This post is part of the UNCO synchro-blog. This month’s theme is (Un)Loved. You can read the other contributions here.
It’s gotten very easy for me to talk about all of the ways that I felt unloved in my life. I’m becoming far more at home with the language of not loving myself as I should. It is far more uncomfortable for me to talk about the ways that I make others feel unloved. When I do so, I have to face all of the ways that I fall short of my own ideals.
I am incredibly selfish. Not just selfish, self centered and self interested. If I’m perfectly honest, I think of people in terms of what they can do for me. I have little time or investment in people who can’t benefit me in some way, even if that is just making me feel better about myself.
I’m awful at communicating. There are times when I don’t reach out to people simply because of the stress that it will cause me. I know that my silence hurts people and I do it anyway. I guess that also makes me controlling, which is also pretty unloving. I manipulate conversations. I’m good with words and I know how to make people feel the things that I want them to feel. Right now, you’re probably admiring my honesty. I made you do that!
I imagine myself as the Levite passing the beaten man on the side of the road. There are times when I simply don’t help because it is inconvenient. I am stingy with my time. I am stingy with my resources as well.
I’ve been unfaithful; unfaithful as a spouse, as a friend, as a partner. I would not count loyalty as one of my strengths. Nor integrity. I can be horribly dishonest.
I get angry with people and I punish them for falling short of my standards. I am arrogant. I think I’m smarter, superior to many of the people in my day-to-day.
Love is patient. I am impatient. Love is kind. I am cruel. Love is not arrogant, boastful or rude. Have you met me? Check, check, and check. Love does not insist on its own way. I want things my way on my time. Love endures and bears all things. I’m a quitter. I cut and run when things get hard.
I’ve done things in recent months knowing that they would ultimately end up being hurtful. I did them anyway. The result has been that people have been hurt and felt uncared for. I’ve been careless with people’s feelings. I’ve wallowed so hard in my own crap that I’ve discounted the emotional toll that I take on those who genuinely care for me.
I’d love to wrap this up with a bow. I’d like to tell you about my five step plan to make positive changes in my life and to be more loving. I’m not going to do that. I need to sit with my unloving self. I know that my inability to give love stems from my inability to receive love. I need to look at myself in the mirror. My goal in life is to put more love into the world and I am falling woefully short of my own standard. I need to recognize the hurt and pain I’ve caused.
Hurt people hurt people, they say. I am a wounded person who has wounded others. I am an injured person who causes more injury. I have felt unloved and made others feel unloved.
This is my confession. I suck at love.