When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden and realized that they were naked, they scurried off to find a solution – albeit temporary – for something that was missing. They were exposed and because they couldn’t bear the reality of their choice, they rushed to create a pseudo-solution from the work of their hands.
Mistakes and failure love to expose us. And the shame stemming from our past makes us create makeshift solutions to problems that leave us even more vulnerable than before.
Growth requires us to ask ourselves some hard questions. It’s hard to come to terms with some of the decisions we make when we are in a place of desperation.
Maybe shame sent you dashing for the nearest cover to conceal your “inadequacies,” even though you know the shadows only hide you for so long.
So, Sis, I have to ask: What left you exposed? What happened to make you question yourself and created the need to have something unnatural conceal your ‘lack of?’
Maybe you knew from the start that the love you sought out was man-made and not rooted in anything substantial. Hey, I get it…#nojudgment. You were tired of hiding in the shadows with no one really believing you were worthy of love. Oh wait, that’s the story we tell ourselves. It was never about them…you didn’t believe you were worthy of love.
So, when he glanced your way, you stepped out from your hiding place. There was something about him that finally made you feel seen. You needed to captivate him, so you moved in ways that betrayed your authentic self. His presence covered your shame and suddenly you felt more acceptable. As long as he was around, your past didn’t matter. You loved him with every part of your being and gave abundantly of yourself in exchange for what you thought you needed to feel loved.
It worked. He obliged to what you were offering with few questions asked. It seemed like a fair trade – love for acceptance.
One of the first questions God had for our foreparents when they had covered themselves with fig leaves was: “Who told you that you were naked?”
What is so important about this question is that it forces us to dig deep and get to the root of some of the flawed thoughts we have about ourselves.
So, Sis, I have another question for you: Who told you that the laws of commerce applied to love? That in order to receive love, you had to trade it for something of “equal” value? Who told you that love is to be earned? That, like wages, you must put in time and sweat for every ounce of affection you receive? And most important of all, who determined what love should cost you?
Somewhere in life, you learned to view love like a scale – that you must keep offering up pieces of yourself to balance the scale just so you can feel loved. But no one told you that the scale you were using was stacked against you. No matter how much you give to this man-made love, it is never enough.
It creates more questions than answers…
What’s wrong with this scale? You keep giving but always seem to come up short. Will it ever tip in your favour? What happens when love begins to ask for more than it should?
As you scramble to keep up, you don’t realize you are depleting.
Slowly it becomes clear that your efforts left you feeling empty because you now know that true love has no scale.
‘Is there a return policy?’ you wonder. ‘Can I get the parts of me back that I offered up to sustain this man-made love?’
Love adds, it doesn’t take away. It shouldn’t ask you to shed parts of you that form the intricate core of your being. Love wants all of you, nothing less. Love multiplies and finds more ways to make itself known and experienced. True love comes from God.
What would happen if, instead of rushing to cover up pain or shame from past mistakes, we went to God? What if we trusted that His love was more than enough to cover us? What if, instead of looking to feel loved, we decided to harness our emotions and operate from what we already know to be true: we are loved, perfectly, by a God who is Love.
Have you ever found yourself giving far more than you should have for love? Tell us about it!
Vimbai E. is a writer, journalist, ghostwriter and the founder of The Weight She Carries. With hundreds of articles publishing online, in print and for broadcast, her love of language and storytelling shines through every piece of writing that bears her name.