Love On An Empty Stomach.

Someone told me today that he “loved the idea of love” but that to love someone for an entire lifespan was “a ridiculous notion.” Let me just say that my heart hurts for this guy. I then schooled him on how love was easy and how it was getting past our own selfish expectations of the other person(s) that was hard.

How is it that we have become so jaded? Why can’t we understand that love is the greatest gift given to us by a God that could give us anything He wanted? What is it that makes us so scared to be touched by another person’s light?

It’s actually pretty easy to figure out. We anticipate feelings and actions that we have experienced either earlier in this life or perhaps in a previous one. We keep repeating the same arduous, uncomfortable situations because we find it safer than venturing into a land of happiness and power. I mean, what does that land even look like? It makes me think of Moses and how he saved the Israelites but never got to see the promise land himself. We walk and obey, walk and obey, until finally as we reach our last stretch, we end up holding ourselves back for fear (or in Moses’ case disobedience) of actually getting exactly what we want.

This all came rushing to my mind as I spoke to this gentleman today. He is desperate for someone to love him and accept him as he is, yet he is so frightened of actually being himself that he doesn’t allow another person to love him that way. Well, I love him, but not in the way he would expect or accept.

He wants the movies. He wants poetry, but he doesn’t want to expose himself to hurt or vulnerability. As I walk this earth, I see that this is pretty common, and it is actually pretty heart wrenching. We all want to feel the sun so badly, yet we walk around with sunscreen on under a parasol.

I asked for love quite a few times in my life, just like everyone else. Nevertheless, like my friend, and like Moses’, I asked but would not open my heart to receive it. I actually did the opposite in trying to protect myself from the possibility that I could get hurt. I was dying of malnourishment, a starvation brought on by so many painful experiences. Yet, when it came time to eat, my mouth would not open. “It could be more poison,” I thought to myself. “I’d rather die this way than allow one more toxin into my system. “ Luckily, I found help, I found God, and I found great friends who have shown me that all it takes is the first bite from a kind, persistent person to start you on the road to a full stomach. With that trust you learn to keep nibbling away until you can finally feed yourself.

It sounds so cliché to say that you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else, but it’s true. It’s hard to give something you can’t even supply for yourself. Would a homeless person give a home to someone else before giving it to himself? Perhaps, but he would still be cold in the winter with frostbite, and hot in the summer with heat stroke.

Look in the mirror everyday and tell yourself “I love you,” no matter what you “think” you see staring back. Don’t let yourselves wither away because you can’t let love in. And when it presents itself to you, don’t push it away out of fear. It could be the very thing that saves your life. I should know, it continues to save mine. Hopefully, I can help to save others.

Love yourself, love others, and please don’t be afraid to ask for help. God put us here for a reason. We’re all we’ve got.

Love and light!

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