Before I begin to let my mind loose on you, I must admit I’m a bit intimidated about this subject-
The painful, longing, desperate craving for a romantic relationship when you’re not necessarily ready for one.
Warning: Marija was hurt in the making of this new perspective. Proceed at your own risk.
I grew up in a home of two adoring parents and an older brother. Quite a normal household, nothing too significant on the daily basis within my curious and imaginative mind. Everyday started out as the last one did, I guess you could say I was just like any other little girl who liked to dream.
After I grew up a bit, my momma would tell me stories about how alive and compassionate my heart was (and is) and I believed her. I never really tried to hide the fact that I had a special talent for being wildly in love with the world around me. I remember distinctively as a young girl staring at strangers faces for minutes at a time just to receive attention from their smiling faces (or frowning faces) and to give them one in return. I thought people were fascinating, the world around me was detailed and every turn was a brand new wonderland for me to wander. To me that included boys. In my little mind, boys=friends, ALWAYS, no exceptions.
Suddenly I’m in a little christian private school in eighth grade. Boys did no longer = friends.
I warmed to the idea of “being in love” quicker than my new teacher could introduce me to the class.
(Rest in peace, marija.)
My compassionate heart overtook my entire persona and turned it into something that was no longer a pure and positive place given to me. I was now using my sensitivity to give my being to someone else emotionally-wanting to love with my entire soul. (uh oh we already KNOW where this is going.) I fell so hard in love with this kid that I accepted love as something not returned. I spent hours dreaming up a facade of a relationship, even when I truly had no idea what a successful and loving relationship should look like.
After a couple years of drowning in my sorrow I fell into love with another dangerous person of sorts-self love.
The whole aspect of taking care of yourself and giving to yourself and spending time with yourself was just coming to the top of the poll in media and my mind drifted from reliance on one being to the next. I started to parade myself in a healthy lifestyle, clothing, secluded time with my inner thoughts, sometimes even locking myself in my car or room with candles hours on end just to give love to myself. Any tip or trick on self love out there you bet I tried it.
So, like anything you spend significant amount of time with in your mind, I fell in love with myself.
I liked to think that being in love with myself instead of another person was fulfilling me because I was practicing “fifty fulfilling tips for self-love.” I walked with my head high because I believed I had something most people didn’t, that my love for myself would get me love from others. My mindset was “I don’t need people to love me when I can love myself.” It seemed like my only option. I thought of it then as fighting my battle of relentlessly falling for “the wrong guy” or “healing myself” when I was only reacting to the pain I put myself through when the craving for love wasn’t returned.
Through this I became selfish. Everything I did was for my own benefit, and if I didn’t want to do it I hadn’t another thought in my mind other than to put up a fight to do what I wanted to do. I put the blame on “knowing myself” well enough to decide whether or not who I was could be satisfied by whatever choice I was dealing with.
The self-love journey I went on wasn’t all negative. I did learn the importance of caring for yourself, I just had a twisted idea of WHY we should care for ourselves.
I learned how to see beauty in everyday life again. I learned the importance of positivity.
That’s really where it all began.
I started to see God in things. He started to whisper to me when I was thought to be at the highest and “happiest” place in my life. God, being only abundant in positive attributes and characteristics, was able to reach me when I began to overcome the negativity- that comes from the character of the enemy-without even realizing it. Yet, I still didn’t focus on that just yet.
I began to grow slowly closer to God in small ways, but (as much as I hated to admit it) He wasn’t my focus. Any boy that would enter the picture, I instantly laid my focus on him. Distracted from self-love, God love, family love, any love. Broken again by the unfulfillment of receiving less than I gave.
I was slow dancing with partners that didn’t escort me to the ball.
I continued this cycle for years. Getting “healing” from myself, friends, sometimes family. Falling in love and giving all my focus to the boy, and breaking down. Shards of me scattered on the pathway I kept walking upon. While walking on this pathway I would revisit my relationship with God every now and then. The more boys that failed in the attempt to enter my life the closer God was bringing me to him, oddly enough. He was transforming my aspired self-love to be more selfless.
The final attempt was brief but significant to my story. I went into it with the idea of giving all the patience and God-given wisdom that I could, talking to God about all of the ways I wanted to feel and wanted to be for this boy. Asking him to bless the relationship while I took it slow. I so badly wanted God’s guidance but I was so used to my own that I wasn’t fully letting Him take over. It was difficult to let Him when I wasn’t spending time with Him enough to hear what He was telling me. Well, as it turned out, God’s not going to bless something that was never in his plan in the first place. SO as you guessed, there went another one.
This time though, my perspective drastically changed. I finally realized my purpose was never going to be a man. The amount of love I felt in return did not determine my worth. If anything is distracting from the source of Love Himself, there is no real love with meaning in it.
I stopped entertaining the idea of romance on earth.
I started giving my time to romance with Jesus.
I mean, I literally pretended He was in front of me on the picnic blanket in the most romantic spot I had found in my small town, as I read stories and talked aloud to him and listened to music. I imagined his hand in mind as I walked into a dangerous situation (emotionally or physically.) I imagined my head on his chest as I fell asleep. I imagined His voice as he spoke “good morning” through the rays of sun. I began to imagine myself dating Jesus. Slowly, I began a routine of daily chats with Him. As many words of His as I could focus on, listening, being quiet, and looking for any way I could to feel him there with me. I began to fall in love with Christ.
Once I allowed God to catch my breathe, and let him love me…
All the years of a routinely heartbreak, going numb to the facade of what an earthy relationship should look like. Falling in love with ideas on earth and letting the words be handed to me by the enemy, who then shoved negativity and self doubt down my throat. Every blinded direction I was lead into by my own emotions and feelings brought me to the same unsatisfied result. Even in the highest point I thought I reached in my life I still felt lonely, I still knew that broken pieces of me were still scattered back behind me somewhere-I accepted they were parts I couldn’t go back for. Everything came to the same meaningless dead-end when I decided “I’ll do it myself.” Nothing had meaning without the presence of Christ when I thought long enough about it, so I didn’t think because it was “easier.” I tried so profoundly to heal on my own, but I couldn’t.
He was there all along. The one love who created love itself. The only love that is pure and full and real. The only love you never EVER have to work for. The only love that was given to you before it was received. The only love you can really feel to its fullest. The only love that is so strong it becomes passion, it becomes furious, it becomes unexplainable. The only love that’s effortless. The only love that makes your heart sing everlasting and you can trust it will forever stay. The only one who will never leave you. He wakes up thinking about me, he goes to bed with me on his mind. He would trade creation for me. He was always behind me waiting for me to turn around and fall before Him, because I can’t fall in love in purity without first falling before Him. The only love that allows me to love others enough to make them feel worthy of it. He loves all of us in that way-not “all of us” but YOU and ME, that way. His love for you and I is personal, it’s close, it’s endearing, it’s forever, it’s real. In returning to Christ, the pieces I had left behind me were replaced by-not new pieces- but a whole new heart. This time, I’m giving everything to Him, and not once can the enemy wound me enough to leak love again. This time, the Lord will fill me with love enough that I will overflow with it.
In my glowing silver gown, I turned away from the fill-in dance partners to find myself face-to-face with the one who escorted me to the ball. I curtsy low before Him, and as I lift my eyes to meet his, my palms rest in the softness of His, and we begin to dance to the slowest, most admirable song. The longer we dance, the closer I bring myself to Him. With every centimeter closer, the easier it becomes to follow His lead.