Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

My youngest son and I were enjoying a meal out when he said, “You seem less stressed.”

“Really?” I say back.

I can see the bewilderment in his face.

After all, I have the same problems.

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The divorce may be finalized but the remnants will linger for some time. I still have zero retirement, bad credit, and many more issues to resolve. And there certainly are times where the reality of not being able to meet any emergency expense or potentially never owning a home again, or avoiding the doctor because it’s one more expense does hit me.

In short, the future is as uncertain as it was months ago.

The difference?

I’m not attached to another person who created these problems in my life.

I understand why my son is confused since he definitely understands many of the worries which remain.

“It’s not the problems which ever bothered me,” I say. “I can solve problems. It was stress, unpredictability, and chaos. Even worse, what it was doing to my children.”

I am happy my son sees my joy returning. 

But here’s my point.

Stop thinking you can fix a relationship entirely by yourself.

I shudder when I am forced to write the number of years  (eight) which I futilely wasted. Add a ridiculously long five-year divorce on top of that and I shake my head at my own self. It can happen easily. I tolerated five years of someone behaving badly before I gave up, then there were several separations and then ultimately I filed for divorce.

Bad relationships are bad for a reason.

They aren’t being tended to by both parties.

The world is filled with joy but life will demand ups and downs.

There will always be problems.

Yet, ironically problems are not the problem because fortunately most can be solved.

I did ultimately, have someone who was causing problems in my life but I believe my inability to act sooner increased his bad behavior exponentially. At the very least, it increased the duration of my divorce struggle. I believe the individual I divorced would have still retaliated and not done the right thing regardless of when I left.

Because that comes from a core personality issue and lacking a sense of right and wrong while ending a relationship.

However, staying so long weakened me and it did create other problems.

For instance, his refusal to hire an attorney until coincidentally our youngest graduated high school. I waited so long to leave it coincided with four years of support for our youngest child. Something which never occurred to me but it most certainly did to him and he figured a way around it. To fight me for four years and cause unnecessary financial and emotional stress.

So obviously, other people can create problems in your life.

But is it possible to minimize the degree?

The real issue?

Are you exaggerating your own problems by trying to force something which is broken to work?

You CAN create some of your own problems.

Relationships being one of the biggest hotbeds.

You can’t always have what you want.

You can love someone who will not have the ability to return the same degree of love. 

This is the very FIRST problem.

Acknowledge and embrace it.

It’s a signal to move on quickly…

Before it causes even more problems in your life.

Love isn’t black and white.

But how much we complicate it is.

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This Kathie Lee Gifford interview is what I Am Second is known for.

It is an ‘unscripted conversation’ about living a life which puts Jesus Christ first. 

In their own words, I Am Second writes, “We seek a world where people become second, serving and loving each other as they put Jesus first.”

This not for profit foundation started in Texas in 2008.

They have developed a collection of conversations, short films, and documentaries.

And have grown into an international media movement filming ‘conversations’ with celebrities, athletes and other well-known individuals.

It is what they refer to as ‘vulnerable storytelling.’

In the ‘conversation’ below Kathie Lee Gifford tells her own must hear story.

 

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Many of us remain in broken relationships far longer than we should.

Change is difficult.

And a large number of us lack the self-protective boundaries which would get us out sooner. 

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Instead, we concentrate on the actual ‘no longer working’ relationship more than we do on ourselves.

Which ultimately, further complicates things.

Partnerships which in many instances have long ago turned entrepreneurial. One or both people have begun living more for themselves than together or one person has stopped trying while the other never gave up. There are symptoms which emerge, increased arguing, yelling, withdrawal from one another, bitterness, complaining, resentment and unhappiness.

It seems for most other things in life there exists a timeline marked by numbers.

There are annual physicals, annual performance reviews, and oil changes.

Or natural indicators…

The grass is too tall and needs to be cut

The batteries in the smoke detector are beeping and need to be changed

The carpets are dirty and need to be cleaned.

However, there are no relationship physicals or emotional performance reviews. 

A large part of why we allow so much time to evaporate before we get out of a situation.

A situation which no longer benefits us or frankly the other individual in it.

5 Reasons We Stay in Broken Relationships

Emotional Procrastination

Sometimes there is really no good reason we haven’t moved on.

Perhaps we are avoiders and confronting the truth and potentially hurting someone we once loved feels hard.

