Showing Extravagant Love to Others AND Yourself

There is a time for risky love. There is a time for extravagant gestures. There is a time to pour out your affections on one you love. And when the time comes - seize it, don't miss it. - Max Lucado

There is a time for risky love. There is a time for extravagant gestures. There is a time to pour out your affections on one you love. And when the time comes – seize it, don’t miss it.
– Max Lucado

Loving others hurts.

Today in chapel at my university, the speaker talked about “loving extravagantly.”  This term hit me straight in the heart.  Lately, I have been struggling with this and feeling very unloved and unable to help others.  Every since the age of 4 or 5, I have longed to let others know that I love them.  Despite my many mistakes and fumbles, my desire has remained strong.  Each day, I strove to do something wonderful.

However, living this out is exhausting.  People sometimes keep taking your love until you feel weak and empty.  Others manipulate it and then leave you when they have  drained you of all your worth.  Some even mean well but promise more than they can possibly give.  If this is the response that you get to love, how can you continue trying to care for others?

You need to draw strength from another source.

That is not necessarily a negative thing.  Whether you like it or not, we all must do that.  For example, people eat food and drink water to fuel themselves.  If you do this, you are receiving strength from outside of yourself.  We also need other people to help us along the journey of life.  Yes, caring what others think about you can lead to heartache and conformity.  But deep down, we all need love, friendship, and counsel from others.  Thus, relying on something or someone else for energy is normal, not weak or selfish.

Yet, I have often turned to the wrong sources for strength.  To escape from pain, I cut myself.  That gave me the high feeling and secretive power to force a smile on my face and be “perfect.”  Restricting food played a similar role in my life while binging allowed food to comfort my loneliness.  Some friendships that I turned to soured and left me broken instead of rejuvenated.

With these negative influences as my fuel, I could not properly show extravagant love.  Even now, expressing this is difficult because I am missing a huge element.

I still lack self-love.

Until I can believe that I am worthy of love and perhaps even loved by others, showing that to others will leave me deflated of energy like a balloon with the air let out.  Yes, I can continue to care for others despite my struggles.  However, something is still lacking as I hypocritically try to show others how important and beautiful they are.

Finding a strength to rely on is important.  Friends, family, self-care, and faith are all vital elements.  Turning to friends, one learns of worth and joy.  Family (biological or chosen) helps us to see that others will stick by us even in our worst states.  Self-care teaches us to exhibit the same behavior toward yourself that we show others.  Faith gives us a purpose and promise that we are more than simple blobs of molecules; each one of us is lovable and important to this world.

So, showing extravagant love is possible.  Yes, it is painful and draining, but that should not deter us from continuing to reach out to others.  I will continue to rely on healthy, uplifting sources and work on loving myself.  Meanwhile, my desire to help others can continue to grow as I become stronger.

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9 thoughts on “Showing Extravagant Love to Others AND Yourself

  1. Mark kent says:

    if you would like too talk anna i am here .i have aspergers like you do

    i am a lot older than you are. i help other people like past year i have been

    helping a boy aged 11 and a girl aged 19 . it would help you like it has

    helped me a great deal take part in research from universities .

    my e.mail mkentdad12@outlook.com

    do not put your self down .very beautiful young lady needs the right kind of help//understanding

    mark DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SAY HOW YOU FEEL OR WHAT UPSETS YOU ________________________________ > Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 17:50:26 +0000 > To: mkentdad12@outlook.com >

  2. Have you ever had a problem with your extravagant-love-showing towards other people making them uncomfortable? I have also always longed to let others know that I love them. I’m even content to let them take and take and take until I no longer have anything left to give, but sometimes that can make people uncomfortable, so I have to hold back.

    • That is a great point. That happens to me sometimes. It is hard to know where the line is with what makes people feel awkward. Sometimes, people do not know how to receive love or are surprised.

      • Or sometimes even people who do know how to receive love don’t want to receive it from you because they don’t love you and they don’t feel right taking and not giving… Unrequited friend-love, especially.

        • That does happen too. At least they are trying to be honest about it, but that does not stop the pain.

          • Sometimes they aren’t totally upfront about it, though, because they don’t want to hurt my feelings. Except I can’t always tell when I’m making someone uncomfortable. It would be easier to deal with if people just told me honestly that they didn’t want my friendship instead of my figuring it out too late, or having someone else tell me.

          • I too wish that people would just be honest. What you have dealt with sounds miserable. I am so sorry. Hopefully, people will continue learning to be kind but honest.

  3. […] past few weeks, I wanted to show others extravagant love. Partly in an attempt to forget my deep depression and heartbreak, my mission on campus became to […]

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