Opening my heart to you. By Herbert Mtowo
Many people tend to think because one knows a lot about relationships ,characters, personalities and teach on these sensitive issues they automatically are supposed to be experts on how to love and live happily. I always remind people that being gifted on these and many relational issues an actually be a challenge to deal with. I have found out that many who have a psychological background, counseling and social issues skills and knowledge actually struggle to relate. The reason being mainly, that most of us get into relationships with a wrong mentality of I know it all attitude and most suffer broken relationships.
The truth of the matter is, head knowledge alone does not produce great relationships, and those in the field need also to understand that human beings are and will always be unique and very different in the way they have been wired up, when it comes to the. behavior aspects. The ability to translate knowledge of business to becoming a successful business person, knowledge of psychosocial issues ,behavior and personalities, turn that into successful relationships and being great and wonderful family, husbands and wives is a not an option but top priority.
It is common knowledge that many who have these relationship skills and knowledge are struggling to say the list in their relationships. At times we get so puffed up and have a know it all attitude, yet we have been privileged to know not all but just a part, and we still need to be educated more and schooled more to be come jewels and not just masters but exemplary in all that we do. The challenge to be and become is no easy road by any means believe you me. They say experience is the best teacher, but at times experience has become the downfall of many. Have you ever realized that, the evil of our time is that those who know too much tend to take advantage and abuse those who don’t seem too knowledgeable about the learned know. Experience can also be your downfall, depending with what you do with it and how you take it. We never learn so that we become masters of other but so that we become our own masters. I have seen men of the clothe involved in the latest phenomenal of today, those who conduct deliverance services bed every woman at the slightest opportunity, also marriage, relationship coaches and marriage counselors take to bed at the smallest chance their clients, is it meant to be so .No, not at all. We need to look ourselves in the mirror and clean our houses or deal with our own skeletons in the cupboard. I hear recently of a highly gifted men in one country which I will not mention, who has been having presentations on marriage and relationships, accused of having a sexual relationship with his baby sitter. People close to me asked and probed me if I could explain the reason to this. I didn’t really have a clear cut answer, but after much exploration and search of heart and life, I came to the conclusion that the more famous and a celebrity you become the more vulnerable you can be, especially if you have not dealt with your own weaknesses and secret shortcomings. You will always need to have a circle of friends, confidants to share with your struggles and nightmares. Being a lone ranger is not for your good, surround yourself with people who can rebuke you, speak into your life and situations. We all need to have spiritual parenting no matter how great a personality and skills you have.
I am sure we all know of the wisdom of Solomon, the world’s wisest, yet he struggled to measure up and walk the wisdom he taught. The same great, rich and famous man of renown, went on to describe this generation best I bet, reading so many books but never learning. Most of us have acquired degrees and professions by just reading to pass but never learning, that’s why today we still have problems in society today. I have been a consultant on HIV/AIDS and many other social issues, but what my eyes have seen boggles the mind and shakes the imagination, most people n this field though they know about HIV, the virus in and out like the back of their hands, but shockingly they have added to the statistics on the spread of HIV/AIDS and health personnel mostly are found wanting in this regard, yet they have volumes of knowledge and make more money through the knowledge they have got over the years, but never learning indeed.
Those who are close to me, know the struggles that I have gone through on many of these issues, relationally ,socially and mostly because my knowledge was next to zero. There are things that I have gone through which I wouldn’t want others to go through, because I don’t know whether other scan have the strength, endurance and stamina to walk the road that I have walked. In this article am just sharing pouring my heart, hope you can have some insight to walk the road I am walking or have walked. But hey am glad, that my life has experienced and gone through levels of brokenness, so that my story can help many. Even now, I walk a very delicate path, challenges here and there but moving on and finding the way at the end of the tunnel. Read the following hope it opens your eyes and depends your understanding too.
Relationships/Marriage working it out.
Marriage brings two different people together to establish a working relationship. When the marriage relationship breaks down, people feel hurt, betrayed, unloved, insecure, fearful, angry, bitter, or a range of other emotions. Those emotions not only challenge the marriage but they also tap issues from the background of the couple. Having a sense for this interplay empowers marriage counselling to be more effective.