Or maybe it’s because change is not only difficult it requires a certain degree of strength and effort to finally make it happen.

Or we love this person but really are no longer ‘in love’ with this person.

Or possibly we have just become accustomed to the status quo.

There are many reasons for emotional procrastination.

Apathy

Sometimes we just aren’t in a hurry to end a relationship.

Some relationships may not be great but lack the emotional fireworks (yelling and arguments) that make us get out sooner.

Or we know it’s time for a change but haven’t been incented enough to leave because all other aspects of life are going well.

Or it’s complicated to leave in terms of housing and money and other economic factors.  

Or we don’t really know what we want even though this relationship isn’t working anymore.

There are many reasons people become apathetic in a relationship but it is contradictory to love – we should feel something.

Denial

This is a huge reason many can’t move on from a love which has run its course.

The heart wants what the heart wants.

It’s absolutely impossible to accept a relationship is over so we go into denial.

We tell ourselves someone isn’t who they are. That they are just in pain or acting out. That they will treat us better. They will value the relationship as much as we do. We see the best in the person we love even if they hurt us over and over again or behave badly in the same manner again and again.

We convince ourselves it will recover and one day be resuscitated.

Denial creeps in because the relationship truth is just too painful to accept.

Rationalization

This reason makes people feel better.

This includes phrases, such as, “no one is really happy,” “all men behave like this,” “all women act this way,” and “the grass is never greener.”

While it’s true the grass is seldom greener, it’s important to recognize if these and phrases like them are being said to make an individual feel better about their situation.

If they are said in the spirit of commiseration it’s probably not the happiest of relationships. 

Rationalizations are excuses to make us feel better for not being particularly happy.

Pain

Abandoning love hurts plain and simple.

There is no greater pain than the loss of those we love whether it’s true grief or the grief which accompanies a breakup.

Because of this, we limp along avoiding a sharp pain in favor of long-term aches.

The sad truth; however, is eventually if a relationship is really truly broken the pain is coming there’s no avoiding it.

We just hurt ourselves and the person we love more by not providing closure sooner.

When a relationship no longer works pain is inevitable.

 

These are five reasons we stay past the close.

It would be so much easier if there were those annual relationship physicals and emotional performance reviews.

Because one thing we know for sure is the heart is complicated.

And the more we ignore the more complex love becomes.

 

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I met Kathie Lee Gifford in 1992 on the set of Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.

That is if you count exchanging a simple smile, but hey, give me my moment.

It was 1992, just weeks after losing our mother when my sisters and I made the trip to New York. We were not quite up for travel but I had been holding these coveted tickets with great anticipation and we welcomed the distraction.

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My sisters had initially roared with laughter when I announced I had registered for tickets to the show. But of course, they were the first to say they were going. They laughed even harder as I labored over what to wear and purchased an eye-catching color block blazer.

Let’s not kid ourselves.

Doesn’t every audience member jazz themselves up just a bit?

As if we will be the one the camera catches for even a nanosecond.

For me, it was less the perfectly coifed studio audience member and more about potentially meeting one of my all-time favorite television personalities.

My college besties will attest to the years I swore I would one day be a guest on Kathie Lee’s show. 

For one of my books naturally. 

They would bust out laughing and tell me I reminded them of her.

Not our looks but more our enthusiasm and delivery. 

Actually, I heard that many times in those days. 

Thus, imagine my surprise when author Gail Sheehy was one of the guests on this particular show.

Some foreshadowing or a Godwink perhaps that I would one day bust into the journalism world.

No, I’m not related to Gail Sheehy but we do share the same last name, my maiden name.

Regis unfortunately, was not there that day. Actor Stephen Baldwin was sitting in for him, but let’s be honest I was there to see the woman who made me laugh and who made no apologies for sharing her life and her faith and putting it all out there.

Something the writer in me admired.

As we made our way to our seats one of the producers said, “Great jacket.”

To which I shot my then hysterical sisters a smug youngest sister look.

All in all, a good day in NYC. A smile from Kathie Lee, an author on the show, and my color block blazer a success. 

It’s the little things in life. 

No one was happier than this girl when eleven years ago Kathie Lee made her way back into my mornings. 

Even better?

Kathie Lee and Hoda have such undeniable chemistry they became my morning girlfriends.

