However, there was also a lot of good stuff in some of the books that I had been putting off thinking about and sorting out in my head, and that time also encouraged me to do that as well as complain (vociferously) about the lack of decent Christian men who weren't already taken or far too firmly entrenched in my mind as pseudo-brothers to even consider in "that" way.
The book that got me thinking the most was Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge. It is, admittedly, very American, and a little too cheesy for my liking in places, but there are also some amazingly deep parts that made me stop and think. It encourages us not to cast our pearls (ourselves and our hearts) before swine (people who are unworthy of them). Stasi describes how she interprets the verse "do not cast your pearls before swine" as Jesus saying, "look, be careful that you do not give something precious to some who, at best, cannot recognise its beauty, or, at worst, will trample on it."
I know I'm very, very much guilty of the latter...I didn't know I believed in the concept of *actually* having your heart broken, but after last year, I'm up there with the best of them saying how much it hurts. Its actually physically painful when you give your heart to someone and they don't see how much you are sacrificing to give it to them. I ignored friends, Lani, my parents, God...and they were all right. But I had to learn. I had to realise, albeit in the hardest way, *just* how precious one person's heart and love for another person is before I could appreciate how important it is that next time I am so much more careful.
I can't begin to describe the conversation I had with Lani about this the other day...and I'm still not entirely sure I believe more than half of what she said...I can't see that I have to potential to be a heart-breaker...I don't believe I need to be careful with people's hearts. Don't get me wrong, I know I should be, but I just don't believe anyone has ever given me their heart in the same throw-yourself-in-at-the-deep-end-even-though-you-can't-swim way that I seem to have done. It's not false modesty, or that annoying "I am not worthy" self-effacing thing that a lot of people seem to do (come on guys, you know me, I'm *more* than worthy) (*jokes*), I just can't see in myself what I see in other people that makes me want to give my heart to them.
I spent so long bouncing from wanting one relationship to another that when I started getting the affirmation and love that I craved so badly, I fell very very hard, and *very* fast and it all got really rather messy. I learnt a lot, but would give *anything* not to ever have to go through it again...what it says in Proverbs is true:
This sounds like a very scary "I'm off relationships, leave me alone" blog, and it really wasn't meant to be. I've just been thinking a lot about relationships and what I want and how I'm determined to make sure that next time, whenever that is, I'm not going to cast what I'm (very) slowly coming to see as my pearls where they're not appreciated.
Show me appreciation for them, and I'm yours (Oh come on, you didn't really think I'd end on a deep and serious point like that did you?! fools)
p.p.s. But if you read it carefully, you'll have realised that I'm waiting for someone else to act this time, so its not all that ironic after all.