I would like to carry everyone I’ve ever met, and ever cared about, and ever truly loved, around in my own little suitcase. They would travel with me as small reminders of the places I’ve been, and they’d be faithful companions during my trek towards the places I’m going. I would peer in at them to make sure they were all accounted for, tirelessly checking to ensure none slipped from beneath my hold.
I had a conversation with a friend today, about learning to love people while you are with them. Let me ask you this: How well do you love someone when they’re only in your life for a short period? Do you step in or jump back?
It’s easier to hold back. To not ask the hard questions. To stay quiet when you have something to say. To stay composed when you sense an urgency to open up.
It’s risky to love everyone ferociously. To be honest, I would rather not. My heart is already too soft, I’m not sure I can take the emotional toll of reeling people in just to send them back out.
We need to. I need to. We need to develop an understanding and a willingness to let people in, embrace them, get to know them, encourage them, and send them on their way. I’m too selfish with my friends. I would rather keep them huddled up, strung together like beads clinking together on a bracelet. I like seeing them all in one place, where I can manage them. I would prefer them to be in a place where I can stop them from leaving, or moving on, or loving someone else better, or with more adamancy.
Those desires stem from my selfishness, my humanness, and I don’t want those things to be a part of me any longer. I don’t want to carry around those boulders of insecurity. None of those desires are built from love. Control and fear mate to create a hesitant demeanor, which end up stunting our ability to love at all.
I’m working on contentment. On confidence. On faithfulness. On obedience. On silence and chatter. On learning the difference between wanting to speak and having something to say. On listening and being intentionally receptive.
On wanting to be loved, and being able to love well.
Because they are not one in the same. They may occur simultaneously, but they are not typically found working together.
People who love well, already know how loved they are.
They don’t need a tattoo on their shoulder or a banner wrapped around their porch. They don’t fight the urge to carry their friends around in suitcases, relentlessly restricting their movement and freedom.
You cannot love well until you establish and recognize how loved you already are…how loved you have always been.