Significant other, or significant one?
Today’s column explores the idea that everyone is precious in the eyes of God, who knows us as the cherished reflection of divine Love.
My friend Gail was trying to put up a brave front. It had been a tough day for her as she watched a steady parade of Valentine bouquets being delivered to her female colleagues. In past years she would have been on the receiving end, too. But now, newly divorced, she had no red roses coming her way. Sitting at her unadorned desk, hearing her co-workers’ “oohs” and “aahs” of delight, my friend felt insignificant.
Later that day, at a women’s assertiveness training course, she found her fellow singles equally miserable. Letting loose with her tears, she shared details of her humiliation at the office. After a pause, the group facilitator asked, “And what have you done to ensure that the next Valentine’s Day won’t be the same?”
Gail was stunned. Surely it wasn’t her responsibility to make things better, she thought. Wasn’t it up to someone else to waltz into her life and transform it with dimension and direction?
If Gail’s experience strikes close to home, you’re not alone. Many of us have had that yearning for romance and companionship and, perhaps, too, for the stamp of the significance of being in a twosome.
Longing, even scheming, may indeed result in a date, even the heady rush of romance. But once the dust has settled, most of us inevitably find a relationship requires more than eagerness to please. For a relationship to thrive, each partner has to draw from her or his special brand of unique strengths and insights.
But what if we’ve lost track of that uniqueness? And where can we go to find a selfhood that’s precious on its own merits – regardless of what our relationship status is or what we’d like it to be?
I’ve found that we can go to God. The Bible shares this tender assurance: “I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.... [B]ring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory” (Isaiah 43:1, 6, 7).
What a tribute to our worthiness – that God should claim us as His own! It’s one thing to be a person’s significant other. Quite another to be God’s significant one. Made in divine Spirit’s likeness, for God’s glory, we have a marvelous wholeness, brimming with qualities such as creativity, flexibility, and tenderness – all good components of happy human relationships, whether with a significant other, family member, or friend.
Gradually my friend grasped these empowering truths about herself. Shedding that old neediness, she said she felt spiritually grounded. So much so that her next Valentine’s Day was different – she had developed a rich sense of her self-worth, with or without the flowers.
And this helped her find her path forward – a path that, for her, included remarriage, and she’s known for bringing her own special buoyancy and love to her family and her community of friends.
Maybe Cupid hasn’t made an appearance in your life. Regardless of whether or not marriage is our heart’s desire, angels of another type are always present for all of us. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Christian Science discoverer Mary Baker Eddy describes these celestial angels as “pure thoughts from God, winged with Truth and Love” (p. 298). They are thoughts that reassure us, moment by moment, that we have precious status in the eyes of God, who knows us as the cherished reflection of divine Love, not solitary mortals.
This goes deeper than our human relationship status. It’s about realizing everyone’s completeness as an expression of God. As such, we are quite wonderful just as we are. And it’s inevitable that the more we understand this, the more inclined we are to give a kindly boost to others.
For instance, I once acted on the inspiration to send a bouquet to a family friend on Valentine’s Day. Later I found out that this woman’s daughter was very impressed by the unexpected flowers she saw her mother receive – so much so that she began showing her mother more attention and respect.
We can always find someone on whom to shower our affections. The world is full of people needing to know they’re valued. We can’t send them all flowers. But we can embrace them in our thoughts as “significant ones” – trusting God to deliver the good news of their worth, as He’s delivering ours to us now.