Listen up. I’m going to be completely transparent here.
I give up far too easily.
Not in all things, but in things I’m not familiar with or things that aren’t set in stone and especially in matters of the heart. Its as if I count myself down and out before the game has already begun. It usually goes like this: I like a guy, I smile a LOT, start to get to know him, doubt settles, I start to pull away which leaves the guy wondering “what just happened?”, then I deny I even had any feelings in the first place. Its immensely frustrating. Why I do this I haven’t been able to pin down until recently. So here is what God has shown me about myself and for people in general. I’m sure I’m not the only one who goes through a cycle of self sabotage and it could come from a couple different places.
1. The “Mom” effect
I have always been the “mom” or “older sister” in most of my groups of friends. I’m the one listening to the problems of others, offering advice, celebrating when things go well, and making sure everyone feels valued. The thing is, when it come to men, I always put everyone else and their feelings before my own. If they had the slightest attraction towards someone, I would negate my feelings and put my all into them. I used to think this was selflessness. I now know that its more like avoidance. I would take myself out of the equation to avoid facing what my heart might really be saying to me and justified that with a Mother Teresa-like attitude. Putting your feelings first doesn’t make you selfish. It makes you human and helps others connect with you.
2. Tough Love or should I say Tough to Love
Now I don’t mean the tough love that comes from friends and family when they hold you accountable. I mean keeping yourself so guarded its impossible for people to approach you. I know for a fact that I will not be one of those people who locks eyes with a guy and knows they will be my future husband. I’m pretty sure God agrees with me on this too. Either that or I’m one glance away from making myself into a bold-faced lair. I know this because in every aspect in my life it takes me a while get to know people. I have no problem being nice and friendly but really digging into who I am and what I think about is always a process for me. Its just how I work.That being said, I find that sometimes I make myself less available which makes it harder for people to get to know me. This is not guarding your heart, its stupidity. If you think you can build a wall and avoid having real relationships with the opposite sex, whether romantic or not, you are deluded. You’re going to have to drop your guard someday.
3. The Measure-upper
I kinda want to camp out here and work this one out a little more than the others because God has taught me so much in this. I’ve written countless times about being enough and being all that you are but somehow the concept of worth has never been more clear to me than now. I must admit that there are times when I will just give up on a potential relationship because I don’t think I measure up. I don’t think I’m pretty enough or skinny enough or personable enough, etc. For what ever reason I count myself out and pull away from whomever it is that I’m interested in. Because of who God has made me and my personality, being able to do or be enough has always been important to me. But this is the truth that I have come to know, embrace, and believe. I have serious, unsurpassed, intrinsic value, apart from any relationship, job or status, simply because I was made in the image and likeness of God. And He made sure I knew it on the first page of His book. I am already worthy. And because of that getting to know someone shouldn’t detract from my meter, it can only add to what is already there. I know I write about this a lot but I need you to understand the freedom that comes from believing and living this out. All that pressure to say the right things or act the right way disappears when you understand who you are. It gives you perspective. Its alright to let some guy know you like them. Its okay to think about yourself first. Its okay because none of that can take away from the fact that you are worth the risk. Even God thinks so.
And so here is where I want to leave you with this because, in all honesty, I am a child in this. I am completely confident in other areas in my life but in this I need help. If you are a girl or guy, (btw sorry this has been mostly girl oriented) find yourself a Naomi. You know the wise woman who told Ruth to sleep at the feet of Boaz? Find yourself someone who you can speak freely about your love life with and have them advise you and whether to stay in the game or draw back. Usually their perspective is a little more valid. Don’t discount yourself for any of the reasons I’ve just mentioned. Know with all your soul that you are priceless. Most of all don’t give up. Stay in the game and don’t give up.