I want to give you a heads up on this post. I am starting a new Bible Study with the ladies at Church. We started a new six week Bible Study about love, how we as women crave it, look for acceptance, and validation from the world when in reality we shouldn’t. Now if you are a Christian you will understand what I mean, but if you are a follower of the world you will have zero clue what I am talking about. Allow me to explain.
Growing up my family were “Catholics” I put that in quotations because neither side really followed the rules of what was taught. It was we lived in the world, we knew God, we knew his son Jesus and all that was said, but we didn’t know him. I didn’t have any clue of what the Bible was all about. So I was just a person who showed up, said what I needed to say, received communion, and left. Fast forward many years later I now know Jesus, the amazing sacrifice that he was for me. Someone like me, a failure in so many ways, not worthy of acceptance, I definitely don’t see myself as someone who is lovable at all, yet he does. It is amazing, and honestly it brings the meaning of Love to a whole new level.
Love for everyone comes from different people in our lives, first if comes from our mother and father. I mean they made you, carried you and feed you. Every now and then a child experiences that lack of love, seeing that they are less than those in their own family. I got to pick that lucky straw in my little family. I was always made to feel like I really was less than my sister and brother because I’m the extra child. I wasn’t really loved for me, accepted for being me. I was being molded to who my parents thought I should be. What they wanted so they could boast about it later in life. When you grow up like that you see yourself less than what you are. I always laugh when someone tells me I am beautiful. I just smile and say, “Thank you” but I don’t truly believe it. Sad I know, but that is the truth. I was taught to see my flaws before I saw anything pretty about myself. The last thing I ever thought was a man being attracted to me, boy that still shocks me when I realize that because I was always told that I will be ignored because I’m too smart, too this or that. It was a crime in some ways to be who I really am now. When you grow up with a lack of acceptance from the two people who made you, let alone those who share your blood, you feel alone, unworthy of things around you. It can get to be very depressing, you feel isolated, less than the skinny girl that has beautiful long black hair, perfect smile, and men all around her. You get this thought in your head, “Man what does she have that I don’t.” then you look in the mirror and go, “Oh yeah, now I remember.”
Trust me it takes time, a lot of healing to see past all of that. Remind yourself that you are beautiful. You don’t have to impress every single person you meet. You just need to be kind. Accept those who are different than you, show love to someone who needs it. Now I struggle to this day with feeling isolated by people who are supposed to be my friends. I get that everyone has their own little clicks, it’s been that way since Elementary school for me. I make friends, but I lose friends as I’ve grown. True colors of people eventually show, yet they see nothing wrong with themselves, all you can do is pray for them. When you see the very truth and nature of someone you start to peel back who they are little by little and then you compare yourself to them. There is no real reason to, but it is a natural thing to do. When you do that you remind yourself that you are more than them, not because you have more things than they do, but because you are whole with or without those people who are your “friends” in your life. It takes time to weed out people who are good for you versus those who are bad for you. When you love yourself those rose colored glasses are gone.
When it comes to accepting who we are as individuals, that validation from the world is not needed then you can really grow. For me it has come with this journey I am on in my Christian walk. I take my Bible Studies, Daily Devotionals, prayer time, Church, and all of that seriously. I also love my life mixed in. I’ve really learned to balance everything a little bit better than ever before. In this new study it really tugs at my heart strings because it is in our nature to be loved, to be accepted and to have that, when in reality we already do. As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, his love is there! It’s never changed, it’s never gone away. It won’t diminish because I’ve said a cuss word, or hugged someone who is different than me, but it is there when I’m alone, with family, friends and more. Yes, I do live alone, I have my fat cat Oscar with me all the time, but even in the silence of my apartment God’s love is there. No matter what crap day I’ve had and wish I could do this or do that, seen this person, talked to another or even avoided that ridiculous meeting today I want to be loved, accepted for my differences. We all do.
People may not agree with how I see love, accept it, or even dismiss someone’s hatred for me. To be honest I don’t worry about them, I add their names to my prayer list because that it what I do, but when you sit back and think how you define love, where does it hurt the most? How have you always looked at love? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Do you allow your past to dictate how you love someone, or even show love to someone. Do me, well really yourself a favor open up your Bible, read Matthew 5: 1-16. Jesus does not talk about loving us a certain way, he is talking about loving all of us no matter what. “Blessed are those who……” it goes on and on. You can open your heart to someone no matter who they are, what they have done to you and accept them good and bad just as Christ has accepted you.
Strange for me to tell you about the Bible and really about being a good Christian when I struggle and fail daily in my thoughts, actions and words. The funny thing is I know I fail, I own all my faults, bad habits, words, and actions. I don’t throw them on anyone like a monkey throws their poop at someone’s face. It’s not me, and it won’t be you either if you just sit back and reflect on who truly loves you. Yes, its different being here on earth, we want someone with us, someone to love us because we are not meant to be alone. I’m right there with you, but you truly have to love yourself first before you can ever love another the way they need to be loved. We can’t expect someone to fill a void and think its going to work, that isn’t love. Find yourself first, find what makes you whole, happy and more. That is when you can open up to someone else. I love the idea that someone on this planet would someday love me for me, the good, bad and ugly (wild hair in the morning). Yet I know that I have a greater love that I never expected daily, and when I get there it is going to be amazing!
Think about that friends. How do you look at love, yourself, and those around you? Do you look for love in the world, or in someone greater?