“We humans find our highest intention when we are moved by love.” – Erwin Raphael McManus
It’s so true – there’s a positive correlation between the things I love and the time I find myself having to pursue it. When I’m inspired to write a song, or even a blog, I don’t care whether it’s 3AM and I have work the next day; I will keep on doing it because I am motivated and I have such a great love for it.
I find that this is also true with my love for people and individuals, too.
Sometimes, I get hurt when people don’t have time for me. After all, the thought I have is that if they truly love me, then time would be made, right? And I go back and forth with feeling so selfish about it. I start to think, who am I to demand time or demand attention? What makes me worthy? Friendships aren’t supposed to keep score. I should be grateful with any time spent at all! Right? …But it makes me feel like I’m not worth the intention. Then my brain goes deeper: it starts to make me feel like I’m not worth their intention and their love that intention represents.
I have a tendency to over-give, well past my reserves. It happens especially when I start loving people. But I realize that when I do, it’s because the force of love motivating me to do so far outpaces the actual resources I have. I often realize too late that I’m empty, and I’m left with a sadness and desperation that, sometimes, I have no idea how to deal with. That’s when I start shutting down, feel sorry for myself, and close myself off to the world and friends around me. No one cares about me, I think. They don’t care about you, they probably never did, and you were stupid for even trying to help. I know it’s a lie, absolutely. But my world gets so twisted up inside and I feel like I don’t deserve to get recharged. I start feeling like a hypocrite and a fraud, touting to others to “know your worth” and “embrace the way God made you,” only to be so far away from believing that stuff about myself. I realized that those are dangerous thoughts, and a precarious place to be.
So I’m slowly learning to never give love beyond the love you have for yourself.
See, a thought occurred to me. If to show love is to show intention, why didn’t I have the intention to love myself? Then it hit me: when we truly start to love ourselves, we will start moving with intention toward finding the healing we need. It starts with us – a love for ourselves. That’s where we find the capacity to love others. That’s where we get recharged. That’s when we start gaining self-respect and self-confidence. That’s when we say no and cut ties from the caustic relationships that bring us down. That’s when we start honoring our bodies. That’s when we start making our lives matter. See, when we embrace the way God made us, and truly thank Him for the life that He gave us, and when we start to live in the limitless love God has for us… we get filled. And the outflow of that space becomes our intention and expression of love and quality time toward others.
If we are to have any healthy relationship with others, we need to be intentional about fixing the relationship we have with ourselves first. That only comes from us first declaring the truth that we are worthy of love. So when we are hurt, we need to move with intention toward healing. That move can only be motivated by a love for our self. Guard your heart, so you can consistently be the person you need to be for the hurting people you are trying to reach. Learning to love beyond ourselves is impossible, unless our source of love comes from God. But God fills us up first, and uses our hands, mouth, words, and feet to move on His behalf and pour out those blessings onto others. If we are to be good and useful buckets of God’s favor and grace, we need to make sure we’re clean and free of holes.
So love yourself. It’s so important, and the first step toward healing.
Also, please check out MosaicLA’s podcast on having Intention, spoken by Erwin McManus: