Wounded Identities

I found this quote and I was overcome with emotion.

“I don’t let people in often and I mean what I say. If I tell you you’re my friend that means a lot, if I tell you that I love you, know that it is not a phrase or expression and know that I actually love you in the best and most honest ways I can.”

And while some people would cheer and call it inspiring, I suddenly felt really sick. Those first 6 words make the rest of it seem totally pointless. “I don’t let people in often.” And somehow we count that a virtue. If you notice, there are all kinds of quotes out there that promote our “trust issues” and our determination to keep others at arms length and we call it inspiring. Personally, I think it’s pitiful.

When did we get to the place that identities were wrapped around our wounds? We act as if they are justification, when really we’ve made them our limitation.

We act as though being cautious in love is a strength. We pride ourselves on our “trust issues” and our abilities to “stand on our own”. We plaster them as if they separate us from others, when really, everyone has been hurt. Everyone has been broken and yet, we take our deepest hurts and say that they are what make us different; really, they are what make us like everyone else.

Letting those past hurts turn you into an isolated and independent person, who finds withholding love from others as a strength, that makes you weak. The strong are those who do not withhold their affection, their heart, their love from those around them, even their enemies. The strong are those who stand up and keep loving, knowing that it may wreck their heart once again, but knowing that love is still a purpose worth being broken for.

IMG_3693I don’t want to be stingy with my love or my heart. I want to give and give until I am certain there is nothing left and give some more. I want to believe that there’s a love deep in me that never will run dry. I want to trust in the power of redemption, that even if I am broken a hundred times, I will be healed a hundred. Oh and to live in a way that with each time I reach out, I give that affection from a place of joy, a place that is unconditional, that expects nothing in return.

May we see that it is a weakness to count our hurts as a justification for being locked up, protective, uncommitted  stingy or safe. May we realize that whatever love we give out of caution is not truly love at all because there is no fear in love. The kind of love that never fails is the one that is patient through pain, kind in persecution. It always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Even in hopelessness, loss, betrayal and selfishness.. it does not give up and it does not lock itself away. It does not find apathy, indifference or depravity as something to be celebrated, but rather it longs to love people out of those dark places.

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