Luke 6:31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
I’ve struggled for much of my life in truly loving myself (in a healthy way.) For a long time I never really understood why it was important to come to a place of love and peace with yourself (of course, this doesn’t negate self improvement and growing in God’s grace and character.)
We love ourselves in the process.
Interestingly, I’ve come to learn its necessity through a friend. For privacy purposes I’ll call her Jane. We are currently not in communication.
Jane has a very different life than me, but I have known her for many years. Fifteen years or so. There’s been stretches of silence and times of pleasant communication. In the past we’ve prayed together a few times. Discussed Bible verses. It was a decent friendship overall.
Except for one thing.
Jane has Borderline Personality Disorder.
Other issues as well. A couple of years ago Jane was hurt by her church. She stopped going anywhere altogether. Then her beloved therapist moved away. I have three young children, my oldest with low functioning autism. My husband lives in pain and is healing through work related injuries. My life simply doesn’t allow me long stretches of free time to socialize. I have little patches of time to work with.
I didn’t respond to a message fast enough for Jane.
I took several days to respond. Told her that I was busy. She didn’t understand that and blocked me on social media. A few weeks later she apologized and asked to reconcile. We did.
Then Jane blocked again.
This time I responded within a few hours but was too short with her, or so it appears. She blocked me again. I sent a message to a mutual friend asking if they’d relay something to her. They said they can’t, she blocked them too.
“Jane is just getting offended by everything right now.”
I don’t have the energy, nor does this other friend, to stay on the roller coaster anymore. The push-pull train stops here for me. For my sanity I have to walk away.
Maybe someday if she comes back to faith and is serious about truth and getting help I’ll reconsider.
But not now. Not for a long time.
Let me stop here and tell you I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD. I have my battles. I am very compassionate and understanding of struggles. But you’ll never get better rejecting truth.
John 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
And you can’t be in relationship with someone who refuses truth.
Jane, unfortunately, will continue ruining relationships and pushing people away. She doesn’t know how to self validate and love herself, so she spreads her pain and feelings of self rejection with those around her. People have to walk on eggshells for fear of offending her in some way.
In the end, she’s loving others as she “loves” herself. She doesn’t.
It’s hard to love someone who doesn’t love themselves. I have to love Jane from the sidelines, at a distance. But this situation has caused me to look at myself.
There have been times I’ve resembled Jane.
I’ve never been as extreme as Jane in behavior, but I’ve battled with my emotional triggers. I now wonder how many felt as I do about her.
Tired. Frustrated. Done. Done trying to connect and support someone who has unrealistic, unhealthy expectations. Done trying to love someone who refuses it.
The process is the goal.
It’s OK to have struggles. But, we can’t let them have us. I read a statistic that said 50% of people at some point in life will battle with some kind of mental issue. That’s one out of two.
But there’s hope and healing in Christ.
I know firsthand because I’m living proof.
Sometimes the most loving thing a person can do is let them figure it out for themselves. Truth will set you free, but it can hurt like hell first.
But the truth will set you free if you let it. And the most wonderful truth is that God loves you and I.
Too much to leave us as we are.
Thank you Lord.