Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Love

I am God's beloved. Beloved! Have you ever heard such a sweet word? I love how it rolls off the tongue. I am sweet and precious in His eyes. I am cherished. Now, if only my head would tell that to my heart. I have a feeling that when I truly get it, when I tear down the walls I have built to protect my poor bruised heart and let the light in, nothing will ever be the same.

Have you ever tried to be good? I mean really tried. Have you ever set out to love well only to fail miserably? I have. My desire to be kind and gentle, compassionate and forgiving, are quickly forgotten when I face the weakest of opposition. A mere look, a simple slight and I fall to pieces. Why is that? I think I know the answer.

I am still looking to externals to validate my worth. I am still operating under the false belief that I am not enough. Not pretty enough, not smart enough, not funny enough, not spiritual enough. Deep down, way deep down, there is a part of me that believes there is no good thing about me and that belief drives me. I seek recognition, affirmation and approval from others because I don't possess it for myself. When I try to love, and I am confronted with a word or thought that challenges my fragile sense of worth, I protect it at all cost.

But here's the thing. When I rest in God's love, when I open myself up to His light, when I seek Him first, the whole world loses it's power over me. In fact, I actually become a channel of blessings to others because who among us can contain the light? When we let it in it shines everywhere. It pours out of us. We leak love.

On my own I have nothing to give. Sure, I can reciprocate that which is given to me -I can love the lovable and have affection for the affectionate, but I cannot create light where darkness exists. Instead, I myself become blinded by the darkness too. I become fearful, arrogant, self-centered, jealous, resentful and hurt. We cannot give that which we don't have.

But God's love changes everything. Darkness does not exist on it's own. It has no source. It is the absence of light, not an equal and opposite force. I'm trying to meditate on that today. I am not going to focus on giving, I'm going to focus on receiving and in doing so be filled to overflowing.

6 comments:

Brian said...

Brilliant! If we all hold on to this truth and practice it everything will change!

Sandra said...

hey, I miss you guys! Are you still doing the Matthew study?

Michelle said...

Hi Sandra, we sure are. It's been quiet because everyone seems to have gotten quite busy at the same time but here is the link:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iDG4DmMJMYJ9-00338UxdF_MKNYv9UzWcCXLG5r2Iag/edit?hl=en_US

Feel free to jump in any time you want! I think it will continue to be quite slow until after Christmas and that's okay.

jss said...

Actually I think it is your poor, bruised heart that gets in the way of your desire to try to love only to fail miserably. Your words "fail miserably" are an indication of what you expect from yourself. When 'trying' to love we always look out at others assuming they are that which we are 'supposed' to love and we give it all we've got only to find that we just cannot do it. And then we wonder what the hell is wrong with us.

It is my hope for you that someday you will truly come to have compassion and sympathy for yourself and you will then discover that you don't even have to 'try' to extend that to others. It happens automatically.

jss said...

For the record there is no 'trying' in loving others. If we have to 'try' then there is something that is getting in the way of our natural ability to do so.

A little food for thought.

Michelle said...

Thanks JSS, I am reading and rereading what you wrote and trying to absorb/understand. You seem to always give me a new way of looking at things.

Sorry it took me so long to respond. Our family was on holiday in the UK for the past month.