I once was a victim of unhealthy boundaries with my male friends. Let me rephrase that. I was once a perpetrator of unhealthy boundaries within my relationships with my male friends. Ultimately, they satisfied a deep-seated insecurity of mine that craved attention. Needless to say, I got my little feelings hurt when they recited the line “but we aint togetha” or their actions did not play out in my favor. Granted, at some point in our exchange, the men would be all into me; however, slowly but surely they would lose interest after some time. And, because I had an insecurity that they were no longer feeding, I registered their disinterest as rejection. Therefore, I would up my attention game to them. I would shoot them the text “hey stranger” or even play into dead-end ego boosting conversations. Overtime I was making emotional deposits into their lives, but voicing that I wasn’t looking for anything but friendship. So, when they got tired of playing cat and mouse–because it will happen–they left, and rightfully so. Each time I superimposed my insecurity on the backs of the men to carry, it was I who dropped the ball.
So many times I gave male friends of mine, things that should have been reserved for the man who promised commitment in the form of marriage. I would pay special attention to them over everyone else. I would show up for them at major events, family functions, and show an unprecedented amount of support for them. We would text all day and twice on Sunday. As time progressed, I had become tied to them whether we had physical relations or not. Contrary to popular belief, memories and experiences create soul ties. Unfortunately, the church has led us to believe that the only way to have a soultie is to have physical relations with someone. However, experiences have the potential to be just as strong and physical contact.
Recently, I read the book Emotional Purity: An Affair of the Heart by Heather Paulsen and it answered so many questions that I had about male and female relationships. The text moves in and out of narrative style stories to illustrate the complexities and hazards of not guarding your heart in your single season. Utilizing various scenarios, Paulsen eloquently walks the reader through levels of potential dysfunctions that accumulate over time due to emotional brokenness, through fictional characters Tracey and Mike. From her narrative, readers learn the importance of relational definitions to avoid further emotional turmoil as well as how to interact with the opposite sex and not go off into some fairytale land in your head.
Reading this book, I had the ability to reflect on so many times I overruled the reality of the situation, in order to feed a pain that was already far gone. There were times where I knew I shouldn’t be communicating with certain people but because I “wanted to be a God send” to them I did it anyway. I was out-of-order. God never told me to go evangelize the men. As a matter of fact he told me to not entertain their company. But being the person who migrated towards projects, I overruled the promptings of the Holy Spirit and ended up flat on my back.
Pauline’s book helped to put in perspective my past experiences. In essence, she helped me realize the error of my former actions that lead to more scars on my heart. Though my feelings got hurt in my times of disobedience, I was not a victim. Understanding my active role in my past has helped me to come to terms with the reality that I was a willing participant. No, I did not hold up a sign that asked people to come hurt me, but I did not hold up a sign that signaled I was guarded and wasn’t interested in wasting my time. In retrospect, though I may have voiced my intentions as not looking for anything serious, my heart was. Women are not designed for casual affairs. No amount of sexual liberation movements can convince me otherwise. If the bible warns us to guard our heart for out of it the issues of life flow, don’t you think we should guard the body that comes into contact with someone else before they get to our emotions?
Just food for thought!
SN: I’m writing a book and it’s almost done!!!!!