Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Unlovable

Every so often I go through a day or two of feeling unlovable. Or, perhaps, it would be more accurate to say that every so often I realise just how much I feel unlovable.

If you're reading this and you're someone I know, chances are that at one point or another I have wondered why you can't love me. (Unless you're my parents... my parents have never given me reason to doubt their love for me... but I have a feeling that has more to do with them than it does with me.) But anyone else, why can't you love me?

Now, at this point, I feel fairly confident that you are having one of two reactions. Either you are mentally listing off the reasons why you can't love me. Or you are pitying me for feeling unlovable because it's not true.

I ask myself why I feel unlovable, and I have a good idea that this is one of those self-fulfilling prophecies. If I believe I am unlovable, I am unlovable. Yes, I suppose I do push people away. For a long time I had to keep people at arm's length because it hurt too much to draw near and then sever ties. Actually, I write that in the past tense, but this still describes most of my friendships. I didn't want to love because I didn't want to feel guilty for walking, as I inevitably would. And now I've forgotten how to draw near.

But I think there's something else that I fear. As any true introvert might, I'm realising that I am actually scared of people. I am passionate about people and care for humanity, and I'm a sociologist who has made a career of people, but even so I'm scared. I know my little corner and I like my little corner. I like the predictability of my space and I like having time to sit by myself. People distract me from time spent by myself. I love people, too, but I'm scared of losing that little bit of comfort, the only comfort I've been able to count on for quite a while. My introverted comfort. Well, that and West Wing.

So I find myself refusing to love, even when I don't mean to. And so I seem to be unlovable.

I wonder how many other women struggle with feeling unlovable. I'd venture to guess that a lot of us do, even if for different reasons.

I wonder how many men struggle with feeling unlovable. I can't help but suspect not as many.

Since my last post was about rejecting the lies in our lives, I do want to say here that I acknowledge the lie inherent behind what I've written just now. But I don't yet have a truth to counteract it. And if anyone is reading this, and wants to say that the Truth is that God loves me, then I will reply by saying that that tells us a lot more about God than it does about me. And if that's just the way it is, then maybe I just need to accept my unlovable-ness for what it is.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I'm back!

CulturTwined is still going strong and is where I'm focusing my efforts, but I've felt the need to be a little more contemplative in my writing than I have in the past. A good friend has always been telling me to have an "open heart", something that in theory I think I have, but in practice I know I don't. I'm open to the idea of having an open heart, and I want to be open, but the reality is that the life I've lived has taught me to shut down.

So I'm going to attempt a deeper level of introspection, of self-analysis, here. It's a little scary to consider... I've always worked pretty hard to not bare too much to the world in these parts. But I feel like God has convicted me about starting to slowly pick away at my defenses, and this is the best place I know to start. So I don't know how this is going to pan out, I have no idea how often I'll be posting here or what I'll be writing about, and I don't necessarily expect anyone to read it - after all, who wants to read the self-examination of another human being? But I'm declaring myself "back" - to myself, anyway.

And see? Here is where I'm stuck. The message at church tonight really convicted me about something in my life: it was about acknowledging the Truth of God in our lives and challenging the Lies we tell ourselves. The preacher-lady gave several examples from her own life of how this plays out and, I can't remember which of her stories sparked it, but I realised that I'm dealing with a lie in my life. She said something about the opposite of faith being fear. Faith obviously equating with Truth, with Fear obviously equating with Lies.

Because just earlier today I was thinking about how scared I am of things that I really want. So then I begin to question whether I really want them - how can I want something when I fear it? And therein lies the lie: it's actually not a question of whether I want it or not, maybe I do and maybe I don't. But God has promised me what he's promised me, and I have to have faith that he's going to do what what he promised, without fear - regardless of my own desires which, to be fair, I don't even understand.

So that's my lesson for today. Have faith, learn how to let the faith defeat the fear. Believe the promise and stop wondering whether I want to or not, because the Truth is the Promise, not my desire. The fact I need to want it is the Lie. And then God will do what he'll do.

But it goes a bit further than this, to be fair... if I don't learn how to do the above, then there's no reason to expect God's promises to come true, is there? Which may be what I want, but it shouldn't be, should it?

Was this ridiculously cryptic? Probably. I'm not very good at this open-heart thing.