Not Having to Have
It was the year 2000 in San Francisco, California when Winston and Jack called me out for dinner on a Friday night. They called me out because we knew that all three of us single guys in our early 20’s were suffering from some type of relationship blues.
Jack’s girlfriend of three years left him for another guy, and he feels that his cure will come when he finds someone else. Winston at the time had never had a girlfriend in his life and he desperately wanted one. As for me, I at the time just came out of the most disastrous relationship I have ever had.
Winston and Jack in calling me out expected me to vocalize the same concerns about how we should all be primarily focused on getting out of the misery of singleness. That was until I shocked them with what God has been teaching me about not having to have, and not being so predominantly focused on getting the girl.
That was the first time Winston and Jack were challenged to look at this in a completely different way (or different than the way they’ve been accustomed to and the way the world has programmed us to think.) In addition to telling them about not being only focused on searching for a girlfriend, other things I mentioned (as I will further go into in this blog series) included teachings like working on yourself first, don’t settle for less than what God has in store for you, being okay with God’s timing, enjoying the current state of singleness, and focusing on something greater than yourself.
I should also mention that I later shared the same knowledge with the pastor of Winston and Jack’s church. Their pastor is in total agreement with me (as it’s usually the case when I share this with older spiritual teachers.) However, this knowledge I shared that Friday night was initially met with vehement resistance from Winston and Jack.
For Jack, it had been a painful experience for him that year. His former girlfriend and her new boyfriend both attended the same church as Jack. (Jack and his ex-girlfriend had both long been a member of that church while her new boyfriend was a seeker, or new to church.) Although Jack tried not to show it, it anguished him to see every week his ex-girlfriend with her new boyfriend at church every week, while he remained single and hurt. Jack expressed to Winston and me that he believed quickly finding a new girlfriend will cure his pain.
Winston felt desperately frustrated. He had never had a girlfriend in his life. For him, high school had come and gone without a girlfriend. Then college had come and gone and still he wasn’t able to get a girl. As a young professional fresh out of college, he was yearningly anxious about this. I guess their state of longing and frustration contributed to their inability to stretch their minds to understand what I was saying at the time (although Winston got it months later as you will see.)
“How can you say that we shouldn’t be so focused on getting the girl,” exclaimed Jack while sipping his post-dinner cup of coffee that Friday night.
“If we are not solely focused on searching for a girlfriend, how can we get a girlfriend!” added Winston while digging into his dessert.
Despite being Christians, Jack and Winston vocalized a common concern of people of the world. “If we don’t compete and get a girl quickly when she’s available, some other guy will quickly snag her,” as the thought goes.
“As single guys, “ Jack continued, “we have to vigilantly place our predominant efforts in finding a girl. The nice and single available girls don’t stay available for long. We have to win her over before some other guy does.”
“Yes, we must be predominantly focused on getting a girl,” agreed Winston. “It’s my primary focus right now.”
Here’s how I responded, according to what God has taught me.
“Do not be in such a state of longing,” I said. “Instead, focus on something greater than yourself. Work on your purpose. Focus on God.”
Generally, we singles need to consciously get away from that innate tendency to obsess about getting a relationship. The more you desperately want something, the more it eludes you. Also, don’t see this as a competition like Jack did. This common mentality (especially among guys) of “I have to win this girl over before some other guy does” is a bad idea. As a result of this mentality, relationships between two people who don’t belong together develop, only because of someone’s ego in addition to short-term attractions.
This is one way people in the world nowadays quickly get into relationships doomed to fail in the long run.
Again, get away from the "having to have" mentality. Stay away from thinking, “I have to find a mate.” Do you not know that the more you long for something, the more it eludes you? Do you not know that the more desperate you are for something, the more likely you will foul up your chances of getting it?
In extreme cases, when you desperately want someone (when you think you must have them), you will only end up with a restraining order. Although most of us aren’t one of these extreme or psychotic cases, I say this to show you the obvious truth of staying away from the mentality of having to have.
... to be continued in Part 4 at - http://spirfit.org/Academy/life/searchforlove/index.htm
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Copyright: © 2012. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at life.SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org