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Good_TimesNEO: I just read in one of your comments that people do not know how to build relationships. I think that I am guilty of this. I don’t think I have a good relationship with any adult. I have a great relationship with my children, godchild, nieces, and nephews. When it comes to adults, I am quick to throw in the towel and shut down communication. I do not have a good relationship with either of my parents, my siblings, or what was my best friends. Can you help me please, Dr. Neo???? -Lakesha

When you have faced a life of many disappointments by people not living up to what they say or are hypocrites who expect one thing from you but not of themselves, it is very easy to become bitter. But what you also have to keep in mind is that we all have our faults. When you lose the humility of that perspective, you end up coming across as arrogant and unfeeling. I remember one time as a young man in my 20’s I was so hurt by something one of my grandmothers did and I had every right to say something because she was dead wrong and claimed to be so religious. But I also felt a spiritual obligation to respect her as an elder. So I told my mother that rather than disrespect her, the best way to respect myself was to leave her alone and let her face what she did without conflict from me. You know it is amazing sometimes what you can achieve when you remain peaceful in the silence of your walk.

I too find a lot of joy working with children. I suppose the reason we sometimes want to give up on adults is because we assume they should know better. But then you need to keep in mind that they may not have had the benefit of the kind of attention you find joy in giving to a child. In many ways there are things they just don’t know or have never experienced. In the Epistle of James he writes that if any of us lacks wisdom let us ask of God who gives to all of us in abundance and graciously according to what we are ready to receive and upbraideth not, meaning without saying “I told you so” or ridiculing your ignorance.

You need to look at your surroundings and ask yourself if you are truly embedded within a group of toxic people. If so, there is a reason that Jesus said let the dead bury the dead. Sometimes you truly have to just come out from amongst the foolishness. The ones that want to do right are often times scared or codependent and need someone to be strong enough to stand up and leave and they will too. This happens a lot in messed up families. It just takes one person to break the cycle of negativity. A lot of times it means moving totally away so you can breathe.

I really don’t know which part is the situation in your life. Only you know the truth. But from my past online conversations with you, I know that you are a mom trying to protect your kids from the mistakes you witnessed in the lives of others as you were growing up and that is commendable. But the best way to honor the wisdom you were blessed with, is to be humble enough to be an example that makes people want to know what you know, and not feel like they are disposable because of what they don’t know. Adults are still children of God.