"Unconditional High Regard"
I have also been thinking a lot about trust recently. In our relationships, we want to be able to trust that we are heard, as I wrote in my last post. We also want to trust that we won't have intimate parts of who we are exposed to anyone other than the people we confide in. (We need to be able to trust that our privacy will be fully respected and the relationship will be confidential if there is to be any degree of emotional intimacy.) Thirdly, we want to trust that we will not be harmed or betrayed or rejected by those to whom we open ourselves emotionally. Finally -- and perhaps most significantly -- we want to trust that we will not be judged.
This last point of trust is something that I understood from therapeutic relationships -- that a healing relationship would build trust that the client could confide anything and expose anything and still be met with "unconditional high regard" -- but it has taken me a lot longer to translate that to a basic requirement for my other relationships. This has been one of the ways that I have most violated my friends and family, I am afraid!
My analytical nature judges everything! I judge what we think, what we believe, and what we do against my understanding of truth, usefulness, effectiveness, kindness, etc . . . and I don't think that analysis is wrong. In some ways, I think it is what God made me to be and do!
However, my friends and family don't deserve to be cut into pieces by my analytical mental knife, with my primary value whatever "truth" I can derive, and with no regard shown in my words or actions for their comfort . . . . let alone for their ability to trust in my "unconditional high regard" of them as people who are just as effective as disciples of Jesus as am I!
So this is a post of public repentance . . .
I will seek to respond to each one that I love and to each relationship with which I am entrusted with this refection of God's love: I will have a greater concern for kindness and connection than for analysis and a deeper understanding of truth.
I am so glad that God is like that! While I was totally lost in sin He valued me -- maintained unconditional high regard for me -- enough to die for me.
That example and the power of His Spirit ought to change my callousness here. Meanwhile, feel free to point out the ways I fail so that I can treat you more kindly!
And, please forgive me!