Subscribe

Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

I kissed dating, hello! Revolutionize your dating life by realizing: "dating" and "relationship" are not the same thing,

Stop Spouse Hunting!


I was asked by a friend to summarize the dating advice/plan I learned from "How To Get A Date Worth Keeping: Be Dating In Six Months Or Your Money Back" (affiliate link), by Dr. Henry Cloud.

She said it would be helpful to get the gist of what the mindset shift is and why. The following summary is limited to the basic but fundamental mindset shift I went through and helped her go through. Once you understand this one simple shift, it radically changes everything about how you date, and it takes all the pressure off to "find a spouse".

That mindset shift is this: Dating and a Relationship are NOT the same thing. 

Photo by Darrell Wolfe, my personal collection.
Photo by Darrell Wolfe, my personal collection.
"How To Get A Date Worth Keeping: Be Dating In Six Months Or Your Money Back" (affiliate link)

Note: The original "Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life" (affiliate link), really should be read before you read How to Get a Date Worth Keeping. It sets the larger context and stage for what it means to live in a healthy community and relationship with other humans of all kinds. Once you have a handle on Boundaries, then move on to the other books in any order you prefer. 


Disclaimer:


There's WAY more to this book than I could possibly explain in a blog post (it took a whole book to say it). There is more background, a hundred why-behinds, more steps, a detailed step-by-step plan, examples and real-life stories, etc... the book is linked in this post. Read it!

That being said, at a 1,000-foot view, here's the bottom line.

We are using dating and relationship interchangeably, and they're not the same, nor should they be. Dating and Relationship are two different things, even if you go on dates while in a relationship. 

The ultimate goal is a relationship, but not with every person you date, not immediately. 

The purpose of Dating is to help you grow, help the other people grow, and discover things about yourself and others that you want to avoid or take into the next relationship.


0. Phase Zero: Throw away your list. You are not spouse shopping.


That's right. Although the ultimate goal, down the road, is to get married, the dating phase is not about hunting for a spouse. Not by a long shot. In fact, without the dating phase, you are most likely to choose the wrong spouse, if you find one at all.

If you have a list of your "perfect mate", you will avoid everyone who isn't checking off your list. You will get so pigeonholed, that you will miss the one God has for you. Let's just assume that your picker is broken or you'd be married already to a great spouse you are happy with.

The dating phase is where you heal and grow and learn about people.


1. Phase One: Dating at least six months, NO COMMITMENTS. 


Date as many people as possible without misleading them (be open about it) but without committing to any one person.

A date is: go out, do a thing with a person, go home. New and Interesting people and experiences. Then leave them alone. You can go out again with them, but...

A date is NOT: texting each other constantly, checking in to see how they are, good morning and goodnight texts, cutsie back and forths, dropping by for no reason. These are romance behaviors and do not belong in the dating phase.

The dating phase is intended for a person to go on dates with as many people as possible,  build awareness of the types of people available, character traits that people have you like and those you cannot accept, and it helps you reveal to yourself areas, responses and character issues you need to work on.

During this phase, you are growing as a person and helping others grow. You may even be the first person to show someone they should be raising their own standards and you helped them see that by being a safe space for the to learn. And they are showing you traits and characteristics you either cannot live with or never knew were available.

The opposite of dating non-exclusively for a period of time is "serial-daters" who basically run from one serious relationship to another without taking a significant time between to date casually. This is almost always a sign of an emotionally unhealthy individual who needs healing. This is where I was before reading these books.

By the end of this phase, you can make a new list. This time it is not what kinds of things he/she likes to do, eat, or wear... but a list of characteristics and character traits that you believe would be important in a future spouse. Make a list of deal-breakers, must-haves, and just wants. The book explains the difference in lists.


2. Phase Two: Relationship


Eventually, you find a person you would like to date exclusively, and this person agrees.

You've thought both logically (evaluated them as you would a candidate for a job, and made sure to run red flags past your friends and mentors) as well as emotionally (how do I feel about this person and about myself when I'm with them).

If your logic and emotions agree, and certain prerequisites you determined during the dating phase are met, and of this person agrees, you move to exclusively date each other.

