What prevents us from stepping out and connecting with someone on a deeper level? Why is it so hard to dig deeper into relationships and move on from those "Hi and Bye" acquaintance friendships?
Why is it that when we feel loved or embraced by another person that we sometimes feel ourselves getting emotionally overwhelmed and begin to push that good person out of our life?
I have concluded that there are 3 reasons (I am sure there are more, however, these are the 3 I have seen and experienced) that prevent us from fully embracing the relationships that God has placed in our life:
- Pride (lack of humbleness)
- A Feeling of unworthiness
- Shame: Fear of the darkness inside us
Why are we afraid to be on the losing end of a relationship? Why are we afraid to be the one who “shows our cards” first? Why is it so hard to be the first to let our guard? If we do it first, then the other person can let their guard down too. The answer is Pride. Pride to me is defined as a lack of humbleness. The lack of humbleness stems from a greater love of oneself than the love of a person in your life. Pride prevents you from opening up your heart. By opening up your heart, you take the risk of having your feelings hurt and your heart trampled on. But who is the “better” person? The one that lays everything down for the sake of developing a genuine, authentic friendship or the one that closes up because he cares more about his feelings and reputation?
Feeling of Unworthiness
I don't have what it takes to meet your expectations therefore, I will choose to keep you at arms length. I do not have much to offer, I am messed up, I do not come from a good family, I have a horrible past. I am not smart enough, I am not popular enough, I am not powerful enough, I am not rich or well connected enough. I am not enough, so I cannot fulfill my part of this relationship.
Have you ever felt that way before? I have. My personality requires me to do my part, pull my weight, if not more (than the other person) in order for me to feel worthy of the friendship/relationship. However, is that the way God wants us to see/value ourselves? God declares that you are worthy of His love. When you have thoughts of not being enough, you are saying that God and what Jesus did was foolish and for nothing. Is God's Love for you not enough?
You will abandon me once you know what I have done. I am too messed up for you to know and accept all of me. Therefore, I will only give you the bits of my life I feel you can handle and leave the rest in my dark past. What I have realized is that shame loves darkness. It thrives when it is kept in and hidden. I have also learned that shame loses its power once it is brought into the light. Once we allow people to shed words of loving truths onto our shame, shame loses its power. Shame isolates you, puts you down and prevents you from moving forward. It can also prevent you from developing close relationships with others that can potentially help you grow.
My question to you (and myself is) what is holding you back? What keeps you from experiencing the fullness of the relationships around you? What keeps you from fully experiencing God's love? I want to invite you to deal with these heart issues together. Let's reflect more, and make the decision to get rid of pride. Let's get rid of feelings of unworthiness and of shame. Let’s do this because God bore everything on the cross so that we can fully experience his love and love others out of the overflow of HIS LOVE.