The entire world’s morning BFF’s. 

As Kelly Clarkson once said and I paraphrase, “Wine and Puppies can I hang out with y’all all the time?”

There is nothing not to love about this indomitable duo.

Throw in the infectious dose of joy and kindness this hour proffered and it was hard to change the channel.

I write about relationships.

And relationships come in all shapes and sizes, in the shortest and longest of durations, and with those near and far.

A relationship can be described as anyone who truly touches our heart. 

Because in that instant a bond forms. 

We may know them well or barely at all, but if they make an impact on our lives they will not soon be forgotten.

It’s going to be hard to live without Kathie Lee. Me and her go way back. To the time when I was a young girl staying at The Plaza Hotel and making my color blocked blazer way through the streets of Manhattan.

I just can’t say goodbye to Kathie Lee Gifford.

Give me my moment.

The only thing making it a teensy bit better?

There’s something special about Jenna Bush.

A young Kathie Lee and Hoda in training.

She shares the same Joie de Vivre. 

I wasn’t ready for this breakup but I guess I can make room in my morning for a new BFF.

I hear she’s a wine in the morning, puppy kinda girl.

Good girlfriends are hard to find.

And even harder to let go of. 

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Love is the magic elixir.

In fact, love is so intoxicating it can temporarily make us lose our perspective. 

Yet, there is one thing we should never, ever lose sight of.

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We deserve to not just be loved. 

We deserve to be loved well. 

The question begs, what does it take to ensure we are loved in the manner every single human being deserves?

Of course, there are many derivatives of healthy love such as respect and good communication among other things. But the fundamental core of ensuring you are fully loved is attracting yourself to a confident love. All things flow from here. A confident love will typically include the necessary offshoots such as respect and good communication to enable a great partnership where both parties thrive not survive.

The problem is we allow love to blind us.

We assume because someone loves us they will treat us well.

It’s quite the contrary.

We need to love ourselves enough to ensure we are loved well.

This means we need to attract ourselves to a confident love and hence, a confident significant other.

What is tricky is identifying confidence in another person. We often confuse extroversion, leadership, and other qualities as indicators an individual has a healthy self-esteem. However, just because a person can demand a presence and appear confident does not necessarily mean they are.

Elevated or graduated confidence evolves from a level of egoless maturity.

A person who has fully grown up and let go of their own ego has…

The ability to communicate well and with respect.

Is not threatened by another individual being different than they are. 

Has zero need to be controlling. 

Is mature enough to not be a difficult personality.

And has the ability to see others for who they truly are rather than a projection of their own judgments.

The key is to begin to see the ‘clues of confidence’ in others.

An ability to show respect and communicate well. A maturity that involves self-restraint and no need to be difficult or childish. No need to control others. The ability to see the ones they love for exactly who they are rather than a projection of themselves. No need to habitually judge others.

Of course, everyone is human. 

Even the most confident people will have moments which lack respect and good communication or make judgments or behave badly. It’s unrealistic to pursue perfection. Nor does it exist. What is important is identifying if this is the exception, not the rule. Does this person repeatedly demonstrate this behavior?

And often people who fall into this category are egoless and mature enough to recognize some of their own indiscretions.

Because they are operating from an elevated level of awareness.

It’s the gift which accompanies shedding your ego and maturing.

So gravitate towards someone who doesn’t just say they love you but who makes you FEEL loved.

 

3 Things Confident Love Will Never Ask of You

 

To Become Someone You Are Not

A confident love will allow you to be exactly who you are and celebrate you for it.

It will not require you to change your fundamental core.

It will acknowledge you and your God-given gifts.

It will not control you and keep you from things you love.

It will not require you to live solely around another person’s agenda and demands.

 

To Forget Yourself

A confident love will never force you to live in someone else’s world to the point of your own abandon.

It will not require perpetual and endless self-sacrifice.

It will remind you to be good to yourself and take joy in the qualities that make you-you. 

It will not ask you to abandon family and friendships which are precious to you.

It will not ask you to continually shed parts of who you are to live up to another’s expectation.

 

To Feel Bad About Yourself

A confident love will not make you feel bad about who you are.

It will not involve continual criticism.

It will recognize you have weaknesses but the majority concentration will be on your strengths.

It will not make you feel judged.

It will not involve one person who needs to make another person feel bad in order to make themselves feel good.

