Hello My Friend!
It is a shame that some people continue to struggle with this. “Am I lovable, are you lovable?” We think that people must earn our love and if they don’t we are exempt from loving them on the basis that they are just not lovable. Equally sad, with deeper consequences is when we apply this thinking to our self. “I’m just not lovable, so I will let others treat me badly and I will even treat myself with contempt and sabotage.”
This is truly a shame. The fact is we are inherently lovable…made by God to be love, give love and be loved. We seem to “know” this when we’re born and into childhood…we live each moment with the full expectation that our needs will be met and that the world revolves around us and our needs. As a sponge for love and affection, we reflect what we receive; giving it as we get it. Until we’re told otherwise we have a certain kind of confidence about being lovable. Of course we’re told about this in ways beyond words. We’re told with actions, affection, body language and in what is left unsaid and undone.
As we grow, being lovable becomes less and less of a given. It becomes something to earn, or not. Something we deserve, or not.
We begin to feel justified about picking and choosing our “loved ones” on the basis of their behaviors and character traits instead of loving everyone “just because.”Just because they are lovable, just because we choose love in all we do and just because it is right. God says:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34-35
When I come upon folks who are harder to love because of this or that reason, I see it as an opportunity for personal growth. Not loving someone is a statement about my own emotional and spiritual immaturity. Now of course loving a person does not always mean I like their choices or character traits. I can love you and not like your behaviors.
Loving you means, to me, that I see you as a fellow human being with your own history, issues and baggage and I will forgive you, pray for you and help you however I can because I want to, not because I’m forced to do so. Loving people I’ve never met in far-off places in the world keeps me connected to all of life, not just my little section of the earth. It keeps me humble. This grows my love muscle and my capacity for receiving and giving love.
I recognize you may see it differently and that’s OK, as I love you anyway.
But if you would like to love the “unlovable” try these 3 steps: [the RSS of Loving!]
Step 1: Restate the obvious. Decide that there are no “unlovables.” Say instead, “I am learning to love and the more I love those who represent a challenge, the deeper and stronger my love will be.”
Step 2: Step into the shoes of the person who represents a growing opportunity. See the world from where they stand. Seek to understand where they are coming from; how they have come to have the attitudes and behaviors they have.
Step 3: Search yourself for what it is about this person that resonates somewhere in your soul. We tend to find disagreeable in other what is unsettled in our own emotions and psyche. Seek and see the opportunity for personal growth and grab it.
The ability to successfully take these 3 steps is connected to your own perception of yourself. Do you feel and accept your own “lovableness”? If no, seeing others as lovable will be ‘hit and miss.’ Those who don’t offend your sense of who you are will be lovable; those who do will threaten your precariously perched sense of self and you will find them unlovable.
I encourage you to see yourself as inherently lovable. You don’t earn it, you just are it.
If we see ourselves as lovable, we will behave in a way commensurate with that belief; both in terms of how we give love and how we receive love.
So accept what is…you are lovable and we all are lovable right along with you!
Wishing you an abundance of LOVE,