Click the play button above to listen or continue below to read…
You can’t turn on the television today or look at the newspaper without seeing the headlines on the war in Libya. A country in turmoil, turned against itself. Countless people suffering a terrible yet avoidable fate.
How did it get to this? Why does a country turn on itself and others in such a way that it positions its own people as well as the entire world against it?
How did we come to this state of war or “State of Hate” of “Unlove”? More importantly, how do we restore peace or “A State of Love”?
Perhaps the answer is by starting with restoring peace one person at a time; by becoming loveable.
There is a problem though. In our society today we have developed a stigma about truly being loveable. We have (consciously or unconsciously) created boundaries and barriers that protect us from external factors that may hurt us emotionally, thus disconnecting us from the possibility of being truly loveable.
My seventeen year old daughter recently returned from a retreat. When she returned she was wearing a button that read “I am Loveable”.
I thought it was perfect timing as well as cool. So I asked her, “What does it mean to be loveable?” She answered, “It is the ability to love and be loved.” A great answer indeed… as well as a missing ingredient in our society today.
As I began to ponder this statement, I couldn’t help but ask myself “Am I Loveable?”
I urge you to ask yourself the same question.
Well, are you?
You see, there are many times in our lives where we encounter negative emotional experiences. From the time we are children all the way through our adult years people let us down, hurt our feelings, make us feel unimportant, etc…
Have you ever been let down, hurt, been made to feel unimportant? Take a minute to think about what it FEELS like to be emotionally scarred, hurt, betrayed, let down, etc. Perhaps by an uncaring parent, an unfaithful companion, a backstabbing friend…
Most people would say that “it sucks…it’s the worst feeling ever…that they never want to feel like that ever again.”
I agree, and I think perhaps you do to. So what is the general result, or our reaction to an emotional let down? We tend to start building walls around ourselves. Walls for what? Walls to protect us from ever feeling that same emotional pain again.
A basic human instinct and drive for life is the increase of pleasure and decrease of pain. This is what motivates humans. As a result, we do anything in our power to protect ourselves from feeling pain, ultimately from being vulnerable to its immense power.
Little by little, from childhood all the way through adolescence, with each let down, with each disappointment, with each heartbreak, with each betrayal we tell ourselves… “I’ll never let that happen again”…”Nobody is ever going to hurt me like that again”…“How could I have been so dumb.”
Little by little we build new walls one by one with each occurrence until ultimately we end up with so many protective walls that our once loveable self is now completely governed by walls and protective “rules”.
We become our own medieval castle, complete with moat, archers, cannons etc…
Two dynamics occur. One, we become impenetrable from the outside, and two we secure ourselves in.
Securing yourself in while apparently safe, presents its own set of problems. Have you ever told yourself before, “I don’t need anyone, I can do this on my own” or perhaps “The only person I can count on is me.” You know what I’m talking about.
This can be a very dangerous place.
Now ask yourself these questions…
Have you ever let yourself down?
Have you hurt yourself?
Have you every broken your own promises or agreements?
Who is your worst critic?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Understand that once you’ve protected yourself from the outside, from others, you ultimately have only yourself to rely on. Unfortunately, you may find that relationship somewhat unfulfilling as well.
A double edged sword! Protected and secure from the outside, but locked and abandoned on the inside. What a mess.
So what do we do? How do we open up and still protect ourselves from being emotionally scarred?
Unfortunately I don’t think that we can. Everything is subject to the law of opposites. You can’t have one without the other. I’ve come to the conclusion that you must take the good with the bad.
So here’s a little step-by-step I came up with to help myself along the way…perhaps it will serve you along the way in your soul search…
- First consciously call this idea of “protecting yourself” to mind and accept it for what it is. Don’t judge yourself or others.
- Identify if and how you have protected yourself…and from what.
- Identify, in addition to the bad, what good you have blocked out in the process of protecting yourself. (Is it true love, trust, friendship, etc…)
- Decide whether or not you are willing to open up again and be vulnerable or pay the ultimate price/sacrifice of protecting yourself and not allowing great things to enter your life.
- Make a firm decision on what you really want and move on! (Don’t waver!)
In order to be truly loveable, you must be vulnerable. So you will ultimately have to make the decision. You will have to weigh the “risk/reward” quotient for either decision.
Are you willing to give up on love, trust and friendship so you never have a negative experience again?
Or are you willing to let in all the good, knowing that you might, yet again, find yourself in an unfortunate emotional circumstance?
The decision is only yours to make. And from personal experience with both, I think you will find option two much more rewarding.
Don’t suffer the same fate (on a personal level) as Libya. Be loveable.
Simply ask yourself…Am I willing to be loved again? Am I willing to trust again?
Ultimately ask…Am I willing to be loveable again?
Have a loveable day!