 

A Confident love will allow two people to thrive rather than survive.

It will promote a healthy environment for two people to come together but never lose their distinct individuality and God-given purpose.

It will create a home where normal negotiations are made like teamwork. The distribution of housework, parenting, family priorities, etc. These are the areas where relationships demand some give and take and changing of habits, etc.

But changing who you fundamentally are does not derive from a confident love.

Some will challenge this. They will say difficult people need to change. Controlling people need to change. My Significant Other needs to be managed because they are childlike. While this may be true. It is up to those individuals to be the change in their lives. It is not up to anyone else to rescue or fix them.

In fact, you learn the hard way that while rescuing another you can drown yourself.

Hence, just as you deserve a confident love so does the person you choose to love.

 

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In the infancy of my divorce, I wrote about crying in my car while listening to my honeymoon song.

Surely, I should have changed the station but I didn’t. 

Instead, I sat there in all my emotional glory reliving the joyful beginning and the excruciating end of my relationship.alcohol-alcoholic-beverage-beverage-1638423

It seemed both necessary and unavoidable at the time.

Staring down the marital roots which had been flung aside and bawling my eyes out chorus after chorus.

But I’ve now passed through the infancy, the toddlerhood and adolescence of my divorce. 

Today as I hear the familiar melody ring through my car speakers I am ready.

The tears have dried. The angst has subsided. The self-blame dissipated. The sleepless nights turned to slumber. The worries replaced by joy.

Yup, bring it on! I can listen to this now infamous honeymoon tune.  

I might even sing along. 

No more ‘cry along’ for this girl!

Yet only a few words escape before the melody is interrupted.

As I begin to comprehend what is unraveling before me, all I can think is “Seriously?”

Is this some post-divorce humor meets prank? 

It’s true I’m now up for a periodic sing-along; however, I’m not wild about reliving the Norwegian Cruise Line leaving New York Harbor via regular radio commercials.

Bounty IS the ‘quicker picker upper’ so I guess it makes sense.

Choosing the song ‘Red Red Wine’ for their new advertising jingle.

Come to think of it I might have used a few sheets of Bounty in all my emotional glory years ago.

The ‘quicker picker upper’ dabbing away those waterfall tears.

I could really have used the ‘two times more absorbent than other leading ordinary brands’ durability.

At the very least…

The universe is throwing me some much-needed laughter. I mean what are the chances? And could the timing be any more perfect? Just finalizing my divorce and all. And the karma coming full circle. A song which used to proffer joy turned to sadness and back to joy again.

So Bounty and I have a new bond. 

While others may continue to view it as a kitchen staple or a red wine catastrophe, not me.

I will see it as the ‘quicker picker upper’ of breakup spills.

Thankfully, these days there is no need for that durability.

I’ve now passed through the infancy, the toddlerhood and adolescence of my divorce. 

“I’m a big girl now!”

But that’s a whole nother jingle.

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I posted a pic on Facebook with the caption, “My New World” – Smiley Face emoji.

I know what my friends must be thinking.

“Oh, for Pete’s sake Colleen! You moved one lousy town away! You didn’t leave the state!”

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Of course, to me, I’ve trudged through mountains, valleys, rivers and more to get here. Maybe even a few swamps and a bit of quicksand. You get the point. It was a major trek to move a mere ten miles or less.

What’s that children’s book? Over the hills and through the woods?

That’s me.

So yes, my post was a bit tongue in cheek.

Obviously, I still reside in the same state but the feeling of re-emergence is real.

SO very real.

This is MY new town and MY new beginning. Never mind technically it’s the town I ran the majority of my errands in. But it is different. I grew up in and lived in a rural gem just outside a major metropolitan area. I lived on two acres where the deer and the antelope roamed.

Okay, the deer and the squirrels.

But I promise you it felt like the country.

So this is urban living for me.

I like to call myself a ‘City Girl’ now just like my friend Trixie did before she made the move to the BIG city – ten miles away or less.

I mean if the Pioneer Woman can call herself a city girl who moved to the country when in actuality she’s an Oklahoma girl who moved to the city and then moved back to Oklahoma.

Well then, I am certifiably a proud new ‘City Girl.’ 

Never mind that my city consists of only about four city blocks.

One of my high school BFF’s gets it.

She called and said, “You’re Mary Tyler Moore! Single and Living in the City.”

