The last few days we have discussed how love is a skill and that skill needs to be exercised by showing patience, kindness, and forgiveness to those that might be difficult to. We also talked about how it can be difficult to be on the other end of that and receive love. Today, let’s dive into letting the right people in. This may feel like a contradiction to our discussion from the 4th on Exercising Love, but this is different in the sense that the 4th talked about being a light to other people, and this will focus more on letting people get close to you.
We all need people in our lives, but the capacity of that need varies. The need we have maybe for a classmate is very different from the needs that our “core people” fill. Our core people are the various personalities we surround ourselves with that relate to the truest parts of us. Here are a few possible challenges to letting the right people in:
1. We aren’t in touch with ourselves enough to understand what our truest parts are. As a result, we let people in but may wonder why we don’t truly connect with them. If this is you, perhaps you are spending too much time focusing on things or accomplishments and have lost touch with yourself. Only time away from all the distractions will bring this clarity back.
2. We dislike enough of ourselves that we project a version of ourselves we feel people would like more. This eventually brings feelings of hopelessness and depression once we realize people aren’t around for the true us. If we can understand that the results of a projected version of ourselves are fabricated, we would not waste our time and effort. True satisfaction in our social lives only comes when we can trust that the people that are around us are around because they know the truest parts of us and they stick around.
3. We are afraid to let people in. Due to past abuses, be it manipulation or being used or taken advantage of, we have put up a wall around ourselves and have learned to push everyone away. Sometimes we even push away the people we want the most. We discussed this topic further in yesterday’s post and came to the conclusion that we can’t receive the gifts of life if we hold up a shield.
If you relate to that last challenge, you certainly have a valid concern. If you are a beautiful woman and a man approaches you, you likely wonder what his motive is. If you are a wealthy man and a woman approaches you, you likely wonder the same thing. You are right to test your thoughts here as a form of protecting yourself. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 even says “..test everything carefully (so you can see what is good). Hold firmly to what is good.” (Amplified)
So how can we find the right balance of testing people while not pushing them completely away? A possible remedy to this starts in your own heart by being content without whatever opportunity presents itself. Without the reliant need for whatever that thing or person is, you can expect the best out of them while not being crushingly disappointed if they do not live up to your good expectation. By doing so, your positive expectation leaves the door open for genuine kindness, but also protects you if they act as you may have negatively suspected.