Love the Person You Are and Hate the
Person You’ve Been
Did you know that
love is a choice? We choose to love or not to love.
It's that simple. But I believe the non-loving choice is not our
"true selves." The non-loving self is absorbed in anger,
judgment, resentment, and all kinds of things that we allow to control
how we love.
We haven't let go
of past hurts. These hurts control who we are and how we react to people
around us. The bottle controls an alcoholic and a hurting person is
controlled by resentment.
My husband used
to tell me, “I love you, but I don’t love the disease.” What he
meant was that he loved me for who I really was, not the alcoholic.
The alcoholic in
me couldn’t love either. I was selfish and cold. I couldn’t give of
myself to my husband because I was too needy living inside of my
addiction. My thinking was distorted to the point that I actually
thought that it was him who needed to give more of himself to me! Boy
was I way out in left field, and blind to boot.
In essence, this
is how we allow feelings and thoughts to control how we will love, and
when we will love. The person who is controlled by their feelings is
unable to fully love another person. Unfortunately so, many of us are
restricted from ever loving properly because of negative feelings. This
is why I stress how important it is to watch out for what we allow into
our hearts and minds!
In marriage, some
of us are incapable of giving any love until we decide to give up our
position that our way is the right way, and the only way! Feelings make
us see things in our spouse that causes us to scrutinize the person they
are. But folks, trying to dissect our spouse’s feelings and experience
them as our own doesn't help the love process.
Most couples when
they profess to love each other, it is what they imagine them to be, not
what they are. This is phony love and phony self. It's not real.
On the flip side
of the coin, we shouldn't change to be what our spouse wants us to be.
If we do that, we’ll become a clone of who they are, how boring!
If we change to
be just what our spouse wants then we have become a people pleaser.
Well, let me tell you this. People pleasers are the biggest resentment
protectors in the world.
We should change
to be what we really are. Our ability for love and to love is much
greater then we allow. We are afraid to be ourselves so much that we
strive to be what our spouse wants from us, even when deep down that is
not what we want or need.
When we don’t
forgive what happens? Unforgiveness causes shame,
guilt and anger, and we become emotionally overstressed with our spouse,
which limits our own "love capacity" to be what God intended
for it to be. Well in all reality, a person never really forgets, but
they can forgive.
I fully believe
that what we “generate into our heart will come out in our
actions." Our capacity to love is how true we are to ourselves. We
certainly aren't very true to ourselves or to God when we are unable to
forgive our spouse.
You see, it
doesn’t really matter what others think of us, what does matter is
what we think of our self.
And when you have forgiven completely all of the people you need to forgive, you can finally be free to love the person you are, and hate the person you’ve been.
1. If love is a choice, are you choosing to love or not to love now?
2. How can we truly love others in the ways God wants us to love?
3. On a scale from one to ten, how much do you value yourself for who you are?
4. Name five things you can do that would help you to love and value yourself more?
5. Do you think that when we value the person we are we can love others unconditionally? How come?
Did you like this article? To find out more about loving ourselves and loving others, read my book Journey on the Roads Less Traveled. It will take you on a spiritual journey about overcoming alcoholism, resentment, anger, unbelief, and finding God.