Do you have reoccuring lessons in your life?
I do. All the time. And years ago I was taught God doesn’t mind repeating Himself – meaning either I am in the slow class when it comes to spiritual advancement or He really cares that I “get” these lessons coming my way.
One of the lessons has been loyalty.
Loyalty to myself. Loyalty to the people who are most important in my life. I am amazing at keeping confidences. Amazing at being supportive. One lesson I had to learn was WHO to be loyal to. I’ve been too quick to jump ship sometimes when I should have stayed. Or have valued someone’s opinion over another’s when I shouldn’t have.
So it all comes down to where do my loyalties lie? Are they with God & myself? Do I have loyalty to my family, close friends and significant other? What does it look like for me? Am I long suffering?
You know, somehow the good ‘ole I Corinthians verse on love is about to come up.
Corinthians 13: 4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
So do I embody these qualities? In other words, the love I am looking for, yearning for, am I able to give out all of this – or have I been giving it out? I think it depends on who you speak to. Where some may feel like I hadn’t done enough, where others felt I had done too much. I need to say, I despise it when people say “you’re doing too much” as it pertains to love. Is there such a thing? So it’s really a matter of preference (or I could also insert [self] preservation).
I have surely been loyal to friends and family. Sometimes, when I should not have been – but here’s what I’ve learned, it helps me sleep better at night. When I go to bed, knowing I’ve done all I can do to preserve a relationship, help a loved one – then I can sleep and rest with a clean heart and a clearer conscience. It’s only when I don’t do what was on my heart that I have those regrets.
The issue is I really haven’t always been loyal to myself. I’ve allowed for entirely too much mayhem and foolishness over the years. Thankfully much of it isn’t happening any more. But even some days I ask how deep does my loyalty to myself run? Am I giving myself the best chance to succeed? At love? At work? In personal endeavors? Clearly there are many more questions than answers.
But something I have seen over the last few years is also how people dole out their loyalty. I dated a man a while ago and I remember telling him his loyalties were upside down – as were his priorities. These days, it’s only up to me to recognize this and then pull a dipset type of slide out if the person isn’t actively practicing an organization of his or her priorities and his or her loyalties – me inclusive.
I also have to give an example here – let’s say there’s a situation where a person has a partner who has a gambling addiction and lies. The person sticks it out with the joker (literally) for a while. The same cycle repeats itself over and over. The person tries to hang in there for the sake of love. Is this the right thing to do?
I can’t answer for you. But I’ll give my answer – no. Because how many years of hurt and damage can you take? It’s true some people need help. We all need other people. However, when helping them is killing you, it’s time to go.
There is a vast difference between being long-suffering and playing the martyr.
So where are your loyalties?