By Alecia Rice –
Q. I’m pretty involved at my church. Recently, I brought my new boyfriend to a church-sponsored event. Afterwards, he said he didn’t care for the minister (thought he was fake), and said that he doesn’t really resonate with our beliefs; therefore, he wants us to find another church. Do I have to choose between my church, or my new promising relationship? Do you have any insight you can offer me? ~Involved Lovebud
A. Dear Involved Lovebud:
Spiritual communion and a sense of community are different things to different people. It seems that your soul feels nourished there, and that you enjoy it enough to be of service with your time and talents to nurture that environment. I’m happy this is so, because it’s hard to find a good church…and even harder to replace.
His request to leave your church in order to meet his needs this early in the relationship feels inappropriate. There’s a lack of an appropriate boundary there when you’re still getting acquainted. In the budding days of relationship, you’re learning about who the other is. You shouldn’t be trying to change each other, especially in ways that are foundational to who you are. Too many enter relationships trying to mold the other to fit their needs, instead of realizing up front that it may not be a good match.
You’re entitled to stay sovereign in a belief system and atmosphere that meets your needs while he does the same, even if it’s in a different place. Being lovers doesn’t mean that you must commune at the same place if your spiritual needs are different.
Your boyfriend should continue searching for what feels right to him. When he finds a church that resonates, he can invite you to go on a spiritual adventure to visit. Afterwards, you can have a good discussion of likes and dislikes. This can breed understanding, bonding, and intimacy around things of spiritual importance, showing you where you are aligned…or misaligned.
Meanwhile, invite your new beau to return to church with you at least one more time under more normal circumstances so he can get a truer feel. This will show you the consideration and flexibility that your new man has – or doesn’t have – which will help you better know what to expect in the future from this blossoming romance.
Healthy relationships have healthy boundaries and most of those boundaries are set in the beginning of relationships. Too many women get a new love interest and kick their friends to the curb – along with other things that are important to them – in exchange for the new man. It’s not in our best interest to be so desperate for a relationship that we disconnect quickly and completely from the fundamental things that nurture us when we’re single.
It’s important that you stand in the power and truth of who you are, while learning about each other so that he meets the true you, instead of some version that’s willing to toss her needs away in exchange for companionship. You don’t want to wake up in the future feeling resentful because you’ve given yourself away just so you’re not alone.
Q. I’m realizing that I have a gift for speaking & writing. I’m able to convey information with words in a way that is helpful & captivates, yet I’m stuck; I have this limiting belief that my value lies in conveying content that I’ve learned; almost as if I have to reference someone or something else. Do you have any tips for building confidence around the value of MY ideas, information, and experience? ~Shy Captivating Speaker
A. Dear Shy Captivating Speaker:
I intimately understand your situation because I’ve been there. I still struggle with confidence off and on as I stretch myself into new situations.
If we never experience discomfort, then we’re probably playing in the safe zone. My best counsel is to start consciously putting yourself out there more, even if it’s just with baby steps.
As with so many things, we always feel a bit vulnerable and insecure when we have a paradigm shift and start to stretch out into something different than we’ve done before. It’s hard to feel confident doing something that’s new. When a muscle has been underused, we need to start exercising it, because a sense of empowerment and self-assurance generally rises with exposure.
Your confidence will build with practice over time…maybe even sooner than you think, once you see how often your content is passionately received by others.
Alecia Rice integrates higher concepts with wisdom to bring forth balance, perspective, and clarity within interpersonal relationships. She is a personal advisor, speaker, and a gatherer of women. For advice on a personal issue, you’re invited to email questions to: AskAlecia@moontribevillage.com. Maybe you’ll find the answer posted in next month’s issue. Discussions continue at Ask Alecia on Facebook.