All manner of marriage questions should be discussed, and you get to know each other. This is the "what if" questions, not the "will you" questions.

Exclusive dating should be 12-18 months before engagement is planned seriously. But by about 18 months, the relationship should either be moving toward engagement or it's probably time to end it. This timeframe is a general rule of thumb, not a specific hard line. Each person and couple is different.


3. Phase Three: Engagement


If you and this person both feel sure you want to commit for life, you move to engagement.

You:

  • Read marriage books together
  • Attend conferences.
  • See a premarital Counselor (who's job should be to talk you out of it, because if he/she pushes and uncovers everything and you still want to proceed, then it's real).
  • Solicit LOTS of feedback from friends and family to make sure you are not making a mistake.
  • Plan the wedding but more importantly, plan the marriage. 

Since you've spent all the prep time, there need be no specific timeframe here. Maybe 2-6 months is a good starting place.


Conclusion:


Throughout all these phases, You ASK FOR feedback from friends and mentors and pastors. You make sure you LISTEN to what they say.

Don't dismiss their feedback as "you just don't understand". Take anything anyone says seriously. Even if they're wrong, ask yourself if they're seeing something you're unwilling to see.

Get married, keep dating, keep going to marriage conferences, keep working at it with drive and purpose. You don't get to settle once you get rings, that's when the real work starts.

If you regret it, you probably didn't follow this process or ask for enough feedback.


Click here to order from amazon:

"How To Get A Date Worth Keeping: Be Dating In Six Months Or Your Money Back" (affiliate link), by Dr. Henry Cloud.


Your Turn: Comment on the post below.

Marrieds: What was your experience? How would this have changed things for you if you didn't do it this way?

Singles: Did anything in this post suprise you? What do you think about changing the way you tink about dating?



 

Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Three (3) ways God speaks to us, setting us free with his Truth.

NO HIDING: Lies are poison to LIFE. You cannot live with lies, you can only die by them. 


In this article, we discuss how lies are only ever negative, how truth actually sets you free, and how to hear God so you can gain access to new levels of freedom.

Photo shared on Facebook by Safe Sheep: Church Abuse Awareness
May also be first created at Me.Me

Unlearning Wound's Lies


As we go through life, the enemy works overtime to sell us his lies. Due to our own woundedness and the woundedness of others, we begin to accept certain lies, bad theology, and unproductive paradigms (ways of seeing the world).

Sometimes it can be tempting to think of these lies as "self-protective", but in reality they are self-harm. There is no actual protection in them. We did develop them to protect ourselves, yes. But in reality, they are not protecting us (they never were) they are killing us, slowly poisoning us.

I myself have been faced with this dread:

If I give up this lie, what awful ugly truth will I have to face? I don't think I'll survive if I had to face that truth. I'd probably kill myself. 
And yet... That "truth" is another lie.

If you believe the "truth" beneath the lie would kill you, then that "truth" you think you see is itself another layer of lies. Discovering truth is incapable of killing you.

Truth has only one outcome: FREEDOM


The Truth Will Make Your Free


As we heal from those lie-wounds, we must unlearn many things and replace them with Truths of God that set us free.

If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 Emphasis Added

True Freedom (wholeness, healing, joy, clarity) only comes from first accepting and then walking out Truth in replacement of the lies. And True-Truth only comes from being bathed in God's Word. But notice the IF statement.

IF you continue in my word... THEN you will know... AND the truth will set you free. 

Abiding in The Word is the pre-requisite to knowing Truth, which is the pre-requisite to being Free.


What that doesn't mean: Read Your Bible and Pray More (a better Knowledge of Good, wrong tree)

The Pharisees proved that men can read "the Bible" and be no closer to the Truth than an ape is to writing a doctoral thesis. Reading your Bible is no guarantee that you will know the truth. Reciting a list of special requests and hoping they broke the cloud barrier isn't going to help you know the truth either.


What that does mean: Spend time with Jesus (The Word Himself) (Tree of Life)

Spending actual time with the actual, living, ever-present, Jesus is the answer. Jesus is the Living Word of God. Until the Father's words are spoken by Jesus through the Holy Spirit into your heart, where they come alive inside of you... you are a dead piece of wood, not a living tree.

