Friday, August 31, 2012
Loving you, loving me
We are, at this moment, in Alabama. Ala-freaking-bama. We are here to visit with my mother-in-law. Oh Lord. My mother-in-law has never been my biggest fan. She and I aren't besties. We are also here to attend a family reunion. With a bunch of people, that I dont' really know. I don't particularly like spending time with people I know and love!
I am gonna need some major Quality Time Bonus Points this week!
For most of the last 20 years, when the Mr. went to Alabama to visit his parents, I stayed home. He never fussed about it, always invited me and made it clear it was no big deal if I didn't go. And I didn't go. After all, I am perfectly happy going about my business on my own so honestly, I figured the same was true for him. He'd get to visit with his mom and she'd be spared my company when truly she only wanted to see her son. Over the last few years, I've gone with him. I'd be content home alone with a book, but it's my desire to show him my love for him that instructs my decision.
On the other side of the coin? Receiving love. I'm tough to love! I am not a chickflick kind of chick. I don't dissolve into tears over anniversary cards. I'm a loner, I don't need to talk over my every emotion. How discouraging must that be for Dean...to try to express his love for me and get minimum response! I have to confess that I pride myself on not being needy. I don't like needy. Gives me the shivers. Makes me puke. Makes my hair fall out. Well, some of that might be an exaggeration but you get the idea. When I'm in the presence of a needy person, my primary goal is to find the exit.
When we love someone (and I'm not just referring to couples,) it is demoralizing to feel that no matter what we do, it doesn't seem to reach their heart. With my personality, the more content I feel, the quieter I get. Maybe that's why over time, the Lord has added the need for more physical touch to my personality. It's a tangible thing, concrete. He holds my hand, I feel loved. And I respond. Dean has said that one of his favorite things is when he puts his arms around me and feels me relax. I'm wound a little tight, I have permanent knots in my neck. So when I let myself fall into him, he knows he's loving me in a way that works. Additionally, I'm not a touchy-feely person. The expression of physical touch is just between us. Other people can provide acts of service for me but the ability to diffuse my heart...that's all his.
As important as it is to know what others need from us to feel loved, it is important that we learn how to receive love. If we seem to be wrapped in a wall that no one can scale, people will give up. Don't be so not-needy that those who love you are hurt by your independence.
Teach others how to love you and then...receive it.