I have to admit, it's taken me a few weeks to feel inspired to write something for quite some time now. But I'm back and I'm ready.
For those of you who are avid watchers of trash television like myself, you might be familiar with the ever popular Bachelor franchise. I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit that I've watched every season of the Bachelor and Bachelorette since my Freshman year of college. Even going so far as to get my skeptical friends on board (you know who you are), and almost ending up on the show myself. Which is a story for another day ;).
Us trash tv viewers are currently enjoying this season of Bachelor in Paradise. And while I have to say it's largely underwhelming, I'm inspired to talk about one couple in particular, and how rigid edges and a refusal to bend where love inspires, can end up coming back to haunt you.
Bachelor in Paradise kicks off every summer filled with attractive 20-somethings hoping to find true love and run off into the sunset. Preferably with a baseball sized diamond rock on someone's left, ring finger. And that almost happened for Joe Amabile and Kendall Long two years ago.
"Grocery Store Joe" can only be described as an absolute icon after being eliminated night one on Becca Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette in 2018. He charmed America so much, that he landed himself a spot on Dancing With The Stars, and ultimately ended up on the beach in Mexico looking for love.
Enter Kendall. The "quirky" and stunning blonde who won over Joe's heart on their season of Bachelor in Paradise in 2018. After leaving the island, the two decided to continue their relationship in a long distance capacity. Joe in Chicago and Kendall in LA. Their long distance love lasted for two years, but was ultimately called off due to distance being the main factor.
Now, a year and a half later, both parties have returned to the beach in search of love, but one seems to be having a much harder time than the other.
Joe has fallen for a new girl, Serena P. A stunning, witty, and kind woman who is also 11 years his junior. The two even told each other they're falling in love on last night's episode. With Kendall watching and crying from a distance.
What we learn during a conversation between Joe and Kendall, is that close to the end of Joe and Kendall's relationship, Joe flew to LA to try and convince Kendall to move to Chicago and give living in the Windy City a shot. She refused. Citing that she always promised herself, that she "would never move anywhere for a man." To which Joe responded, "I shouldn't have just been any man."
Now, Kendall is still on the beach, watching her ex fall in love with someone else. All because of a promise she made to herself, and refused to break or bend.
Of course, we don't have the whole story. Only bits and pieces of what producers decide to show us. But I still think there is an important lesson here. Let's start by asking some questions.
Where in our lives should we soften the rigid and hard edges that we surround ourselves with?
Where in our lives can we release the masculine need for control and step into the feminine need for protection?
How can we step into flow, when it comes to the men we love?
How can we prevent pride from getting in our way?
Kendall still loves Joe. It's very apparent. It's clear in the way she is incredibly emotional when she sees him with Serena. And it's clear in the way she isn't making too much of a connection with anyone else on the beach (#justiceforIvan).
This is a perfect example of self-sabotage, and getting in your own way.
Kendall said herself that she and Joe didn't break up because they didn't love each other. They broke up because neither party would bend. Joe wouldn't move to LA, and after flying there to try to bring her back home with him, she refused.
I'm reminded of a beautiful quote from the bible.
Ruth 1:16 "But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God."
Now of course, as modern women we don't have to give up our lives and families to be with a man. But couldn't it be argued that the sacrifice would have been worth it? Couldn't it be argued that sacrifice happens in all relationships? Sure, there's a chance it wouldn't have worked out. Maybe Kendall would've missed home and her family too much. But what about the alternative? Maybe she would've loved Chicago, and would be married with a family of her own right now. A brand new community and a new adventure.
Maybe Kendall moved for a man before and it didn't work out. But even if that is the case, was it fair to place that projection onto Joe? The man you are planning a serious future with?
Here's the thing.
When we stick so firmly to things we promised ourselves in a different season of life, it prevents growth.
There are many places in our lives where our rigid edges can be softened. Maybe it's in a silly dating requirement you've held on to for years. Maybe it's a grudge you've held against a friend. I implore you today, to simply ask yourself where your rigid edges be softened. And ask yourself if those edges have prevented true joy from entering your life. Have they caused you to block your own blessings?
I wish the absolute best for Kendall. Joe and Serena (according to spoilers) are still together, and possibly even engaged! And I'm absolutely thrilled for them.
I hope this post gives you something to reflect on. A great tool to help you reflect and ask yourself the tough questions is my Divine Deep Dive e-book. Grab your copy today, and stop self-sabotaging ;).