When the Holy Spirit speaks a Truth into your heart, your eyes open, as though scales fell off of them. You see for the first time. You see the lie for what it really is.


Three Common Ways God Speaks:


1. The Written Word (Bible)

Didn't I just say the Bible isn't it? Sort of. The Bible is not the Word of God, it contains the Word of God. It is perfect, inerrant, infallible, untampered with. There are no errors or mistakes in the Bible. However, if God isn't speaking his Word to you, it's a life-less dead book in your hands. So open the Bible, but this time instead of studying it like a religious text, try this... say out loud:

Daddy (God)(Pappa), you always have something to say, what do you want to say today?

Then read as you feel led. If you have no special leading, just start somewhere, or where you left off. But keep paying attention to you gut. What's sticking out to you? Have you read the same sentence a few times? Sit and chew on that. Let it soak. See what He might be saying.


2. Community (People)

God uses people. When you wall yourself off from people, ignore wise counsel, go after what you want even after you've been warned by people who love you... pain is coming. Pastors, Mentors, Parents, Friends, Counselors, Acquaintances at Church, even little kids in a grocery tore aisle, could all be used to speak something into your heart.

Be mindful of the things you heart. Not every lesson is for you. Not every lesson is for now. Not everything everyone says is God. But if you start to notice a pattern? If a lot of people are saying similar things? If several people made observations you didn't want to hear? God's probably trying to tell you something.


3. Other (a bunch of other ways). 

God's BIG. Really big. He can speak a language that only you speak because he speaks your heart's cry. God Speaks Darrell. He speaks Connor, Preston, Bob, Debbie, JoAnn, Mike, Theresa, Shandra, Melissa, (insert your name here).

He could speak to you through an eagle flying in the sky, the last leaf hanging on a branch, a phrase you keep seeing repeated in writing, from people, everywhere you look.

He has a billion-plus ways of getting you to notice he's speaking. The only things He refuses to do are override your Free Will (he won't do it, he paid the blood of Jesus to leave that choice up to you) and he won't yell over you. He won't barge in. He will wait to be invited.

Stop.

Be Present.

God's speaking.

That speaking leads to TRUTH.

That Truth leads to FREEDOM.


Your Turn: Comment on this post


Are there any lies or bad theology that you've picked up that you are holding on to because you think they protect you from a greater truth? 


 

Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


Saturday, December 7, 2019

Breakthrough comes in stages... but may not look the way you wanted it to.

Breakthrough doesn't usually come as a pretty little package, wrapped in a bow, all you asked for and more and nothing you didn't.


Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

Let's define Breakthrough:


Breakthrough: is when you've been holding out hope for a change and that change finally comes.

Sometimes breakthrough doesn't look like what you thought it would, what you hoped it would, and it may not even feel great. But it's still profound and important and you need to pause and be grateful for it, more on that in a moment.


When Breakthrough doesn't look like Breakthrough:


  • You've been asking God for a certain schedule and dollars/hour. When you finally get an offer for a new schedule, it's not the hours or days you wanted, but it's still better than what you had. 
  • You've been struggling to balance school, work, family, and it's come to the breaking point. It's literally costing you your health but you don't see a way out. Every goal feels important. Finally, a financial setback forces you out of school with no way to return soon. The struggle is over, one of the plates stopped spinning. But it crashed to the floor. 
  • You've been struggling in your marriage and it ended, one way or another. The struggle is over, but not like you wanted. 
  • You've been trying to figure out how you were going to afford the oil change and your car was totaled the day before you were going to take it in. 

These are just a few ways that the situation changed. But not the way you expected. Sure, sometimes breakthrough comes with all the things you wanted and more things you didn't know you should be asking for, and it comes fully supplied for the future. But let's face it, that's not usually how it comes...

So what do you do when the breakthrough came in a less than an ideal package?

Be Thankful!

Celebrate awkward breakthrough, it's only step one:

That awkward, less than ideal breakthrough, may be forcing you to make a change you didn't know you needed to make or didn't want to see.

