How to love

I feel broken most days. I feel this pull inside me…like I want to want to love, but I don’t know how. Am I afraid? Do I think that if I love something, I will lose it? Or that I will ruin it? I already ruin things, so what would the difference be in this case? A while ago I was reading about “love languages”. Apparently everyone has one. When I picked up the book, I felt doubt swirling inside me. I could hear Ed taunting me, saying “sure, that’s a nice idea, but come on you can’t believe that you have a love language.” I admit, I believed him at the time. But I still looked into the idea a little further.

Here is a list of the five love languages:

  • Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

If I did have a “love language”, it would probably be “acts of service”. In the past, I had come to the conclusion that I was not capable of having a real language of love. I don’t know how to accept love, or give love. When someone does something nice for me, I am thankful, but I always feel this cloak of guilt around me afterward. I feel bad that they have sacrificed something for me, whether it be time, money, thoughts…I will accept prayers though. I’ll always accept prayers. I suppose I accept gifts under the right circumstances, but often, I find myself thinking that the person shouldn’t have done whatever it was they did for me. I feel like I owe them, or like I don’t deserve their kindness. Why can’t I just accept things and let them be? If a person wants to do something for me, it’s not always because they pity me, I know that. After all, when I do something for someone, that is rarely, if ever the motive behind my actions.

It’s hard to explain how I digest love. How I react and don’t react. I hate it. I wish I could just be and let be. But something in me is always pushing back, always feeling smothered. When I was reading a non-fiction book about body image not long ago, the author mentioned that she, like many other eating disordered patients, had a tough time accepting love. She also had a tough time with trust, and touch. I will be the first to admit I flinch if someone reaches towards me. It’s quite visible. I don’t trust easily, I would just as soon do something for myself, rather than entrust someone else with a task. I am quite content sitting alone for hours. I have actually cried in frustration when someone I love did something nice for me, simply because I was mad they had thought of me. Who am I to say someone can’t do a kind act? Who am I to think that I am better off doing things my way, in an attempt to keep everything from falling apart? I know part of it is OCD. Part of it is anxiety. Part of it is definitely Ed. He is a jealous suitor, one who is not eager to let others step in and show they care. But I can’t help but think that I should stop myself from having these feelings. If I weren’t so selfish, I could. My anti-depressant that I am on has helped a lot, I must admit. Is it evening out my emotions? Feeling my feelings for me? Am I even real? Most days I feel real, but there are always going to be days that I struggle more than others.

I think in the end, I will owe an apology to everyone who has ever known me. If it isn’t because I haven’t loved enough, it is because I have not loved well. I have not trusted others. I have cringed when someone leans in for a hug. There is no way for those around me to not take this personally. And for these things, I am ashamed to admit, I am at fault completely. Please don’t tale these reactions personally. I am trying to fight back. Trying to show Ed that he is so wrong. This is just one more thing I must learn. How to love.91f69eb6e88e954e7c8727b38a493caf


2 thoughts on “How to love

  1. I used to get that guilt feeling when people did kind things for me. Until I mentioned “You shouldn’t have” once to someone and they answered “It’s a blessing to bless other people. Please don’t reject my blessing.” I realized at that moment that it HELPS people to help people. Giving is truly better than receiving – so we should accept with grateful hearts, not guilty ones. We are letting someone bless us with their gift. I’ve never looked at gifts the same way again (gifts of time, words, help, or physical gifts).


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