Yes, I am.

I am Mary Tyler Moore meets Sarah Jessica Parker – at least in my own mind.

The rationalization? I’m single, I live in the city, AND I write about relationships.

And because it turned out well for the two of them.

Mary made it in the city and Sarah ended up with Big.

Therefore, it stands to reason I will soon be awash with professional and personal opportunities. 

In the meantime, I will hold onto MTM’s theme song because, well, I like the ending.

Who can turn the world on with her smile?

Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?

Well it’s you girl, and you should know it

With each glance and every little movement, you show it

Love is all around, no need to waste it

You can have the town, why don’t you take it?

You’re gonna make it after all

You’re gonna make it after all!

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Our suffering will be unlike many and like others.

Human beings come in all shapes and sizes much like our respective pain.

It will vary for each of us.

However, we will all suffer. 

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There will be times when the world seems unkind. When God couldn’t seem farther away. When friends turn to foe. When worries are greater than wisdom. When appreciation turns to desperation.

When hope is replaced by hopelessness.

And these valleys will vary in depth and duration.

They may be large or small, fast or slow, minor or massive. 

They will require more than we believe humanly possible.

And they will bring waterfall tears, heart cramps, body aches, soul-seeking, and massive emotional swelling.

They will shock us by demonstrating a strength, resilience, and bravery otherwise buried deep within us until they were asked to come out and play. 

But most importantly pain will require growth.

Suffering demands spiritual and emotional evolution. 

All of these experiences lead us toward our purpose.

They are the intersection of our pain and our gifts.

How we are uniquely destined to contribute to the world.

The individual who lost a spouse tending to another who shares the same grief. The person who fought their way out of depression who now shares their story to bring light where there was darkness. The victim who now is an advocate. The defeatest who now inspires.

Only God knows the origin of our pain and purpose. 

It’s up to us to decipher the path he is leading us towards. 

Impossible at first.

Adversity is uncomfortable, change frightening, financial instability overwhelming and loss incomprehensible.

But spirituality is the antidote to the emotional malady.

A profound belief God has led us to a darkness he will, in turn, lead us out of. 

As human beings, we will fall short. We will kick and we will scream. We will blame others and we will beat ourselves up. We will become disillusioned. We will become depressed. We will be angry and then grow angrier. We will feel sorry for ourselves and we will feel victimized.

And we will feel hopeless.  

Which means we must rely on God more and our fears less. 

A nod to Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in The LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

The struggle is real. 

Life is a glorious roller coaster.

We click up the rails in joyful and trepidatious anticipation, we scream with delight, race down the hills and around the corner and down again.

Our hearts alternating butterflies, bliss, worry, fear, adrenaline, and a need to hold on.

We can’t have one without the other.

We will all suffer.

The hope is that pain makes us better people rather than different people. 

 

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In relationships, we often ‘neglect to reflect’ on how a person makes us feel.

Instead, we try and get their attention by explaining what hurts or bothers us. 

Or we simply sit quietly and compensate or overcompensate to deal with unwanted behaviors.

In all relationships be it romantic or friendship the best litmus test is to ask yourself one question.

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“Do I feel good about myself around this individual and do I feel both liked and loved?”

The liked and loved part of it is crucial. In many disrespectful and controlling relationships, a significant other or friend can love you but send the message they don’t like you. Why? Because they need you to be just like them in order for them to fully and unconditionally accept you.

Every single person is a child of God and deserves to be treated as such.

This doesn’t mean we won’t have disagreements, say hurtful things, be inconsiderate, and other things related to the human condition.

What it means is these things should be the exception and not the rule. We should have an expectation of ourselves and others to remember each and every one of us is an individual created by God with unique gifts and purpose and therefore, we must gravitate towards those who make us feel celebrated for who we are.

Rather than live strictly by their expectations and world. 

It’s easy to love and want to see the best in people but the true indicator is how a person makes you feel not necessarily how you feel about them.

This bears repeating.

“How does this person make me feel?”

We often love people who aren’t necessarily good for us. 

The heart can be both blind and complicated. 

8 REASONS YOU MAY NEED TO END A RELATIONSHIP

Ask yourself…

Does this person make me feel bad about myself?

This is the proverbial mixed message.

I love you but I do not like you. 