Or, it may be just the first signs of the ultimate breakthrough. As the Bible says, first the blade, then the ear, then the full kernel in the ear... maybe this was just the first step towards the ultimate thing.

Maybe this unexpected breakthrough is taking you in a wildly new direction that you'll be excited about upon arrival but from this end of the journey doesn't look like anything positive.

You won't know until you get fully to the other side.

While you wait for the final outcome, in the meantime, be grateful! 

Find a reason to be thankful. If not for the thing that caused it, then be grateful that God is using this ugly thing anyway to take you where you need to go.


Your Turn: Comment Below


Have you had a situation you needed out of change, but in a way you didn't like at first? How did it turn out later?  

Are there things happening right now that you don't like, but could they prepare you for something you want?



 

Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


Friday, December 6, 2019

What if being vulnerable and authentic was the key to breakthrough leadership?

This is going to be a short post. Tonight I listened to the BuildingAStoryBrand Podcast, Episode 20:

Click Here > 6 Characteristics that Will Make You an Emotionally Strong Leader 
INTERVIEW WITH MILES ADCOX, hosted by DONALD MILLER
Image from: http://buildingastorybrand.com/episode-20/

Synopsis:


In a book I read earlier this summer, The Emotionally Healthy Leader: How Transforming Your Inner Life Will Deeply Transform Your Church, Team, and the World (affiliate link), Author and Pastor Peter Scazzero discusses his journey to becoming Emotionally Healthy. He shows us the hard truth that if you build a successful business or ministry but fail to develop an emotionally healthy spirituality and leadership, you are still a failure.
How many times do we have to hear about a high powered business leader or church leader falling out of grace, losing their family or health, before we will accept that emotional health is the number one success indicator we should be striving for?

In this podcast episode, Miles and Donald discuss the system Miles uses in his own business to build an emotionally healthy culture and an environment where mistakes are high fived.
He describes the ANCHOR method for developing emotional fitness.

ANCHOR:

  • Authenticity
  • Nurturing
  • Courageous
  • Humility
  • Open
  • Resilient
For more details, read the show notes or listen to the podcast (here).


My takeaways...


What impressed me was a thing he did with other leaders that few dare to do. They created a closed system in which everyone felt comfortable sharing their darkest struggles (think A.A. for CEOs) and got vulnerable with each other.


This reminds me of the men's bible study I attended back in Fort Worth (Hey Rudy/Eric!). We had half on purpose half on accident created an environment where men felt accepted and able to be vulnerable. This created a catalyst for change.

As I experienced with my group, Miles experienced with his, and any group of people committed to NO HIDING (such as Al-Anon or A.A. groups) experience, a culture of being open and vulnerable creates the environment where you can bring things to the light so they get handled right.

In that NO HIDING environment, you are changed from the inside out. Not through effort but through letting the darkness out and the light in. It happens while you're not paying attention, in the unexpected moments, in the consistently showing up.

It was refreshing to hear another group of men having this same experience in a different context but similar environment.

I suggest you listen to this powerful episode.


***
Side Note: Check out this amazing organization dedicated to help fight human trafficking. 


The owner was interviewed at the end of Episode 20 of the Building a Story Brand podcast.
***

Your Turn:

Can you recall an instance where being vulnerable with another human or group of humans lead to a powerful change in you? Was it the change you expected?


 

Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Four (4) steps you can take to end negative obsessive thoughts in your marriage/relationships and heal them once and for all.

End negative obsession in your marriage or relationships. 


Yesterday I wrote (here) about what it is to be obsessed over a person or situation, from the perspective of loss.

You lose a spouse to death (the ultimate loss), a break-up, something is lost via theft, or you lose a job or ministry. These lead to Valid Pain as well as Lie-Driven Pain. The lie-driven pain leads to obsession.

As I discussed this today with a good friend, I realized there is another layer to uncover here.

Obsession within the relationship. I'm going to use a marriage example but it could be within any relationship (parent/child, employer/employee, etc.).


Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash



Obsession within Relationship


Over the years, I found myself obsessed with what my wife and kids were or weren't.

