It’s generally very difficult for me to let go of people, even when they are unkind to me, but in this case refusing to do so would have destroyed me because it involved someone who nearly did that very thing.
I spent a long time thinking that I had to pay a penance of misery for every scrap of love and affection I received, and that feelings of inadequacy ninety percent of the time were just the price necessitated by the other ten percent of time being occupied by grand gestures. My idea of love was not just unrealistic…it was unhealthy. I existed in a world where I was constantly given the mantra- “You are lucky to be with me. You must earn me. You must give me a reason not to spend my time with someone better.” But when this is the attitude you are made to contend with, you’re already losing. There is no way I could ever have been good enough.
Leaving felt like failing. It took a long time for me to recognize it as the true liberation that it was. And when I was suddenly offered everything my idea of love wasn’t, I didn’t know how to accept it. I had to learn how to be loved, and it freed me to love just for the joy of loving, without fear.
I’m finally beginning to learn that people who really love you WILL LOVE YOU. Actively. They will never ask you to simply believe it, because they will demonstrate it so that you will never have to question it. And you will not feel the need to slave to earn some affection in return….you will exist in a constant state of reciprocation, each loving the other continually.
Do any of us deserve this? No. But Jesus gave it to us first, that we might in turn learn to give it to each other. There is no good reason for holding back the most beautiful thing we can offer!
I love unapologetically. I have earned my overly romantic photographs, my decidedly saccharine posts, and my long-winded blissful recollections. And I have had love withheld from me too often to keep it from others. I am quick to compliment, quick to hug, quick to text and tweet and Facebook post with smiley faces and hearts.
We are all equally undeserving of the love Christ gives us, and equally desperate for the love we can give each other.
It really is all you need.
(Happy Monthiversary, Adam <3)