“That’s right, girl. Block and delete!” I was out to dinner with friends, and the conversation had turned to how the women at the table were handling unpleasant dating experiences by essentially making it impossible for the men in question to contact them again by blocking them via phone, email, and social media.
At the time I was struggling with how to deal with my own uncomfortable relationship situation with a man who had been pursuing me in a way that had started to feel aggressive and intrusive. Something about the approach my friends described sounded so appealing: Just a few clicks on my phone, and it would all go away.
Certainly, there are cases where discontinuing all contact is the best course of action to take in order to protect ourselves. But in my case, it didn’t feel right for me to just cut someone off like that. I am used to seeking deeper answers to my problems through gaining a better understanding of my relation to God. As I took steps to do this, I thought of something I have really appreciated in my study of Christian Science: the concept of everyone’s identity as spiritual, good, and complete – as God created us. The book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, goes deeply into Bible-based concepts like this one, particularly in chapters called “Creation” and “Genesis.”
This concept of spiritual completeness embodies the idea that we each include the full spectrum of spiritual qualities – male and female – because they are sourced in God, our Father-Mother. This idea had been helping me break through a false, limited sense of womanhood. It made me realize that I had to explore my own motives and honestly ask myself, “Am I allowing this man to keep contacting me because I’ve been enjoying the attention?”
I began to see that our wholeness is not dependent on another person. As God’s children, we cannot lack any essential aspects of our identity, so we don’t need to obtain them from someone else. Our wholeness is God-given.
I also saw that I needed a clearer sense of manhood on the same basis of everyone’s divinely sourced completeness. As I made a deeper effort to see both the man and myself as capable of expressing God-derived male and female characteristics, I saw that rather than “block and delete,” I could find a way to be firm and clear with this man while also remaining kind.
As I considered how I might speak with him, I thought about the many Bible stories that convey how God communicates. I particularly appreciate the story of Joseph, who was engaged to Jesus’ mother, Mary, learning that Mary was with child prior to their marriage. It was a message from God assuring him that she had not been unfaithful but would give birth to the Son of God.
This was clearly a very different situation from mine. But the point I took away from this story in relation to my circumstances was that Mary didn’t need to explain anything to Joseph. She could trust God to convey to everyone involved what each needed to know. She was leaning on the Christ, the power behind all that Jesus stood for and would do. Science and Health describes “Christ” as “the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (p. 332).
This was comforting to me, since my attempts to convey my lack of interest to this man had not succeeded in getting the point across. Now, as I prayed, I felt confident that he could understand what he needed to. And that proved true shortly afterward. An unexpected set of circumstances led to a sudden change in the situation. He had clearly gotten the message. While there was some further contact, he soon stopped pursuing me altogether.
In hindsight, I saw that we can always “block and delete” from our own consciousness thoughts that tell us we or others are weak, pathetic women or creepy guys – or vice versa. Through spiritual understanding we can block an untrue concept of identity based on material stereotypes and delete any tendency to depend on someone else for our well-being.
Through this experience I learned a little bit more about how our openness to the Christ can benefit our interactions with others. Christ’s messages of love, healing, and progress guide us to healthier thoughts – to a more spiritual perspective of ourselves and others that brings deeper solutions to whatever relationship challenges we might face.