and by those who refuse to love us."
A friend, who is the ultimate teacher at heart, was trying to explain to me about something in psychology called "shaping"- and while I think I understand the concept of this...(I've used it many times to teach my own kids- I just didn't know what it was called) I think the above quote sums up the idea pretty well.
That is a fairly profound thing for a person to say. And it's usually NOT true.
I'm ruled to some degree by what complete strangers might think of me...it compells me to wear make-up when I leave the house- and to double check what I'm wearing. Heaven forbid someone think of me as unattractive, or sloppy- or FAT!
I've lost a fair amount of weight in the last year...40 pounds. I need to drop another 20- and it's hard. I've gotten slack about walking with the accursed summer heat, but it's breaking- and I'll be out on the pavement again tomorrow.
But to be clear...the walking and weight loss has mostly been for me-and not to impress anyone.
I want to be healthy.
However, someone in my life...someone close to me- loved me with "conditional love" for a very long time. It's hard to overcome the kind of "shaping" that does to a person. As I approach my 40's (in a few years) I see that I am still bound to thinking that a person can only really love me if I am a size 6. (and I am a 12/14)
Or, they can only love me if my teeth are straight...or if I am happy all of the time. Or whatever---
If you don't love me...what of it?
I personally wouldn't blame you.
Sad- huh? I know me better than you do, and some days I don't love me either!
I wonder how many of us struggle with the image of who we are...and how we are received by the outside world. How many of us lie and say, "If you don't love me, I don't care what you think!!!"
And on the inside...we are pleading with tiny voices:
"Please love me...please like me...I need you."
And we hate ourselves for it.
I am who I am.
Even Jesus said something close... "I AM". No apologies- no explanations...Just a profound and powerful statement of Who He was.
I'm nothing close to that...and yet, I can identify...I long to just run around and shout out...
"I am who I am. Not always nice, not always pretty, not always right...almost never skinny!"
I am me. You are you.
None of us perfect...all of us special.
I'm blessed to know each of you. And I refuse NOT to love you!
It does shape you...and it shapes me- not into a size 6, but in better ways :)