Food-starved and love-starved travel the same road: desperation. Both will settle for scraps.
I have run many a mile in my life. An hour or so after a grueling run, my body is so frantic for food I will eat anything within reach. My brain seems to abandon all reason when choosing food because something is better than nothing, even if that something makes me feel sick, bloated, and grumpy.
Similarly, I used to have a soul-encompassing urgency for attention and affection. I wanted someone – anyone- to love me. Not only in a romantic way – though romance was undoubtedly high on my priority list – but in every fathomable relationship.
A Hard Lesson
You see, my childhood home was void of unconditional love, as too many people can relate. (One is too many). Attention was predictably negative. Approval was based on ever-changing conditions, while affection was akin to BigFoot. Yes, the word ‘love’ was thrown around, but the essence of love – the diligent devotion to the care of another – was absent. (To be clear, when I say ‘care,’ I am not talking about providing a roof, food, and clothes. I am talking about the investment in nurturing another’s soul).
By divine intervention, I have been surrounded by good women my entire adult life whether or not I recognized it at the time. I have always, always had co-workers and church acquaintances who turn into dear friends. They have saved and sustained me.
However, as a young adult, I drifted towards men who did not respect me. All some guy had to do was tell me I was pretty, and I would invest every ounce of emotional energy into proving I was worth loving. I would convince myself I was attracted to him – even though I usually wasn’t – because he gave me one second of attention.
I allowed myself to be treated like garbage because, in my mind, being treated like something was better than being treated like nothing even if that something used me and left me feeling worthless.
Over time and with help from angels on heaven and angels on earth (you know who you are), I healed.
Always By Your Side
I am no expert on relationships but please, know this –
The person you have intertwined your life with – with whom you share a home, kids, a bank account – should be the same person who is by your side in every circumstance. They should be cheering you on and singing your praises. They should support your dreams and encourage your ambitions. You deserve to walk into your home knowing you are safe, loved, and cherished. You should be their priority, and they should be yours.
Life is hard. Pick someone who will climb the unpredictable path with you rather than create a treacherous slope for you.