A friend of mine posted this image quote on Facebook today, and being the "assume-the-worst-until-proven-better" person that I can sometimes be, I honed in on that first part right away. "Some people won't love you..." Some people won't love me. No matter what I do.
Enter pit in my stomach.
I don't like that pit. First of all, it feels a little like getting the wind knocked out of me, and second...it makes my Oreos start singing, "Don't, don't you want me?" (Thank you, Human League). And even though I still fall for it sometimes, I have learned enough to know that sugar therapy doesn't always help :)
I also don't like that pit because it shines the light on a not-completely-healed part of my heart...the people pleasing part.
And to a people pleaser, the words, "Some people won't love you," are not at all easy to hear. In fact it can take years of healing and growth to be able to read those words without a physiological response such as my "pit" or even a small bit of nausea. The thought of there being people out there who don't love (or even like) me isn't fun AT ALL!
It's not fun because I really just want to be loved. Because I really want to be understood. I want to be accepted. I want to be connected. I want to be affirmed. Approved. Validated. Enjoyed. Don't you?
It's not wrong to want these things. It's just wrong to NEED them... from people.
When we don't get something we NEED, we get sick. Without water, my body will get sick. Without food, my body will get sick. Without affirmation, my heart will get sick. Without love...heartsick.
Why can't we expect to get these things from people? Well...
- People are broken: For me to expect someone who is also hurting and dealing with his or her own daily issues to be perfectly able to affirm and love me is just silly.
- People fail: Even the most well-meaning, highly educated, incredibly spiritual people blow it. Heck...if I take my eyes off others and put them on myself I don't have to look far to see that I fail all the time. I don't always say what I should. I don't always call when I should. And if you include what I think about...yeah, I can seriously blow it.
- People are limited: People aren't up all night or around me every second of the day, and I have my needs ALL THE TIME. I feel sorry for the person who actually could meet my needs. Ugh.
Even though I know these things, sometimes I foolishly hold out hope that maybe there is a way for me to get all people at all times to like me. If I only alter my behavior just a wee bit. If I move to the left a little more. If I dance just the right way. Maybe, just maybe they will like me this time. Maybe they'll want to hang out with me...invite me...enjoy me.
But it's futile. Not all people are going to love me. And if I keep holding out hope that they will, my heart will remain sick.
The remedy? God! God is the only One who can perfectly meet our needs. Listen to this:
- He promises never to leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
- He promises to always, always love you. (Jeremiah 31:3)
- He wants you to be a part of His plan. (Ephesians 2:10)
- He thinks about you all the time. (Psalm 40:5)
- He promises to meet ALL your needs. (Philippians 4:19)
- He's not giving up on you ever. (Philippians 1:6)
These truths equal freedom from that stomach pit...and freedom from falling into a pit of depression, anxiety, and despair. We need to repeat these verses over and over. I think it is even okay to say that we should obsess on them!
Before I end though, I do want to say something about that last part of the image quote: "Some people WILL love you..." Oh, that is such good news. No, not everyone will love me, but some people will...and those people are a gift - straight from the heart of that very God who wants to meet all my needs. He blesses us with great people in our lives - often times our parents, children, or siblings - who put up with us no matter what; who are willing to watch us blow it over and over again yet still find the beauty and treasure within us.
The older I get the more thankful I am for those people who hang in there with me. Like I mentioned before... I can be quite the goober, and I am constantly in need of grace. Which reminds me of one last scripture:
Matthew 19:19: Honor your father and mother, and...you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
With that in mind, I'll end with this statement: I know that not everyone loves me, and that's okay. Because God does. And...if you're one of the folks who don't love me, I extend to you the very grace I so desperately need:)