This is the individual who may belittle you for aspects of your personality either overtly or in a supposedly joking manner. If you are a talker they may say you talk too much, if you’re quiet they may say you need to be more outgoing. This is not the type of constructive criticism where a friend or spouse spurs you to do well on a job interview or move out of town with good-natured advice.

These are jabs which come out of nowhere.

They use expressions, such as, ‘there she/he goes again,’ ‘you know what she/he is like,’ ‘of course he/she has to have the best.’ These are digs. These are little ways another individual is telling you the things they do not like about you.

It’s the way disrespectful and controlling people get their point across. They continually bring out the negatives and the way they disagree with how you act, live, spend money, etc.

Here’s the thing. 

In every relationship, there are things people do not like about one another. 

The difference? In respectful non-controlling relationships, we allow one another to be who they are without constantly chastising or criticizing.

Do they make me feel continually stressed?

No one has the right to make anyone feel chronically stressed.

However, every person in every relationship should understand and respect all people have several things which stress them. For instance, if your significant other finds money or being late stressful these are things to be respected. Especially since many of these can stem from childhood triggers. A parent who lost a job or a parent who was habitually late.

We all have our top two to five stress inducers which need to be communicated and understood with one another.

The difference would be the sense of constant stress.

No one should make a person live under this level of intensity.

Where everything is a big deal or if you don’t do what this person wants and when they want there is a price to pay. Or perhaps they take out their anger or pain or mood on another. Or are not responsible for themselves so dump an inordinate amount of worry and responsibility on their partner.

This continual stress is a method of control.

Controlling by either overtly or passive-aggressively getting their way or controlling their SO or friend because they are under responsible in their own lives leaving another to pick up the slack for them.

Do they make me feel uncertain like I can’t trust them?

Matters of the heart are rarely black and white but in this case, it is.

Not much exists without trust.

If a friend or SO makes you feel uncertain this is a major red flag. If you worry you are being lied to about major things such as cheating or silly things such as forgetting to call you back it’s just not worth staying in a relationship which lacks trust.

The problem with an individual who lies is they have demonstrated their instincts to get their way are more important than you.

Lying is selfish.

It is an instinct to protect one’s self at the expense of another.

Do they make me feel lonely?

If you are lonely in a relationship it can feel worse than actually being alone.

A sense of loneliness can stem from a lack of emotional intimacy.

There is nothing being shared on a deeper level to make you feel entwined and relevant in each other’s lives.

In friendship, it may simply mean it has run its course or has worked its way to a more casual than close status. However, in a romantic relationship, it spells danger.

There is a serious problem if you feel lonely with the one you are committed most to.

In addition to a lack of intimacy, it may mean your SO is in their own world and everything revolves around that. Their day, their work, their interests, etc. Either way, the message is clear.

There is no room for you.

Do they make me feel judged?

It’s human nature all people judge some people some of the time.

Yet, you should not remain in a relationship where you feel judged for being who you are.

It’s impossible to feel good about yourself if a friend or SO judges you perpetually.

When we allow our egos to mature we begin to understand especially for those who are closest to us (minus a few weak moments) our job is to love this person not judge them for various reasons. Such as, how they spend their money, how they parent, how they dress, how they feel, what experiences they have. Those things belong to an individual. We can disagree but even voicing disagreement can often be used as a ‘vehicle’ for saying we are not judging when in reality we are.

When we really are okay letting someone we love be who they are, we don’t feel the need to announce our disagreement.

The question to ask yourself is are they judging me because I am not making the same choices they would make or thinking as they think?

Do they make my world feel unpredictable?

Relationships demand reliability.

Hence, the term ‘Fair Weather Friend.’

Who needs that?

Some friends or SO’s can be selfish and in their own world and forget to meet us or celebrate an important occasion. They may answer some texts and phone calls and at other times you won’t get a response. Still, this is someone who demonstrates they may or may not have time to make us a priority.

It’s a will they or won’t they be someone I can count on?

On a more severe level, if an individual is a drinker, narcissist, gambler, unable to hold a job, etc. this is an extreme level of relationship unpredictability.

Without self-protection, this is a person who has the ability to take you down with them or at the very least get you unhealthy enough that you no longer like yourself because of your reaction to their bad behaviors.

Do they make my world feel chaotic?

A relationship should be a safe haven, a place of respite not turmoil.

