In today’s world – the word Love is said often, but rarely truly felt.
When we have a birthday, a health scare, a family death or a wedding; many people tend to come together and help each other out. They help prepare for a party, console someone hurting or celebrate with them. Often, when the event ends; the person who was helped or celebrated will say – Thank you, I feel so loved!
Times when everyone comes together, for one reason or another, are rare and often years apart. This leaves a lot of time in the middle where one can struggle – feeling loved.
I know in my household – I love you – is said a lot! My boys and my husband hear it all the time! I can’t help it, I just have to say it as much as I can, because it is so true! I love them!
When we are parting from friends or family – I love you – is often part of the “goodbye” script.
It is strange, because love is out there; spoken of often and wished for by many, yet how many of us truly feel it?
I realized, here recently after researching love and also examining my own heart, that love is hard to accept. Therefore, love is often hard to truly feel.
I have heard – I love you – many, many times in my life. I am blessed by this because I know that not everyone does. Some people say it often and others don’t; it often depends on the person. It also often depends on that persons experience with love.
When I stopped and asked myself – What is love? – my answer was a bit vague. It means that you deeply care about someone, you would help them and be there for them in a time of need. You just love them!
I also asked myself – What does God’s love feel like? – this one opened my eyes a bit more. Why? Because I don’t know if I could tell you a time I truly remember feeling God’s love.
Now, I know this likely sounds strange because I have said it a million times, preachers say it and people in general say it – God is love! I know this to be true, but how many of us have truly felt his love.
We have certainly felt his grace, his mercy and his forgiveness; yet feeling his love I believe may be a bit harder. Why? Because we are human and in our humanness we are flawed; it is those flaws that make God’s love hard to feel!
I am personally one who tends to lean on the “lower end” of self-confidence. Nothing has ever occurred to cause this, I just have always “doubted” myself – more often than not. When I meet people or talk to people I will often point out my weaknesses or my flaws first…therefore, I don’t have to worry about someone finding them out on their own. Does that make any sense? Maybe, maybe not…It is just me and how I am.
I also, at least for the last 20 plus years, have been self-conscious about my body, my appearance and how I come across. I have confessed to being a yo-yo dieter and that my body image changes; when someone tells me “you look nice” or “I love your hair”, I will often reply with something that “discredits” in a way – their compliment.
Oh thanks, but I haven’t worked out for a long time!
Oh thanks, I haven’t washed my hair so it doesn’t look like it should!
Thank you, I am supposed to straighten it (my hair), but I didn’t – so it is kinda crazy!
I will try to deflect the compliment, quite honestly, because it makes me uncomfortable! How can a compliment make me feel uncomfortable? Because quite frankly, I don’t feel worthy of it! I see this same issue with my accepting love from others, including God. I don’t “feel” like I deserve it or am worth of it.
Have you ever felt this way?
Life, in general, has a way of making us feel inadequate, worthless, weak or just like we don’t measure up. We constantly feel like we could improve. We often do not feel like we are, or ever will be, enough!
In some cases we seek “love” or the feeling of love from sex. We will find our value, our worth or our “beauty” by having sex with someone. Sex makes us “feel” connected and valued; like someone loves us, wants us and thinks we are beautiful!
In some cases we seek drugs or alcohol-simply to fill the void! Drugs and alcohol allow us to escape; they take us out of reality where we no longer have to confront our feelings. They take any pain, fear or stress and temporarily make it disappear. Once the effect has worn off, we instantly crave it again because what we were trying to escape – immediately returns!
In some cases we seek food! Food can do for some, the same as what alcohol and drugs can do for others. Again, when we feel the void of love, acceptance and self-value – we reach for something to fill it! Food makes us feel satisfied, it makes our body react chemically – which allows pleasure. We soon realized that is short-lived because the effects will again dissipate and the “void” will return again.
It is an endless cycle, a ride many of us continue on day-by-day! In a strange way – seeking love, acceptance and worth, can actually numb us to it. Blocking us from allowing ourselves to receive it.
When we search for Love from sex – we often find ourselves hurt. It is a hurt that runs very, very deep and often never goes away. We give our self to someone, body and heart, yet that someone doesn’t give their heart in return, only body. It leaves us feeling used, abused and worthless. It makes us feel inadequate and devalued. It leave us broken and in an even deeper pit than we were before. It leaves us with the impression – Love hurts! Love breaks hearts! Love is pain!
Drugs and Alcohol can do the same thing. They become used so often that we began to chase others away by our actions, during their use. We say and do things that we may not mean and often regret. People around us though, can only put up with it for so long – before they have to leave because of the pain.
As people, we spend so much of ourselves and our time trying to seek acceptance and love; searching for it, often in the wrong places. When really, all the love we need is there BEGGING us to accept it! A love that is pure, real, and will not fail you! A love that is strong, constant and never ending! A love that wants you, accepts you; knows your flaws and still loves you! REAL LOVE!
This is the love of God!
In order to feel it though, we have to allow ourselves to accept it! In order to allow ourselves to accept it, we have to allow ourselves to believe we are worthy of it!
Simply put – if we can’t love ourselves, how can we allow ourselves to accept God’s love?
The good news is – we don’t have to take classes, go to counseling or read any self-help books, in order to learn how to accept God’s love.
The bad news is – we do have to look at ourselves for what we truly are, Broken! We have to realize that we are flawed and will always have flaws. We are imperfect and will never attain perfection, in humanly form. We are weak, We are lost and that is Ok. None of this is a surprise to God, none of it!
We have to allow ourselves to look past any hurt and turn it over to God. Some of us carry a lot of hurt and it can be hard to let that go. We feel as though holding onto the hurt or trying to cover it up – will in someway make it not real or maybe even somehow make the one who caused the hurt suffer. Sometimes we feel if we let the hurt go, we are letting the person off the hook; allowing them to walk away punishment free. Sometimes we feel as if holding onto the hurt, may help the person come back.
This is not the case though. As long as we carry the hurt or feelings of unworthiness, we are blocking the one thing that will complete us and make us soar. God’s Love!
God does provide mercy, grace and forgiveness-these things are all a part of his love. His love though is far greater than just these things!
I pray that if you are in a situation where you feel you are not worthy of love, you’re self-value is low or if you are just hurt…I pray that you will take a moment to just cry out to God. He knows, he knows everything! Every tear, every heart-break, every insecurity, every fear, every stress – He knows!
He can take these things away! Will it be easy? Maybe, maybe not….but it will be worth it!
Allow yourself to accept God’s love! Allow yourself to FEEL God’s love! When all is said and done…Share God’s love! His love is the only love that is flawless and from his flawless love…he will make you flawless!!!!!!