How hard is it to love someone else when you are not able to love yourself? How hard is it to receive the love someone else has for you when you are not able to receive love or even respect from yourself? If you see yourself as being unworthy of love, how then would you recognise the love someone else has for you as love and not as something they pretend to have in order to meet some unmet need that you believe they must have?
We all long for love, we all long for relationship even if we say we don’t because we are wired that way. Even the introvert who dwells at the utmost end of the introvert-extrovert spectrum longs for relationship with at least one other. We long for people to see us and we long for people to notice us and we long for people to acknowledge us and we long for people to acknowledge that we are significant and we long for people to love us.
I think that many of our trust issues with the love that others have for us and the relationships they want to have with us often stem from our own inability to love ourselves and be with ourselves. We carry within our spirits something that has convinced us that we are not worthy of love, something that has convinced us that we are broken and so we convince ourselves that we will only be loved if we hide our brokenness and pretend everything is fine. If in our conversations and arguments our family of origin is perfect, then this might be a sign that we are running these scripts within our spirits because no one is perfect and no one comes out of their family of origin unscathed. In emotionally volatile moments though, those dark corridors and hidden rooms are aired to the world as the scripts that have been written in our codes appear in our words and in our actions.
I think that when the question “why do you love me?” is asked, it is an indication that we need to feel validated for something specific because we cannot imagine we could be loved just because we are loved. If you need a reason for someone to love you, then do you really love yourself? God does not love us because of who we are; God loves us because of who God is. We do not love others because of who they are; we love others because of who we are. I am free to love you because I recognise the value that I have in God and if I am loved by God then I am free to love myself even though I carry within my soul the scars of life. If I need a specific action or behaviour from you before I love you, then is it really love? Your behaviour might determine whether I would want to be with you, but my love for you is determined by who I am. I can love you even if I believe that the most loving thing I can do for both of us is not be with you.
The scripts that we have written for ourselves cannot be true because that is not the scripts that God has written for us. Jesus sees, notices, acknowledges and acknowledges as significant the Samaritan women at the well and He does this even though He knows what lurks within the corridors of her soul. He sees the scripts and loves her regardless. He loves because of who He is and the moment in which she receives that love Christ is able to begin re-writing the scripts she was created with in her spirit and she is set free to love herself and to love others. Holy Spirit, please help us love ourselves perfectly so that we may love others perfectly.