The aforementioned severe behaviors of drinking, narcissism, etc. unfortunately mandate a chaotic world. One of the people in the relationship has a serious illness or issue which must be dealt with on an individual level before they can have a healthy relationship.

However, a very mainstream behavior can also produce relationship chaos.

Disrespectfulness results in romantic, family, and friendship chaos.

You are not being heard by an individual which leads to frustration and arguments. It festers and resentment sets in. You know you are in a disrespectful relationship when you are not allowed your own opinions, are constantly judged for who you are and not seen accurately for who you are.

Disrespectfulness is projecting one person’s beliefs on another.

I disagree with you, therefore, you are wrong.

You find yourself struggling to be heard.

This can cause even more chaos in a family setting when one parent undermines the other in parenting. Kids are hearing two different messages instead of parents uniting to find common ground and respect.

Do they make my world feel out of control?

There is nothing worse than a sense that your world feels out of your control.

It is unsettling.

An individual who makes your world feel unpredictable or chaotic will typically make it feel out of control as well. The drinker who won’t stop so you don’t know what to expect, the person who can’t hold a job so you don’t know when the bottom will fall out again, the individual who lies to you so you just can’t determine whether they are cheating again.

The important thing to understand is this one person is making your world out of control.

You are not out of control but rather have made the choice to remain which gives you that sense.

This is good news because left to your own devices you can restore calm in your life.

 

At times we need to step away from a relationship, especially a complicated relationship for our own personal emotional checkup.

We cannot ‘neglect to reflect’ on how a relationship is making us feel. 

It’s not necessarily how we feel about another person.

We can love people who let us down and who are not healthy for us.

We have to have boundaries.

We have to self-protect.

We are all children of God.

Giving away too much of ourselves or putting ourselves in exhausting situations can keep us from our gifts and purpose.

Something which should be protected.

Not to mention can make us emotionally weary, heartbroken, and physically exhausted.

Sometimes even in love, it has to be game over.

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I’m excited to move into my new building, the fresh start and all.

Even more excited to leave the ugly ‘Di-drama’ behind me.

My sister shares my excitement.

pexels-photo-179909

“This is SO great,” she says. “Now you can move forward with your life and fly under the radar.”

This would be my sister who says I could have my own reality show. You see she is extremely private and I, well, I lay it all out there as any respectable writer does.

“Yes,” I say. “No more drama!”

After all, the divorce is finalized and this is MY new peaceful world!

It’s moving day and I jump on the elevator of my brand new building.

What could happen??!!

The elevator stops and I wait for the doors to open. And I wait and I wait. I grab my cell and call the building’s office. I am assured the doors will be opening momentarily.

My cell phone rings.

“It seems the elevator is stuck between floors,” they say.

“Are you saying I’m stuck on an elevator?” I respond in a slightly high fevered pitch. “I don’t want to be stuck on an elevator! That’s everyone’s worst fear!”

“Don’t worry,” they say. “We’ve called the Fire Department.”

“Fire Department??!! You have to call the Fire Department to get me out??!!” I say. “This can’t be good.”

I hang up the phone and call my sister.

“Bad news,” I say. “I may not be flying under the radar.”

“Why?”

“The Fire Department is coming to rescue me from an elevator,” I say. 

Laughter implodes from my sister who happens to be married to a fireman.

Of course, I can’t stop laughing either.

It seems getting stuck in an elevator isn’t one of MY worst fears. Good to know!  Though it certainly looks scary in the movies.

“Cup is half full – sometime in the near future, the doors are going to open to some great looking fireman. Maybe I will meet my next husband,” I say. “Ugh, my hair is done but I’m not wearing makeup. It is move-in day! I’m less than presentable.”

“Oh, no!” she says. “That’s like being in an accident without clean undies.”

We laugh even harder.

Sometime later the doors are pried open by one of the firemen who urges me to grab my stuff and move quickly.

Seems those doors are heavy to pry open.

I walk up to thank the other firemen who are working diligently to open the lower doors.

As the four of them swing around I have an epiphany and leave to call my sister.

“Good news, bad news,” I say. “The good news is they were every bit the signature great looking firemen.”

“Yay,” she says.

“Not so fast,” I say. “The bad news is they were babies.”

We both bust out laughing.

Seems I got stuck in an elevator twenty years too late.

Or should have divorced twenty years earlier.

 

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E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com