  • They always...
  • They never... 
  • If only they...
  • Why won't they...
  • Why do they...
  • I wish they'd just...
As we discussed yesterday, obsession is always about you and never about them. Obsession is your emotional hunger-pangs. It's telling you that you are lacking in some profound way, that you have valid emotional needs that are not being met. 

Unhealthy Response to Obsession: Escape Pain's Fruit


As a result of these types of obsessive thoughts, we often turn to things that help us numb the pain. These could be things like:
  • Workaholism
  • Binging Netflix/Hulu
  • Excessive Shopping
  • Alcohol/Drugs/Substances
  • Pornography/Illicit Relationships
  • Overeating / Undereating (control)
These are a few of the more common examples, but any number of other behaviors could be used as "escapism".

Humans will do anything to avoid or escape pain. 

Some people look at addicts and say "how can that drug be so powerful that they would leave their job and family for a high?"; truth is they aren't going to the drug for the "high" they are going because they are in pain (physical, emotional, psychological) and they are using that drug to escape pain. 


Clue: If at any point, you are obsessed with what someone else is or isn't doing for/to you; you are obsessing. This is a sign that you have unmet emotional needs. Rather than turning to escapism, there is another way.

Healthy Response to Obsession: Heal Pain's Root


1. Find the unmet emotional need

Even the apparent need for "sex" that causes men (and women) to turn to pornography, isn't actually a physical need. The needs that drive us to self-destructive behaviors are emotional needs. 

They are things like value, worth, identity, and meaning. They drive questions such as:
  • Am I worthy?
  • Am I enough?
  • Am I lovely?
  • Do I have what it takes?
  • If I reveal this, will you reject me?
  • Will you abandon me? Discard me?
  • Am I wanted, desired, appreciated, loved?
  • I want to be seen and heard, known and loved.
These kinds of unmet emotional needs are the driving force behind our obsession. Like a movie makes us cry, giving us access to an emotional reaction, the "movie" of what we want or don't want from our relationships can replay over and over like a broken record. But the real thing this tells us isn't about what they do or don't do for us, it's about our own need. It's telling us we have an unmet emotional need. 

So what are we to do with that?


2. Expose that need within safe-community. 

If you and your person (spouse, child, boss, friend) are in a good safe relationship, you can bring it directly to them. But for many, they may not feel safe to take it to that person yet. 

Find at least one other human being (pastor, counselor, support group, close-confidante friend) who you know and trust will be safe with your vulnerability, and share this discovery with them. That might sound like this:

"I've been obsessed over my marriage. Constantly thinking about what he/she is (and isn't) doing for me. I've spent some time sitting with that and I realized that this means I'm having unmet emotional needs. I don't feel ___need goes here (valued, wanted, known)___. I wanted someone safe to discuss this with."

Once you have found safe community, you can move on to getting that need met. 



3. Find safe-community and get that need met. 

Warning, Safe Community Is Not an Affair: This doesn't mean to get the need met by another woman (or man) in the office outside of your marriage. This doesn't mean to leave the relationship because this other person isn't doing for you what you need done. This is not an advocation for an affair. In fact, an affair would fall under an unhealthy category (escapism). It doesn't deal with the real issue, it simply allows you to escape that pain for a period of time, then compounds the fracture and makes it worse.

Safe community is a place where you can be open and vulnerable without fear of judgment or reprisal, where you're value and needs can be met without negative consequences.

Safe Community could be any combination of:

  • Friends
  • Counselors
  • Pastors
  • Support Groups 
The goal would be that they will hear you without judgment and help you see the truth. You are valued, wanted, desired, and cared for. You are enough. You are loved. And none of this is about whether another human loves you or not.


4. Find your identity outside of anyone's opinion.

You need to know in your deepest heart that Your Daddy Is Proud of You! That has to be the ultimate place of healing.

As long as your identity is based in an external locus (coming from outside of you, what others tell you), it will always be subject to the situation. You're value and felt-needs will ebb and flow with the people around you, their mood. People are imperfect. Situations change. Your value cannot be based on the outside.

