You want to know why I struggle with love? Because to me it’s all conditional.

That’s right – conditional. As in, I have to do something or be a certain someone to receive love from others.

If I’m not nice enough, I won’t receive love. If I’m not handsome enough, I won’t receive love. If I don’t spend a lot of money on you, I won’t receive love.

The list goes on…

I may not consciously believe it to be true in the moment, but subconsciously I know there’s truth to it. And to be 100% honest with you, it scares me…a lot.

It mainly scares me because I don’t know how to turn it off. I don’t know how to just wake up and be me – the uncut, unclean, and uncaring Ibsaa because in my head, if I show the world the real, true me, they might not care about me anymore.

You know what’s funny? I don’t even have that many friends as it is. So maybe, just maybe, I would have more friends if I was the uncut, unclean and uncaring Ibsaa because I would at least be real with myself and I’m sure they would see that. Versus the “fake” Ibsaa they see now.

But I’m guessing when people come into contact with me, who aren’t close friends or family, they see a person weak and in need in the love department and someone willing to do whatever it takes to receive that much needed love from them. I’ll be as “fake” as they want me to be, just to receive love. They are instantly turned off by this, I am sure.

At the end of the day, if not love, I just want people to like me.

I think it stems from my childhood. Growing up in an abusive home and attending a school where I felt rejected, I learned early on that I had to adapt to survive. I believed I wasn’t good enough the way I was and nobody loved me for who I was. So I had to change to receive “love” and “acceptance” from others.

In my head, God created a mistake!

Now, fast forward 10+ years later and my subconscious and conscious is suffering. Suffering because I suppressed the REAL ME for a fake me that the world would “accept” and “love.”

Was it worth it? Absolutely not!

But hey, I may have taken my life I didn’t conform to the world. So maybe it was.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12: 2 (New International Version)

But in terms of the love department, I am suffering because of that decision I made 10+ years ago. I’m still “lookin’ for love in all the wrong places.”

I need help. I need help to stop trying so hard to make others to like or even love me. I need help to stop feeling like I always have to talk when I’m around others or they won’t like me. I need help to stop trying to over-communicate with my girlfriend because of fear she will leave me if I don’t. I need to stop feeling like I have to be the “perfect,” nice & respectful guy around my grandmother or she will kick me out of my childhood home.

All of these fears are REAL!

I want to be able to sit in a room silent at times and not be scared of losing love from friends or family because I am not engaging them in conversation. I want to not feel pressure to over-communicate with my girlfriend and know that she will still love me at the end of the day. I want to stop feeling as if I have to be the “perfect” nice guy for others to love or even like me.

Mainly, I just want to know what true love feels like! Both giving and receiving.

I’m not talking about love people equate with sex or sexual acts, but the love God designed for mankind. The love that God is.

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I really need God’s help in this because in all honesty, it’s affecting my relationship with Him too.

Feeling as if I had to become what others around me deemed acceptable to receive love growing up, spilled over into my relationship with God too.

I saw and still see the only way to receive His love is by being perfect. I assume that since God is a perfect God, that He expects nothing but the best. In order for me to receive His love, my subconscious mind (no matter how hard I try to fight it) makes me believe, just like in my childhood, that I am not good enough the way I am and I have to become perfect like God before He will love and accept me.

If I stop engaging in sin, continue seeking therapy, volunteer at my church, go to mens group each week, serve in the community, than maybe – just maybe – God will see my efforts and say…”Ok, you deserve love now.”

But it’s wearing me down and I feel burnt out!

I know this may all sound crazy to you, but this is my reality.

“I’m tired God. I will never be perfect like your Son Jesus. I just want to be Ibsaa; the imperfect Ibsaa you created me to be. I want to stop waking up and trying to be “perfect” everyday in order to receive your love. What more do I have to pray or do so I don’t have to live like this anymore?”

I want God to still love me if I forget to pray all day. I want God to still love me when I am angry and say something I regret to someone else. I want God to still love me if I slip up and sin. I want God to still love me if I forget to give thanks to Him for a meal. I want God to still love and be there for me if people make fun of me or start a fight with me and I feel isolated and alone. I want to know and feel, if possible, that God will never stop loving me, no matter what and that His love is unconditional.

I live for the day of knowing what love feels like without conditions attached. Now that will be a day I will remember for the rest of my life!

Until then, I will do my best to try and rid of my people pleasing ways. Realizing that not everyone will love me and it’s not worth it to try and receive love from everyone. Plus it burns you out in the process.

I am learning how to be unconditionally loving and unconditionally present to the emotions and needs of the inner child whose hurting inside me, which is working.

“We are in this together little Ibsaa. I want unconditional love just as bad as you do. But until then, when you feel tempted to start pleasing people again in hopes of obtaining ‘love’ and ‘acceptance’, remember James 4:4. God Bless.”

“You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.”

James 4: 4 (New Living Translation)

 

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