On this ridiculous day, let me tell you why love terrifies me.
Like the rest of us, I am a raggedy ann doll born into an imperfect world. And because I am a modern day definition of a ‘normal person’, it isn’t any surprise that I’ve grown up in a dysfunctional family, or how sarcasm, loneliness, and anger form the undertone to the schizophrenic playlist which is my life. (although it’s mostly like Hand in My Pocket by Alanis Morissette) No matter what good things people sincerely tell me, I’m usually the first person to reject myself, and the first to excuse those who do the same… which is even more absurd than Valentines day, but I am a ridiculous person.
In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky wrote that, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” Deep inside, I never thought I deserved any (although I wanted to). It was painful to realize. But I also wondered whether anyone else was worthy or deserving to be loved. (wouldn’t a yes contradict the definition of love?) (but a no is still hard to accept. and sucks)
The pain this caused was inconvenient for daily functioning. So, I decided to override my system and wipe out any need or desire to be loved. It’s okay for me to love I guess, but it’s not okay for me to need to be loved. I would train myself to become a combination of my childhood heroes: a fear-inducing, cold-hearted, formidable assassin imperial dark lord ice princess. I wouldn’t need love, so I wouldn’t need people or even myself to feel significant. I would become smart, accomplished, talented, and powerful enough that these qualities would be enough to win others, and even win me over to myself. If other people didn’t like me, at least I could inwardly lord it over them that I was better in a certain way (and move them as pawns beneath my power, muahaha). And if they were better? Well… they could just fuck off, because I wouldn’t care. They wouldn’t matter. What an amazing system this was.
However, now that I do believe God wants to have a relationship with me, I’m facing serious problems in understanding about Him loving me. Has my fool-proof system removed my need to be loved by God? Maybe it isn’t as idiot proof after all. There are days when I feel like a robot, and other days when I feel aimless and empty. And even if I’ve known about God’s love for more than a decade, honestly, I never understood what was so great about God’s love. I knew it was supposed to be, but it just wasn’t.
John Ortberg wrote something which goes,
“There is a love that fastens itself onto ragged little creatures, for reasons that no one could ever quite figure out, and makes them precious and valued beyond calculation.”
This was at once, beautiful and frightening.
It means that you are valuable because you are loved, and not the other way around. This implies that my value or worth isn’t because of anything intrinsic, but because of something that depended on somebody else. How dreadful and annoying in two parts. First, to allow myself to be loved would mean acknowledging myself as the ragged little doll (excuse me?) beneath my constructs of heartless/cold-blooded/glorious/accomplished assassin ice princess-ness. Not acknowledging that would make any love from anyone feel like tribute (because I am amazing, I deserve it)(or where I come from which is, “I may not always be amazing, but I still deserve it anyway,” characterfully representing a generation of self-entitlement) or a bonus (thank you for the compliment, your love is cute), but nothing that really impacts you. The second dreadful part is accepting that ragged little dolls like me, are just ragged little dolls until somebody loves them.
It would take a major swallowing of pride to get that down.
I’ve fought hard to not be vulnerable or care about other people’s/entities’ regard for me. This kind of love and state of being frightens me, because if nobody did love me, then I am lost, alone, and worthless (that I might as well die). It’s unacceptable.
But there isn’t any other way going about it, not unless I’m okay with being stuck here.
But I’m not okay with here. I want to feel something, and something good, for a change.
So… my imperial fortress is undergoing a major renovation. Picture this: the rusted hinges creak as I open my gates, little by little at first. Water trickles in. There’s the rumbling of an earthquake, which makes fine cracks creep along walls that have stood proud and impenetrable for many years. Then an earthquake. It is mighty, and breaks down the walls, the castle, the dungeons, the dojo… MY LAIR ; _ ; And my beloved gate is… now an fine object of history. Waves of pristine water come flooding through, wiping out what’s left of the mess, even if I am quite proud of that mess and reluctant to let it go. The land that’s mostly known pain, rainclouds, and jagged things feels peace beneath the cool waters. (look! a narwhal!)
And we will start all over again. Clean, and new.
And this is where we will begin.
Many years ago, there was a mother who would get out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, at the slightest hum of a mosquito, and would not rest until all the mosquitoes were dead, to make sure that none of them would bite her sleeping baby.
There was a father who worked his sweat and blood so that his child could have the most hopeful chance she could ever have for the best life. He gave as much and as best of himself as he could, because this was how he fought for his daughter.
Centuries ago, the God who made the universe became a man. Or shall we say, a raggedy little doll. But not as raggedy. Okay, not raggedy even, because He was perfect. For reasons I cannot fathom at all, he loved the raggedy little creatures. For reasons I absolutely cannot understand, He wanted to rescue them from their brokenness, from the raggedy quality they’ve attained through no fault of His own (but through theirs), so that they could be whole again, so that they could become the glorious creatures they were made to be from the very beginning… so that they could be with Him in the great story He had written for them which spans the rest of eternity, even if it cost Him His life. I’m not sure if He had anything to gain from it… but everything to lose. And all for some worn out, not-always-loyal, ragged little creatures that aren’t worth much.
But apparently, they’re worth very, very much.
These people and entities who loved me, who’ve given up much for me, who’ve given up their lives for me (literally and figuratively), are the reasons why I’m valuable. It’s not because of anything I deserve, I’ve accomplished, or can accomplish, but simply because of the way I have been loved. It’s humbling, and turns me into a strange mix of vulnerability, gratefulness, and sheer overwhelming, but I will accept it now.
This post is for all the people who have loved me greatly. You didn’t have to, but you did anyway. I have a tendency to believe in a lot of crap, but you help me remember the truth. Thank you for making this broken little creature someone of infinite worth.