would have been completely different.
Allow me to suggest two ideas which could start you planning your future relationship estate.
Firstly, most people who get into relationships have no idea how relationships work. People do not know how to negotiate. In marriage, business partnerships, or collaborations, opposites attract and then negotiate the differences. If you always need to win, how can you negotiate? Love is grand. Divorce is one hundred grand. Unless it is immoral, illegal or completely unreasonable, two brains are better than one. Conflict means there is a relationship. Conflict is part of life. Embrace it, don’t erase it.
Secondly, learn the power of forgiveness. Whether you are black or white, man or woman, rich or poor, young or old, Republican or Democrat, our differences don’t go away, but our hostilities can. Prejudice is a relationship issue. Fear or anger will never accept responsibility for destructive behavior, but love can. Why? Love covers a multitude of sins. When responsibility is accepted, forgiveness becomes possible. Forgiveness is giving up control. Forgiveness is giving up all hope that the past will change. Forgiveness makes a better future possible. To forgive and accept responsibility means both sides need to quit being ego-centric.
Remember, the iceberg didn’t sink the Titanic. Not going by the plan that was planned did.
Ed Delph    January 22, 2018   CCC

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Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com