You won’t have to fight with them to be in your life. You will have to fight with them to come out of your life! But why would you though?
As someone who suffered with low self esteem, codependency, people pleasing, low self image, imposter syndrome, and everything else that you can imagine, I have spent a good bit of my existence chasing attention and love. It wasn’t that I didn’t deserve it but I didn’t think I deserved it, I couldn’t receive it and I wouldn’t have recognized it even if it was presented to me. I also spent a lot of time chasing the love that I gave so freely to others. I wanted so desperately to be loved by certain people and I lived in denial about their desire or ability to love me in return. I got to the point where I gave up on ever being loved in the way I truly desired to be loved. It was almost as if, if they didn’t love me then I was unlovable and no one else could love me. I was willing to settle with whatever I got as long as certain other goals were attained and there was stability in my life. Maybe I just won’t be loved in that way. Maybe I wasn’t meant to be loved in that way. Maybe I didn’t know what real love, platonic and romantic, looked like and maybe I was asking too much out of people.
However, all the while God would put people in my life and I’d acknowledge and receive their love but still hungered for a certain set of people to love me. Also, because I was so accustomed to not being loved how I needed to be loved, I resisted it when others tried to give that love to me. I felt like it would come with strings attached and I have been hurt enough in life to not want any obligations. And yes these people love me but what about the others who didn’t? The ones that I loved so much and just wanted them to love me in return. Consequently, at the beginning of 2022 I decided to give myself the love that I was looking for in others. I told myself stop looking for love from “those people” or from people period and love yourself Gaye-Leon.
And that worked and is still working. I have discovered that my ability to love others is enhanced by my working on my own self love, self worth and my self esteem. The healthier I became the easier it was to love others and shrug off the negative emotions that would come with the recognition that some of who I loved weren’t loving me in return. Now, I am human and it does hurt still but not as much as it used to. However in 2023, God did a thing or two and He gave me people!
These people came into my life after I had long decided that I was in a season of “no new friends”. I was terrible at choosing friends! I was great at choosing users! Sigh. However, God saw it fit to give me my own set of friends. These are friends who have loved on me throughout the year. Some I’ve known for years, some I’ve known for months and one I’ve known for weeks. These people have come into my life and they’ve smothered me with love…they don’t need an occasion to celebrate me at all. They knocked down every wall I had erected…well, more like marched around it silently for 7 days and then give a big shout and the walls fell like Jericho’s walls. I am trying to imagine what my life used to be like without them. There is no task too great for them to do for me. They recognize needs before I see them. They drape me up when needed. They pray for and with me. They know I speak all 5 love languages and they operate accordingly.
After one very long phone call from one of them this morning, and a very long happy new month message from another, I was so moved I almost cried. I knew not just in my head but in my heart that God had given me my own people…my own tribe…a family not by blood but by the covenant of friendship. These people are destiny helpers, intercessors, belly hurting laughter creators, and so much more. No, I do not place any of them above God. However, I have no doubt that they love me. I don’t have to wonder or question if they care. There is equity in these relationships and we love mutually. For some of them, I don’t even know how or when we became friends. God orchestrated some funny situations and out of that some of these friendships were born. I am grateful, really grateful for my people. I salute them. They know themselves so I will not be mentioning names. I am looking forward to how they’ll surprise me before the year is done…I tell you, they’ve spoiled me and I am loving it. I love being loved and it is truly important for people everywhere to be loved the right way. Truly, other than Jesus, there’s nothing better than being loved the right way!
My side my side…I love you all dearly!
So, as we end the last blog for 2023 here are my last set of questions for you.
When was the last time you audited yourself and your circle to see if these relationships were mutually loving and respectful? Are you one of those people who are receiving love but incapable of giving that to someone else? If so, why? Do you even know how you need to be loved? Can you recognize true love whether familial, friendly or romantic, if it should find you today? Will you be back for more thought provoking blogs in 2024?