I’ve been M.I.A. for about a week now.
To make up for it …. We are going deep today.
My wife and I were driving around one day doing what any normal couple does – singing Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Adele songs. We pull into our apartment after driving around in circles for a few hours, and we have the following conversation.
Hot Wife – “You know Nate this might sound like an insult, but it’s actually going to be a compliment.”
Me – “Oh boy! I’m sure it’ll be great.”
Hot Wife – “You are one of the most feminine, manly, men I know.”
Me – “What the _____ does that even mean? By the way, I think that’s more insult than compliment.”
Hot Wife – “I mean you are manly. You work hard to provide; you love beer and football, and you don’t cry. You know all the stuff manly people do BUT …. You also love pumpkin spiced lattes, you love peppermint mocha, you preorder every Taylor Swift CD, Ariana Grande is your spirit animal, and you love going into Bath and Body works to smell the candles. All of that is pretty feminine.”
“Yeah you’re probably right.”
Not to talk about if my wife was correct about societal definitions of masculine and feminine characteristics, but this convo reminded me of something – we all have a definition of self we are chasing. We all have things deep within that motivate us, drive us, and lead us to the decisions we make on a daily basis.
I think one of the deepest, most primal, motivators is the drive to be loved. Not a shallow, vague type of love. But a love where we are fully known yet still loved.
Think about it.
How often do we ‘act certain ways’ in order to impress people, fit in, or hide our true self? This is most evident on social media. We snap, post, like, hashtag and tweet all day. Yet so much of what we “share” with the world isn’t who we really are.
In fact, we rarely share who we really are ever. In class, in work, in families, in friendships, in dating, and in every other area of life, we put our best appearance out there.
We want to be the coolest, funniest, smartest, richest, or most lit person in the room. If we can’t be ‘the top person’ we settle for just being known for something. Things like, “Nate is so funny!” Or “Man Nate you are crazy!”.
Hey as long as I’m known for being funny, crazy, or anything else – people will have a reason to love.
That’s just it right there – we want people to love us. In order to be loved – you must be lovable. Right?
That is why we hide our true selves. Even if we aren’t trying to be crowd pleasers, we still hide our true selves.
“Hey! How are you doing?” “Good.” – This is the most common lie told. We tell it so much that it is automatic. Even if we ‘share’ how we are really doing we put a positive spin on it. “I’m good. Hanging in there. Holidays are tough, but we’re making it”.
Why do we do that? Why do we hide so much? Why don’t people go around and be honest about pain, hurts, and fears?
We are insecure. We think that people won’t love us if they knew who we really were.
Most of the time we can cover this up really well. We have enough experience and practice not to let it get to us that people only love part of us. That we aren’t fully known and loved.
Other times it creeps up on us.
Have you ever felt just like a sense of blah? You can’t really put your finger on what is wrong, but you just feel dark and gloomy? Or you know for sure what is wrong – and that has led you to a dark place? You can’t really share it. Because what will people think?
You don’t even really like yourself. You’ve hurt people. You’ve been hurt. You are broken. You’re ashamed.
You can’t share that. That’s the quickest way to lose friends and what little love you have.
Maybe you don’t explore your emotions that deep because you are scared too. So you double down on partying, drinking, having sex, whatever you do to comfort yourself. It helps for a little bit but never fully satisfies. So you keep doing more and more.
Why can’t we get satisfied? Why can’t emptiness leave?
Because we are not fully known and fully loved. So we feel sad, empty, depressed, and alone. So we do more and continue the cycle.
Every single person is experiencing this at some point in life. It’s hard to admit, and we try so hard to cover it up, but if you explore for just a few moments, you’ll see that I’m right.
Why else do we do some of the dumb stupid things we do? Why else do we rebel against what we know is right? And why don’t we share all of who we are on Facebook?
Here’s the thing. This is a repeat cycle. And it will never end. You can look for fulfillment and love in a lot of areas. But there is something dark in you that you hide. There always is.
Underneath that is a fear that maybe you aren’t lovable.
You are, though. Here is how I know.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Do you know what that means?
While we were our worst. While we did the things, we try to hide. While we did the things, we regret the most. While we did the things, we don’t even want to think about.
Christ knew that and still died for us.
That means God knows you fully and still loves you. God. As in the creator of the ENTIRE universe. Not your next door neighbor, your friendly community priest, or your loving grandmother. BUT GOD!
Not only does he know you fully but he created you to receive and give love. That is why we crave it so much.
This is so hard to grasp. I still struggle with it (as in today I’m struggling).
How can God look at my life and all the messed up stuff I’ve done. All the pain I caused. All of the evil desires I have. Yet he still loves me?
I don’t deserve his love. I’m not worthy of it. I’m unlovable. – This is all 100% correct.
God still looks at me and says, “you are not worthy of my love. You never will be. Yet I love you, and I want you in my family”.
When we accept that God fully knows us and loves us anyway, it breaks an unbreakable cycle. It leads to deep change and confidence.
Because we are fully known and fully loved.