Tuesday, November 29, 2011


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.


HopeUnbroken said...

i know the struggle. but i don't have the answer.
i do try to get my mind around the fact that i have been created in His image. . . which says equal parts about me and Him. and perhaps that is where i find why and how i am lovable. even when i don't think i am.

Brandee Shafer said...

I have moments when the enemy tries to convince me that everyone hates me. As an extrovert, this is usually when I feel either rejected altogether in my reaching toward someone...or when I am clearly someone's second or third (or fourteenth!) choice. I like to be the favorite, which is something with which I struggle because I'm the favorite less often than I'm not the favorite. (Hello! No one can be everyone's favorite!) I saw a t-shirt, once, that said: "I'm God's Favorite." That made me laugh and laugh, since I do feel totally secure in God's love. I wonder if it brings you comfort that--in your withdrawing to your little corner--you've probably made tons and tons of extroverts (each of whom wanted to be your favorite) feel unlovable. :) I think everyone struggles w/ feeling unlovable, at times, for all different kinds of reasons.

Marie said...

I hadn't visited this blog site for quite a while, thinking you'd not be posting here anymore. It was good to read your last three blogs as a trio.

You really got me thinking about what it means to feel "lovable." If to love another person is indeed as much about doing as it is about feeling something for him/her(and some would say love is much more about actions than emotions), what does that say about your feeling that people cannot/do not love you? Is it that they cannot/do not want to do things for or with you? Or that you are not worth receiving their actions?

Or is it that you are not noticed (such that people do not direct their actions to you because you are "invisible" to them)? Or have you hurt them in the past and they no longer want to act on your behalf?

Once you have rested a bit, you might start at the end of this litany of questions and work your way back. If you have hurt someone by your words or actions, apologize and make amends. You will feel less unlovable. If you have not been "seen" by others, take some actions steps of love toward them. Show them attention and kindness. This too will undermine those feelings of being unlovable.

Loving others actively may take away power from that lie your heart is whispering to you in your weariness.

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