"I like your computer!" Before I have the chance to fully take my headphones out of my ears and look up, the elderly man standing in front of me has launched into a long description of his favorite app. I am writing this blog in a coffee shop, and not planning to interact with anyone. This man never introduces himself and continues to talk for minutes straight without leaving space for me to say anything. I go through all the socially polite body language signals I know, to communicate to him that I am uninterested and busy, but to no avail.
What If You Don't Feel Loved?
I observed my heart in this situation as it escalated from frustrated to angry to judgmental. I couldn't believe this man was being so rude. My emotions felt out of control, so I stopped and asked God what was going on. He showed me that I felt frustrated because I was not feeling respected or seen. He told me that He wants to give me the love my heart needs in this moment. While the man continued to talk, I reminded myself that I am seen and respected by God.
As I began to receive the love I needed from God, my perspective shifted and I suddenly saw that this man deserved love as much as I did. So I turn toward him, smile big, and nod in agreement to what he has to say. I intention my heart to make him feel loved and seen, because I know that I am loved and seen by God. I pray under my breath that this man will receive what his heart is so clearly crying out for, and I listen to him until he finally wishes me a good day and walks away. I didn't do much, but I believe he felt loved.
Love Doesn't Have To Be Hard
Sometimes it's just the little things that make a person feel loved. When your heart is full, people can feel it. You can pray and encourage someone, or tell them what God thinks about them, but you don’t always have to. Sometimes it just takes a look, a nod, a smile, body language that says, “I accept you, you’re enough.” Sometimes people just need to be listened to. Love can be easy and simple, when you mean it. It starts with receiving the love you need from God, and it flows out from there.
There Is An Unlimited Amount Of Love Available
Whether it’s a complete stranger or a family member, loving someone can feel like a difficult choice to make - especially when they’re making poor decisions, causing you pain, or seem to be drowning in their desperate needs. But some times what people need is more simple than you expect. Some times they just need to feel loved by God as you sit with them, and safe enough to process through their pain. This can feel scary to do when you don’t feel like you’ll ever have enough to fill the hole in their hearts, so you shrink back.
The truth is that you don't have to fill this hole, you just have to receive the love God is freely handing to you. God’s love is big enough to fully fill and restore any heart. When that happens in your heart, it naturally flows out to others from there. There’s not one person on this planet that there is not enough love for. For each relationship and interaction, there’s a special part of God’s heart that you can tap into. This room inside His heart has this person’s name on it, and you have a key. It is filled with everything he or she will ever need, and enough love to fill up the whole universe. You don’t have to pick up crumbs in order to feed a hungry heart. You have full access to the extravagant feast the Father prepared for this person, so you can minister to him or her from this place of abundance.
Everyone Is Deserving Of Love, Especially You
This bottomless well of affection isn’t only available for other people, it’s also available for you. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you have needs too. Your heart is longing to be seen and heard. Denying or ignoring these needs only makes your heart turn to more desperate ways of filling them. Wanting attention is a basic human need, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. We were created to be seen, loved, listened to, acknowledged and paid attention to. No human being is unworthy of this.
Learning to love yourself is just as important as learning to love someone else. Loving yourself means recognizing and acknowledging your needs, deeply connecting to your emotions and comforting your heart in the places of pain. It’s a journey of self-care, as well as a constant choice to feed yourself on the truth of God’s love for you. When you are saturated by the belief that He is absolutely crazy about every part of you, you can love yourself that same way.
Living In The Overflow
You don’t have to wait for another person to come and love you for you to begin to believe you are lovable. You don’t need constant affirmation from people that you are good enough, because you have already chosen to believe that you are fully loved as you are. When your beliefs are shaped by this truth, you are not loving anyone to get something. You never have to manipulate or control, you simply love as an overflow of how much you have been loved. This is the way the Father loves you. He is so secure in His love, that He isn’t scared to risk everything for someone who might not return His love.
Your Heart Deserves So Much Love
Instead of beating yourself up about not having enough patience, generosity, compassion and empathy for someone, you can start with yourself. Your heart needs all of those things as much as anyone else. When you begin to receive them, you will feel safe, loved and nurtured. Others will begin to feel the same way too, simply by being near you. When you know how incredibly vast and unchangeable God’s love is for you, and you begin to allow Him to encounter your heart, love just radiates from you. It comes naturally!
Everything changes when you start to believe that you and each person around you is fully worthy of love, despite what they do. A heart is deserving of compassion and acceptance simply because it exists.
Love Is My Anthem
Is your anthem in this season love, for yourself and for others?
Remember today how worthy you are of love, be conscious to stop and give yourself exactly what you need in each moment, and invite God’s love in. You will begin to see this love and compassion for yourself overflow into a deeper, kinder relationship with those around you.