Acceptance of Individuality: Marriage brings two individuals together for a mutually rewarding relationship. Who they each are, as individuals, affects what they can achieve as a couple. An unstable person will hardly be able to build a stable relationship. A fearful person will not be able to build a trusting relationship. An angry person will not be able to build a loving relationship. So, before a marriage counsellor becomes too distracted with the relationship issues they are wise to consider the individual qualities of the husband and wife. The weaknesses, attitudes, past experience and personal skills of each spouse will impede or assist the building of a strong relationship.
Complexity in Individuals: People are complex, so the range of personal issues they carry could be quite extensive. A wise counsellor seeks to uncover those things which are most relevant to the person’s ability to enter into and maintain a strong marriage relationship. Issues of trust, forgiveness, correct view of marriage and relationship, willingness to change, flexibility, selfishness and fear might be among the relevant matters to uncover. People’s behaviour is often crafted by their reactions to past experience. For example, a person who has suffered injustice will tend to be very sensitive about justice issues. A person who has been denied loving acceptance may idolise the input of their spouse and feel let down when the spouse does not meet their idealised expectations. A person who has been spoiled may find it hard to give up their will to fit in with their spouse. I refer to this individual complexity as the “baggage” which the couple brings along on their honeymoon and into their marriage. Most often the person does not know their own baggage, since it seems normal to them. Their spouse is most likely completely oblivious to this baggage. In time this baggage will trip up the marriage relationship. These hidden things will become obvious, over time, and they will prompt a new set of problems as each spouse reacts to the issues for better or for worse. The joke goes, “Love is blind, but Marriage is an Eye-Opener!” And that’s true. Relationship brings to light the hidden things. How skilled the couple are in dealing with those revelations will impact where their marriage goes.
We all need relationship skills. Because marriage is a relationship it is vital that each person has good relationship skills. If one has good skills they can save the marriage from much trouble, but it is better if both work together than that one exploit the strengths of the other. Relationship skills are not so much ‘skills’ as attitudes. Selfish attitudes are contrary to the spirit of relationship. Inflexibility makes demands on the other party in a relationship. Unforgiveness is a cruelty which violates relationships. Independence is contrary to relationships. Stubbornness is a road-block to relationships. Self assertiveness violates others. Pride is an offence to others. Self-determination is contrary to the spirit of cooperation. People with the wrong attitudes have the wrong skills. Yet some people need to be trained in the practical expression of good relationship skills. Listening, caring, cooperating, sharing, committing time for each other, fitting in with the other’s plans, negotiating equitably, repenting, forgiving, adapting, standing firm on moral principles and being consistent are practices which may have to be learned and practiced by today’s dysfunctional society.
Mentoring and modelling.: When a couple does not know what they are trying to build they will have less success than they could otherwise have. A clear understanding of the godly model for marriage, as I present in my books, Marriage Horizons and Mending Marriages, empowers a couple to build the most stable and effective kind of relationship. A good counsellor is attentive to the concept of marriage the couple are working with. If it is flawed then the couple needs to be instructed and directed toward the model of marriage that actually works and works most effectively. Who is your mentor or who do you look up to as a role model? This is crucial because who you learn from, surely will impact for the good or bad in your life. Our immediate role models are our own parents or guardians, wether we like them or not, but we need to be able to learn both from the good and the bad, and be able to take the good and throw away the bad. We are our won masters, when deciding our destinies. A close friend always says, “Herbert you need to learn from the best, and at the same time figure out how those who failed, can teach you not to repeat the same mistakes as them.”
A touch of God.: Good relationships/marriages need to have the grace of God released into their lives and relationships. Good Marriage Counselling releases God’s grace into each individual spouse. That’s why Christian Marriage Counselling is so very important in the lives of couples who need help. Secular assistance can give good advice and sound wisdom, but it cannot release God’s divine touch into the lives of the couple. I for one at one time thought I am my own man, who doesn’t need anybody to school me, but you wont hear me say such crazy statements no, not now. I Encourage you to see the need for spiritual covering and mentors over your relationships, marriages, lives and business.
Ø Life is about sharing with others around you, the challenges, the failures and the dreams, so that you can be encouraged. Share with me your testimonies ,challenges, victories and all that can inspire others. Most of my articles are based on real life experiences, from my life and people around me, cheer up you aren’t just reading folk stories.