I wish the words would form but I just don’t know how to explain the love that God is allowing me to experience. I grew up in a family where love was expressed by your actions and not just your words. I grew up being taught to love everyone unconditionally. I also learned a lot of people don’t know the real meaning of something being unconditional. Unconditional meaning no matter what they have done or what they have gone through or what may happen; they are human so they deserve extended grace and love for who they are.
I always felt that learning this so early was a blessing and a curse. Especially being so young a lot of my friends and those around me were very selfish with their things and thought only of themselves a lot. Which was okay because as a child is not your responsibility to take care of others and put others needs before your own. Your hardest task was to play and not get hurt. But I always knew from a very early age that there was something abnormal about me. I always had a soft spot in my heart for everyone. I always wanted to see everyone else happy. I would give and go without if it meant someone was able to be happier or feel the love that I was experiencing from home. I was always just so selfless. I would always disregard my own emotions so that others could be happy. No one my age back then was doing anything like that.
If it was the last lollipop they were getting it even if they already had eaten one. It was just normal to take care of self first. I just didn’t see it that way. I was always taught to be unselfish. Give and it will be giving unto you. Treat people how you want to be treated. Love thy neighbor. So I just lived by that. I will never forget hearing my parents tell me the world isn’t as nice as you think it is and everyone is not going to be like you, but I didn’t believe that. Even after I had experienced being treated poorly I still had grace on my heart and forgiveness for the person even if i didn’t speak to them. For they know not what they do I would say to myself. And even it I seen that same person in a bad situation I would still do what I could to help them out. That was just all that I knew to be. I would always say well God knows my heart and in fact he did. He knew that my intentions for everyone who came across my path were always good and if I had it the blessings were now theirs.
But I had grown so comfortable with this conditional love lifestyle over the years that I had left myself behind a long time ago. I always felt that it was what God wanted but today I realize that it wasn’t. Years later people would come to me to drop their loads and leave. As long as I was their and sought out peace from God I thought I would be okay. Every since a little girl I was carrying the loads of others and making it my assignment to be a super hero for everyone. It had gotten so bad that I started to suffer from depression and just a lack of self love because I had made a decision to never put my own needs and self first. I had decided very early on that I didn’t matter to me. That as long as everyone else could live worry free that my work was being done. So to me I was happy just knowing that; but I was wrong.
Moses father-in-law in Exodus 18:14-27 told him that doing what I was doing was not good and the work is too heavy and you cannot handle it alone. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. So that the trustworthy and believers could go and do this on their own. I learned that at a very early age that people will bring their burdens to you and leave them for you to handle as long as you allow them to. God himself is not burdensome. He doesn’t design us for the sole purpose to take care of everyone else and not ourselves. In Matthew 11:29-30 he says, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Only reason I had become so unhappy is because I had chosen to carry everyone else’s. I thought that it was my assignment. I lived in that my entire life from childhood all the way to adulthood and it left me very unhappy and feeling unworthy. My emptiness was the heaviest burden that I was carrying and didn’t even notice. One day something clicked and I realized how I was doing love wrong for all this time. That I didn’t fully understand what it meant to truly love unconditionally because I was loving everyone else into shape but forgetting about me. I didn’t love me uncondtionally. All the years of putting all that I had into everyone else and making sure that they had an experience of God’s love I left the need to love myself into shape and that’s when I found I had been doing love wrong.
I had never experienced unconditional love from anyone the way that I extended it beside from God. Not that it was anyone else’s fault because I can’t honestly say I wanted to. As long as I was doing it for them I was okay. But learning to love myself first and what love really is, and what it looks like is the best thing I have ever been able to experience my whole 23 years of living life. Doing love wrong had even creeped into my love life and companionship. I never thought that it was right unless I was able to love them into shape and introduce them into unconditional love when the whole time their love for me was certainly conditional. I knew this. They only loved me under certain conditions or for what I was able to do for them. Whether it was feeding the ego of a man or just listening to all their problems 24/7.
But I also too learn that that was incorrect and the lack of desire to understand why this was happened showed up in my results. Failed relationship after relationship because I didn’t love myself under the same conditions and with the same passion that I did for them. I realize that as long as you’re willing to give others are willing to take. That’s life principle in a nutshell. It wasn’t that I felt bad for using the heart that God had giving me because I knew that I was the only God that a lot of people had to experience and they probably would never meet someone else like me but it was that I felt bad because I never received it in return. I started to look in the mirror and think Lord what am I doing wrong, but the whole time it was Love done wrong.
I began to think my value was decreasing and that I just wasn’t worthy because of how much I had allowed others to put their issues off on me to carry and used me until they were healed enough to soar again. At first I felt good about that but now things are different. I understand that was all love done wrong. That I should never have to put me last all the time and that their are many unconditional lovers God has placed to love others the same way that I was doing. I have one. I always used to feel that if someone’s need of me didn’t come with a cost of sacrificing larger amounts of self then it wasn’t right. But the more I prayed for God to show me what love really is. I began to immediately want to uncompromisingly put myself first. Love myself first. Take care of myself. Extend grace and mercy to myself. Be available for myself before everyone else all the time. Allow someone to love me unconditionally and for me without feeling guilty because of it. Living the way I want to and making choices that speak self love! I can honestly say I learning to do love right!