About Me

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Reflection: Love

Part of the reflection continues...
So I think I noted, that I have an issue with love. What kind of issue? well I don't actually know, I just know that love is not something that sits comfortably with me. Although I’m not sure I could even say what love is anyway?
In scriptural terms I look to 1 Corinthians 13 (that old fave...). Love is patient, love is kind… and so on. But patience is not something I have in abundance - with anyone - least of all those I profess to love. '...it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs...' I wish I could say I don't get angry, or that I don't keep a record of wrongs, but I have realised over the last few weeks that I do, I almost have an actual list. ‘She said that to me and that was so out of order...; how could he do that to me...?; why did she not spend time with me...?’ The list could go on and on. These are the things I need to let go of. Why is that we find it so hard to let go of this stuff? As I said yesterday it's not that I have had a particularly hard life, I have no right to be moaning about this, but yet its like these things are still clinging to me for dear life. Am I afraid of letting them go? Do I define myself by these things? What will I be like if I just let go of these things, these comments, statements, definitions? and How do I let go anyway? What am I on about? What definitions? what statements? Things like:
‘I think my mother didn't/doesn't love me’.

I can't ever remember her telling me she loves me and she never shows it in an obvious way. She is not tactile, she has even shied away from being kissed/hugged. She even says things like, 'oh I'm not getting that keen' when others are kissing goodbye. This has bothered me for years. Does she not want to kiss me? or hug me? Why not? For as long as I remember I have believed she doesn't love me. I can't remember when this belief began, I mean there must have been a moment when I realised that she hadn't ever told me and the more mature me now realises that I have probably made myself believe that she doesn’t love me, so that it has actually become a fact in my life. Actually I have no idea how she feels about me, which doesn’t mean that she doesn’t love me. The thing is because I have believed this so long, I am finding it very hard to let go of. Especially when she is still the same person.

So now I have my own issues with giving love. Does it stem from my relationship with my mother? I suppose any psych Dr would say yes, of that I am sure. But I don’t want to place blame at her door. I just want to suss out why I am the way I am so that I can deal with it.
So what are my issues?

1- I find it hard to feel love towards my mother as she has always pushed me away and never shown me any love.
2 - in my younger years I went through a fair few boyfriends. I feel like I was looking for love but replacing it with sex. Common problem I am sure. In fact not just with boys (not in that way...;) ) but I had a kind of surrogate mother - the mum of a friend, who is still a very close friend now, if not my closest. But even her I have felt let down by.
3 - I am now finding it very hard to 'mother' my oldest, to show her love. As a teenager she is difficult at times, to say the least, and I can almost see where my mum and I began to drift, but how do I avoid history repeating?
4 - My lovely husband. I know I love him. So much. I can't imagine life without him. He completes me. But I do not naturally show affection towards him and he is a person who needs reassurance in this way.
5 – Telling God I love Him is an issue I have written about before, but I just find it so hard. There have been times in worship where I have felt close enough to Him to tell Him, but generally, no. But I have no idea why. I mean I know in my heart I love Him, so why can’t I say it? This is the one that is really bugging me at the moment.

So what’s the common theme? Showing or displaying openly love for others I guess (athough there is an exception – my youngest 2 who I tell every day that I love them. Actually I do tell my oldest too, it’s not the fact that I can’t say it, I guess it’s about demonstrating it honestly.)

So where does this all stem from? Is it just from my Mums behaviour towards me? Interestingly I have really got to know my Nan well for the first time recently. And it turns out there is a real lack of nurturing loving mothers in my family for several generations, so I wonder if my own Mum had little in the way of a loving relationship from her parents? And if so, then it’s no wonder we struggle in our relationship. In fact it’s the same on both sides of my family. My Dads family is similar, so no one in my immediate family who I have known in my lifetime has had any experience of a really strong mothers love.

Neither of my parents had a particularly strong bond with other members of their family either. They don’t seem to value each other or show love towards each other.

Hmmm a picture is emerging... I've only really discovered all this recently but it does make me think, well no wonder I have issues with all this in my family!

So what this is really all about is that I don’t want to be like that. I love my kids and my husband and I want to be able to show them. I don’t want them to feel about me, like I do about my Mum when they are older. I want to nurture a real love inside them. I want to be able to stand before my God and tell Him how much I love Him.

1 Corinthians 13 shows me that God is love. So without God in our lives could we have ever had real love in us? Could my Mum, or her Mum? Is that what this is all about?

I need to break the cycle of my family. Only I can do that.


Anonymous said...

I can relate completely except it was the relationship with my dad instead. My dad recently passed. I had this whole picture in my head that before he passed he would say he was sorry (for not telling me he loved me, among other things), we would talk, and all would be well. It did not happen and now I feel worse.

My biggest prayer is to love others like God does but I do not do well because of this same issues.

I have good friends and have heard stories of others having experiences in God's love where they feel overwhelming waves of love wash over them. I believe it, but it frustrates me more as well, because I keep asking to feel more loved and have yet to receive.

For now, I rest in the truth of the Word. I am loved and He wants to complete in me the good work He has begun. I keep asking and hoping one day He will open that door to me. I realize my emotions are not good barometers of what reality is and I try to stay hopeful.

I pray God brings you healing and understanding in this area. If you think of me, would you pray that for me as well. I think this is really a big issue for many Christians.

margaretkiaora said...

You have made the start of a healing Journey. You are not alone on this now having shared with us your i-friends.(Who will pray)
I am much older than you, and when my faith first came alive as yours has done the healing started. Everytime you recognize a healing need -just give it to God. My younger sister says 'take captive every thought'(2 Cor 10).(All 3 of us sisters have been dealing with our upbringing , and words that hurt us) Most of my healing needs stem from my relationship with my mother too(who is 90). I now recognize when to give God the thoughts. Just tell the Lord, dont worry if you cry, He will take you thro it. Dont go looking to keep digging up what He does for you. I have found the books of Mary Pytches helpful here. But it is the Holy Spirit who will nudge you to recognize times to let Him deal with something, layer by layer (like an onion). You are going to be a priest, and all that God is doing with you now, and onward will give you such insight as you minister to others. We are all different, but in Christ all the same , 'a work in progress'. XX

Red said...

Thank you both, for your prayers and kind words, I will pray for you both too :)
God thinker, I can totally emphatise - I hear of others talking about real spiritual experiences of 'feeling' Gods love and feel frankly, jealous! and wondering when God will work in me like that.
Margaret whats you said about not going looking to dig stuff up spoke to me as this is what I seem to be doing right now!
Thanks again, virtual hugs to you both.

The Oxford Christian said...

Hi Red, So glad to have discovered your blog today via Lesley.

What you describe is somewhat similar to my story,and like you I am still in process.

I would add that it's not easy to break learned and almost unconscious cycles on your own. So I would amend your last line to "Only I and God can do that."

Because we cannot change our own hearts, or change the unconscious ways our behaviour has been programmed--especially when we ourselves are not aware why we are acting as we are.

So we just need the promises of the New Covenant, the new heart, and the new spirit.
Love and blessings,

Red said...

Thanks Anita, perfect words. I had a peak at your blog too via Lesley. Good to see some other Christian women out there :)
red x