Inside Out: Your value must come from what you know to be true about you because your Daddy (God) has spoken it to your heart. 

When you have an internal locus of value, you change the atmosphere of the room and your relationships; rather, than your room or relationships changing your value.

Back to Comunity: And most often, when we are in pain, we cannot hear God's voice speaking to us through the noise. We need a community to remind us what He says about us and point us to our true value.

Note: If you don't know Jesus (the ultimate source of your identity), if you don't know LIFE Himself, click here


Your Turn: Comment on this post


Have you found yourself obsessing over things inside your relationships/marriage? 
What could that tell you about the unmet emotional needs you have? 
How could you find a safe, healthy, community to meet those unmet needs?



 

Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Why does this hurt SO bad?

Have you ever been obsessed with a person or situation?

Have you ever found yourself hurting more than you expected, for longer then you expected, and you find yourself nearly obsessing over a person or situation because of it? The scene replays over and over in your head like a broken record.


Photo by Elena Taranenko on Unsplash



This type of intense emotional pain can be a signal that something is not okay inside, but it probably has nothing to do with the person or situation you are obsessing over.

There are two types of emotional pain to address here:

  1. Valid: Pain associated with loss.
  2. Lies: Pain associated with the things we tell ourselves about an event. 
Wrapped up in these are a host of emotions. You may be wishing you could control the outcome, control the person, make it come out the way you want it to. 

The Truth will set you FREE

Dealing with Valid Loss:


Some of this pain is valid. You experienced a real loss. You are grieving something you had and lost or something you hoped for and didn't get.

This is called "grief". You must process through this grief and release that dream. It hurts. It sucks.

It's something you can recover from, if you process well.

Time doesn't heal this wound by itself. Time for lies to worm their way into your soul will make you more sick the longer it goes on. Time combined with purposeful healing in a safe community will bring you through that period of grief with a new life on the other side.

Time*Lies*Isolation=Toxic Death.  
Time*Truth*Community=New Life

The bigger the loss, the more time it could take to recover and work through the ramifications of that loss. You may need to get some alone time with God, go out to coffee with a friend, pick up the phone and call someone, even make an appointment with your Mental Health Professional.

Dealing with Lies:


The other pain is caused by lies. These are identity-based thoughts. 
  1. What does this mean about me?
  2. Am I unworthy of...?
  3. Am I not enough?
  4. If only she/he would... 
  5. How dare they treat me this way!
  6. He/She doesn't deserve...
  7. He/She is only/always/never...
Frankly, the hardest and most rewarding lesson I've learned this year is that these kinds of obsessive thoughts are not about the other person/situation at all. 


Pain is a Signal:


Just as the pain of a skinned knee is telling you that a wound has occurred and you need to fix it, or the pangs of hunger tell you to eat... these obsessive thoughts are here to tell you that a valid emotional need is going unmet. 

Like a movie may give you access to your emotions and help you cry, this person/situation is giving you insight into the needs you have that are going unmet. 

It was really fun, refreshing to be raw and vulnerable, I liked who I was when I was with her/him. 

When I worked for X Company or with Y Ministry, I felt important and I mattered. 

Now it's gone. It hurts. It's not really about him/her/it, it's about you. It's about the emotional need you have. 

So the two questions to ask yourself is: 

What do I see in him/her/situation that reflects an unmet need in me?

How can I get that need met in a healthy way in healthy community, elsewhere?

Then you can release him/her/situation and focus on finding healthier places to get that valid emotional need met in a safe, healthy, community. There are things that need specific answers.

It's true, certain things you hope for may not come without a spouse. But many aspects of the intimacy of the heart, accountability, enjoyable interactions, and more you hope for can be met with safe friends and community.

Your Turn:


Think about something you've been obsessing over, you don't have to say what it is. But what could you learn about your own unmet emotional needs from reviewing why you are obsessing over it? How could you meet those needs in healthier and more constructive ways in healthy community?




 

Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

What if you suddenly had what you've been asking for... would you be too scared to take it?

How fear of romantic commitment can teach us to bravely embrace all the opportunities life offers:


On the surface, you'll say no. Of course not. That's silly. Why would I not take the very thing I've been asking for?

