The last couple of weeks have been a journey in discovering who I am. There is this flaw that I have where when life is hard, I shut it away and put it in a box. If my life were a story written out on the pages of a book, imagine that and take out all the conflict and hardships. Have you ever read about a story where there is no conflict or hardship? It’s a boring one isn’t it? And a story like that doesn’t have much to it. Because without hardship we don’t have growth, we don’t have depth, we don’t build character. So by me choosing to erase what is hard from my life, my story is just a book of blank pages. It’s no wonder I have a hard time telling my story, NO WONDER I feel like I have no story. What a lie from the enemy, I do have a story, dangit. I’ve just been to afraid to own it.
A part of my discovery process has been seeing how I give love and receive it.
How I give love:
I am the type of person that gives everything. My parents showed me this type of love because they lavished it onto me growing up. The love I give is sacrifice. It is putting my own needs aside in order for me to hear about someone else’s. This is faulty sometimes, because I end up not sharing my own life and now I have a huge issue with vulnerability (working on it).
If you know me, I am the type of person that showers another person with questions about their life. “How are you? How did this go? What happened to that situation? How is your heart? What’s happening in your life? Tell me more about that. ETC.” I love asking people about themselves. From experience, it makes a person feel so seen and cared for. Creating a space where a person can tell me their story is something I strive to do well, because I want everyone to feel seen and important, because everyone is. There is not one person I’ve met who is not important (something The Doctor had once wisely said). I think it’s why I also naturally show love through physical touch. Even if it’s just a tap on the shoulder or a short hug or a high five, I’m there doing it. I don’t know, to me it’s just a grounded way of telling someone “hi, I see you, and I acknowledge your presence here”.
I also show love with gifts, and I’m pretty sure I got this from my mom. If I see something and I think of someone else, I’ll try to get it for them. It’s just a way of saying, “I was thinking of you”.
But the way I want to love better is through however a person receives love the best. My ultimate goal is to learn how a person loves to be loved, and shower them in that. I have two girl friends who need words of affirmation, and though I’m not very good at that, I will make a conscious effort to do so because I want them to know that I care for them deeply. My best friend needs to be reminded that she is worthy and loved on a regular basis, and she also needs to be reminded that what she feels is valid and that I will never tire of hearing about her life. So I do it. My mom needs my time, and even when I don’t want to give it I try; because to her, love is time and sacrifice.
I feel that this is the best way I can love because it forces me to get out of my comfort zone and it grows me as a person. It also forces me to get out of the little box that that love language quiz has placed me in. I am a human, and I have the ability to love well in various ways. You cannot box care up. Caring for someone should be an ever-evolving thing depending on who you are with, because everyone is unique and different. I feel as a child of the God who carefully crafted every single person on this earth, I should to learn to honor that.
How I receive love:
Quality time. 100% quality time. Like my mom, I believe love looks like time and sacrifice. And if you care for someone, wouldn’t you want to be around them often anyway? I’m not a needy person, I don’t want to be spoiled and take a person’s affection all for myself. I just want to know that I am wanted in someone’s life (especially if the goal is to BE in their life for a long time, right?).
I’m not asking for one-on-ones all the time. I’m asking for permission to be there when you’re simply doing life. This goes for everyone, so just let me be there for you. Let me be silent beside you. I’m not asking for your attention, I’m not asking for entertainment… I’m asking for YOU, and your heart. I understand space is important, and I NEED space as an only child whose whole life has been defined by large amounts of space. But if I feel like I’m not a part of a person’s life, then I don’t feel like I am being cared for.
The other thing… I feel so loved when someone gets to know me. In the same way I ask questions of people, I love it when people do the same for me. The other day I met with a friend who I hadn’t seen in 4 years and when I asked him about his summer he said, “whoa whoa wait, I want to hear about you first”. The conversation from there was so great. He kept asking me questions, but also spoke well when I asked him questions. Honestly I felt so seen and cared for during that time. I understand that not everyone is capable of being an eloquent conversationalist, but to me it’s the effort that means the most to me.
Is this crazy? Is this too much to ask? It might be… I don’t know. But in this journey of processing who I am as a person, this is what I’ve found I’ve needed. Is it spoiled for me to desire this? To think this is what I deserve? I don’t know I DON’T KNOW. I’m still processing.
Ugh sorry for how messy this is.
-Soli Deo Gloria