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Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places (Part 4)

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Do you know about the five love languages? If yes, I am words of affirmation. If no, go here then come back, I’ll wait. I receive love with words. Quality time … nah. Physical touch … nope (sorry honey). Acts of service or gifts … yeah, no. Words. I can be made or broken with a single phrase. So it makes sense that the events that started it all—my insecurity and lack of any self-esteem, began with words. Hearing that I was “this” and being told that I was “that” and unable to let go of the pain attached to those words set me on a path of giving in and settling for less … completely void of God.

I do not think there is a woman alive who doesn’t want someone to think that she is pretty and clever and fun. I guarantee there is not a woman alive who doesn’t want to hear that she matters. To know that above all the other pretty, clever and fun women out there she is the prettiest, the cleverest and most fun. She is the one that is wanted. The problems start when the prettiest, cleverest and most fun gal does not believe that she is and does not have anyone telling her different. Even more problems arise when she goes looking for someone, anyone who will, if even for a moment, tell her what she needs to hear.

I have made quite a few choices in my life based on the hope that for a single moment I might matter to someone. It is not that I didn’t actually matter to a lot of people; I realize that now. I just did not believe I should, why would I? Who would want “this” (gesturing to my less than perfect self)? Why would I think I would have anything to offer anyone? I lived my life eager to please, willing and able to do whatever was needed so that I would have value. I didn’t care who valued me I just wanted to hear that I mattered and I was loved.

Along came the first guy that actually told me he loved me. That was it. I was loved. I was also beat on, peed on and cheated on. Not a healthy existence but one that I felt I must have deserved. I honestly thought that I would never find any better and resigned myself to this relationship being the best it was ever going to get. It got worse and it did eventually end. From there, a constant stream of dreadful decisions and a extraordinary amount of less than noble actions began to define who I was and the company I kept. Never once did I think I was worth more.

Can our experiences in our youth and something as simple as unkind words set us on a path that dictates the road we travel and the decisions we make into our adult life? Why is it that as adults we can’t look at the original negative event for what it truly was, an unfortunate experience that probably has so many other layers that it really had nothing to do with us … and move on? Why is it so hard to embrace the amazing relationships that exist in the present and let go of the hurtful words of the past and trust that God is in control of it all?


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