Then when the possibility of that thing starts becoming real... so do the questions.


  • Am I enough?
  • Do I have what it takes?
  • Can I really do this?
  • What if I fail?
  • What if they see I was just bluffing all along, I'm not really good enough to do this.
  • What if they see the real me and reject me?
  • Fill in the blank with your self-doubt here... we all have it.

I had a realization today about romance that I hope will help you take the leap on preparing for your next big thing, whatever it may be.

I chose this photo because it represents where I am... she's out there, somewhere, faceless, and calling me into a new adventure, and she is tugging because I'm terrified of following her to that precipice.

Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash

Have you ever been scared of success?


Have you ever come face to face with the thing you wanted, then realized you were too frightened to take it?

I was once the top pick for a job in a leadership role and pulled my application because I was terrified of getting hired and then realizing I didn't have what it takes to lead. It took me several years and a move to a different building to get that opportunity again.

Recently, two separate individuals in two sperate instances have given me prophetic words; "God has a wife for you".

At first, I brushed off the comments. I'm starting to like my single life (never thought I'd say that) and the idea of starting over isn't as appealing as it once was. I think "I had my chance at love, let me just raise my boys now and write and work on school". In my first 17 months as a Widower, I fooled around with two counterfeit relationships I thought would be serious contenders and then realized later they were just empty promises. In both cases, I find myself SO grateful they didn't work out. I can see in hindsight that they would have been disastrous for me and my boys. Good women, but not good for me.

Then as I prayed about those two individuals giving me the exact same sentence, word-for-word, I heard God say: "Don't put that down". I inferred the meaning to be that I was getting relaxed in my singleness but he didn't want me to lay down that dream. Keep praying for her. Keep praying about her. Keep praying for my kids and her kids. Etc.

Then on the way home tonight, the realization that I really do have a wife waiting in the wings. She's just around the bend, another few rounds of self-improvement, another few invites to random events, she'll be there one day.

The start of our story will begin...

And it terrified me. 

Self-Sabotage


When I realized that real intimacy, closeness, aliveness was actually still really possible... not in a "safe" relationship that I can control but in a real, vulnerable, open, NO HIDING way... I got scared.

What if I never live up to her expectations? What if I just end up failing again? What if it's just a trap anyway and I'm better off single forever?

These thoughts led to; "Maybe I should just stay over-weight and broken because then she won't want me and I'll stay safe. No Risk..."


Overcoming Lying to Yourself


The fact is, all of those things are possible. I could fail. I probably won't live up to her expectations. I will have days, guaranteed, that I will wonder if getting married again was a good idea. And so will she.

None of that matters.

If I'm committed to NO HIDING; then I owe it to her, my kids, myself, and to God to work on me. 

If we're both equally committed to NO HIDING with God, and pursuing Him even when we don't feel like it, then we are giving ourselves the best chance of success.

Those things are half-truths.

Half-truths are whole-LIES. 

The other side of the coin is a possible future in which I've grown because I purposefully dealt with my stuff, and she's grown because she purposefully dealt with her stuff, and we were ordained of God to meet for a such a time as this because we can do more together than alone.

NO HIDING is the key to self-doubt and self-sabotage. 

This is just an example. You could be running from your calling in life, a leadership opportunity, an opportunity to find your life partner, an opportunity to raise your kids like a real father, the opportunity to start a business... There could be a thousand scenarios in which you are being called to rise up to the challenge and you are scared that you don't have enough, so you want to shrink back.

Once you identify that the thing holding you back is a lie, probably built on top of another lie... you can own your truth. 

My truth: I am a different man today than I was when I became a Widower. I am a much different man today than I was the two years and five years prior to becoming a Widower. The man I am today, I'm proud of because my Daddy is proud of me. This man is ready to keep growing, pushing, and developing and one day, he'll be ready to meet someone and be a blessing to her and her family, as she will be to me and mine.

The truth is... our story doesn't begin when I meet her. It begins right now. By my deciding to rise up to the challenge and continue to push forward. 

Your Turn: Comment below

What lie is holding you back, making you shrink back, from your opportunity?

