I have been hurting, and asked God why I was feeling everything so deeply right now, and I heard that still, small voice whisper, "You are learning what love is." This phrase meant no sense to me at all, until I began to think about it more, and realized that I have always fought for the right to be loved.
I believed that love was tied into my behaviour. If I conformed and pleased the other person, I felt worthy of love. If I messed up, I felt the love dry up and go away, and I would do anything at all to get it back. The more I get to know myself, and learn to live as myself in the world, the clearer I am becoming on what I'm willing to do to be loved, and where I can relax and accept that love isn't meant to work that way.
We all have knots in our own ropes to untie, and the process of working through each knot is difficult and pinches when it's unfamiliar. When you do things one way for so many years, it's challenging to change your patterns, even if the change you are making is positive. All change is hard, and strange, and takes a long time to properly implement so it feels as normal as the old way used to.
I don't think I've experienced love in the way we are really meant to. I've traveled a certain distance in my relationships, and then closed a door somewhere inside of myself, and haven't been able to go deeper. I think God is gently showing me, in a way that doesn't feel gentle at all to me, that there are much deeper levels to being loved.
I want to be loved in the carefree way I love my own kids. I would give them everything I had, and then dig down deep for more, and then lay down in front of a moving car to be sure they were safe and cherished. I've simply never been able to experience that for myself, and this idea is revelatory for me. We can always heal, as long as we are alive, if we are willing to walk through the pain required to get to the other side of the healing. It hurts badly before it gets better, and I think I've turned a corner and can see things clearer than I could before.
I see how much Jason gives to me, and how little has actually fallen on the hard, protected soil of my heart. I want to open up this dry ground, and let myself believe that I am worthy of this kind of love. I don't have to earn it. It exists because he loves me as I am, with my flaws and my strengths, and I am enough for him in a way that I didn't understand until just now.
God is perfect, in a way no human is, and I look forward to discovering ways to learn more about how I don't have to strive to earn his favour and affection. He loves me simply because I exist, similar to how I love my children, and now I have to look at him differently because this idea didn't make sense to me before now. I couldn't see how it would be true for me, but I can glimpse it now. It's been a long road to get here, but love is worth it, and I want to know what love really is, not what I've made it out to be.