“Open up to love again.” I heard the request but could not do it. I had too much pain and betrayal from people who said they loved me. Let people love me again? Allow that wonderful feeling of being cared about? I longed for it but had shut it down. I promised myself I would never open that door again.
I knew I would not choose it. Not again. I tried too many times, with each bringing more damage. I put up thicker protection walls keeping me safe and the world out. Why would I choose more pain? But I have learned not to say no to God and trust Him. He wants the best for me. I know this is a healing step, and it was.
To take the step, I asked God to do it in me. I could not change. St. Augustine said the same thing, “Lord, if you command me to do something, please command you to do it.”
My fear kept interfering, working to protect me. As I took baby steps to love again, things happened. I learned more about agape love, the love that wants the highest best for someone. God sent people into my life who did not leave and did not hurt me. They listened, cared for, and prayed with and for me. They loved me in ways I never have been loved. They taught me love by loving me a crushed and broken vessel.
Then another magical thing happened, I started to feel loved and cared about. I began to love myself deeper and not have to pretend. I found more of the real me. It did not happen overnight. I first doubted these fantastic people, keeping them at a distance, getting angry, and isolating myself to avoid being hurt. But the hurt did not come. If there was a disagreement, we talked it out! Boy, that was new to me. God sent me the right people. Thank you, God.
- Have you shut down to love. Do you need to become open to love again?
- What is scary about loving again? Are you willing to take a few baby steps?
- Give the fears to God and ask Him to teach you about agape love.
This question has haunted philosophers through the ages. Kierkegaard said love should focus on the person being loved first and foremost. Martin Buber said love was something more significant than affect – not a static feeling, but a dynamic state of being lived in the present. He also said we look for our soul mate to complete what we lack and silence the deep loneliness and feeling of separateness. Some have defined it as feelings of deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone. With all of these, sadly and strangely, we can end up with throw-away love relationships missing more mature and developing love. Psychology has defined it as a complex emotion involving strong feelings of affection and tenderness for the love object.
I have a different understanding of love. I see love as an ACTION based on decisions we make about ourselves, others, and God. It is a choice of what kind of person we want to be. Nice? Mean? Loving? Bitter? Kind? Caring? Want to make a difference in this life? Or getting and taking everything we can in life? The bottom line is, are we going to love or not? One brings love and hope, the other pain, selfishness, and sorrow.
Love is a choice of wanting the highest level of good for ourselves, others, and the world – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Choosing to love with agape love makes actions happen for the higher good of all life. Healing is one of those choices. In its highest form, agape love is God’s love which always wants our highest good.
When we love, we gain the following gifts:
- It helps release pain and bitterness.
- Help others and the world heal and be less violent.
- Make a difference and help others to do so too.
- What is love to you?
- What kind of person have you decided to be?
- When did you feel the love that helped you to heal and grow?
Please share these to help others heal. Also, I am a speaker, invite me!