What Truth would God replace it with?

If you commit to NO HIDING and bring it to his light, it can get handled right, and then you can push forward to your next opportunity to succeed. 



 

Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Five (5) things to consider when being authentic in public and in private.

Never be inauthentic. Always be who you are. Consider your audience. Be responsible to God, your closest family and friends first. Use your Freedom Responsibly. 


A friend of mine asked if it was okay to post a comment on my website article, sharing the comment with me privately instead. She asked if I liked to keep my public and private spaces separated. This got me thinking...


Photo by Christian Gertenbach on Unsplash


My thoughts to her question prompted this Facebook Post on my Public Page (here):

Thought: If you separate who you are publicly and who you are privately, you are bifurcating yourself. Always be who you are. If you're making a public change, it should start as a private one. Who you are at work, at home, with friends, and online should be the same. There's a place for context and audience for topics, but who you are shouldn't change.

These re-sparked thoughts I've been pondering since someone asked me to make some changes to how I present myself on Facebook before I could participate in some leadership activities with their organization. It was mentioned that we need to be "above reproach".

So I've been sitting with this idea, reading the Bible, discussing it with my counselor, and with friends. Here's the conclusion I've come to about the idea of how you present yourself... so far. Still sitting with it.

Five (5) things to consider when being authentic in public and in private:


1. You should never be a different person. It is one thing to consider your audience, it is an entirely different thing to be an actual different person. If you are one way online (feisty, mean, snarky) and another way in person (polite, giving caring), you are bifurcating (dividing) your personality. This will have huge negative payoffs over time, literally dividing your soul. You should be authentically you in all situations, alter content for context, but never become a different person. Being a different person is how we see seemingly "great" people have mighty falls. The opposite of depression is not "happiness" it is Expression. You must always strive for maximum authenticity, wholeness, full integration of your spiritual, emotional, physical, financial, and even sexual self. Fully integrated. Fully Authentic. Fully Real. Fully Expressed.


2. You should absolutely consider your audience. If you have kids as "Facebook Friends", you either need to remove them or watch what you share. Even some things that would be totally appropriate to discuss among adult Christian couples in private or at a marriage conference, do not need to be topics of discussion for younger children. Your audience matters. Start to consider who could be seeing this now and down the road years from now. Nothing disappears online.


3. Your ultimately responsible to an audience of ONE. Your Daddy (God) is your only audience. If you are satisfied that you are being responsible to Him for everything you say and do, responsible to the situational ethics He's laid out in His Word, then you are perfect regardless of what anyone says. Their opinion is irrelevant if you are sure He is satisfied. Note: Make sure you aren't ignoring his gentle nudge that they might be right. *wink wink*


4. Your second responsibility is to those closest to you. Friends, family, and the members of your household should get your absolute best. If you give everything you have outside the home (work, ministry, business) and you have nothing left to give at home (or worse, you are a cranky, mean, donkey's butt at home)... You are not being authentic. Nobody should think highly of you at work if your own family doesn't think at least as highly of you, or more at home.


5. Leveling Up requires changing your perspective about your own freedom. Romans 14 lays out the ground rules. Who you are in all situations, depends on your perspective.

     Freedom Level 1. The person who doesn't do something because they feel guilty even though it's okay is considered the weaker one according to the Bible. These are the "don't eat meats".

     Freedom Level 2. The person who does a thing freely without violating his own conscience is considered stronger. These are the "eat meats".

     Freedom Level 3. The best person is one who is free but doesn't use that freedom to make his brother stumble. How you word and use your freedom can help those who are not ready for your level of Freedom. This final level is the one who sees the Level 1 and has compassion and chooses to limit himself for the greater good. Not out of compulsion or religious duty, but out of compassionate love for the weaker one. 


I hope that gives you some things to consider. It's not about what you "should" do, it's about what your Noble Self (the heart of God inside of you) desires to do, say, and be. Being instant, in season and out of season.

Your Turn:


Comment on this post. How have you noticed yourself changing who you are in different contexts? Has it been life-giving or life-draining for you?



 

Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


Subscribe

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Powered by MailChimp