We’re needy people. I know I am. Needy in that I need to know I am loved.
I believe everyone, no matter what they might say to the contrary, wants to know they’re loved…wants to feel loved.
But, sometimes my frustrations work overtime. In some moments or seasons I don’t feel loved. Cognitively, I know I am loved. But it’s that feeling part that gets in the way. The feeling tries to talk me out of the knowledge that I am, indeed, loved…loved by my husband…loved by my family…loved by my friends…loved by God.
My feelings get in the way of the indisputable truth that I am, indeed, loved.
I think that holds true for all of us.
We think we risk losing love. And in all reality, because I’m talking about humans here (not God), that’s possible.
I think God knew long ago that feeling loved might be an issue. And I believed He tackled the issue head on.
I believe God loves us so much that He wants nothing to separate us from Him. He believes the best in us…despite our shortcomings, failures, imperfections and doubts. He believes the best in us so much that He made those shortcomings, failures, imperfections and doubts disappear…they’re gone as far as the east is from the west. Even if we still see them. God doesn’t. He only sees the best. He made a decision long ago to make sure that He only sees the best in us. And he keeps giving out love.
What does that have to do with feeling loved by our significant others? Our closest friends? Our families?
Well, if God’s love lives inside of us, then it is a love that believes the best…a love that gives out even more love.
All too often we forget both of those truths.
We assume that our families no longer care. We assume that our significant other is mad at us. We assume that a friend has replaced us with someone else.
If those are the things we dwell upon, are we believing the best in people?
If those are the things we dwell upon, are we focused too much on ourselves instead of letting God’s love exude from us into the lives of others?
I’m not saying the feelings aren’t real. Because they are. Frankly, I’ve felt them all…often…and they reappear all of the time.
But feeling sorry for ourselves doesn’t help anything.
When I stop the love flow to others based upon my fears, assumptions or frustrations, it only makes me feel awful…feel lonely…feel depressed. In focusing upon myself, I forget that they might be overwhelmed, they might be busy, they might be dealing with stuff, they might be tired, they might be absent-minded, they might be feeling the same “unloved” feelings I’m dealing with, or maybe they really are frustrated with me…but it doesn’t change that love believes the best…and it doesn’t change the fact that love gives.
The thing is…when I realize the self-pity ridiculousness that is going on in my head…and I force myself to stop and believe the best in those people…and to let love flow…I forget about the feelings, and I feel fulfilled. And, almost simultaneously, I feel loved…not because the love is always returned to me…but because love is operating in me…and that’s when I feel loved by a being much bigger than I can imagine.
Love exists to be given away…as we believe the best in one another.
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, The Message)