The bottom line is we attract what we are or what we think we deserve and the two trains of thought are not that exclusive from one another. If we are what we attract, what have you been attracting or not attracting? What do you deserve and what have you been settling for? The sword cuts both ways. Once again at the beginning of any healthy relationship or interaction is you, the central character in the love story. A lot rests on how you see yourself. If you don’t like you it is going to be very hard for you to have genuine good feelings for anyone else. Or worse still, you won’t be able to handle/receive true love if someone came up to you and forced you to take it. Small wonder, right up there after to the first commandment to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength is the command to love your neighbor as you love yourself. This is not talking about being an ego maniac or being full of yourself, it’s talking about having a healthy appreciation and respect for God’s creation. That would be you and everyone else that you encounter. Since you will always be your first reference to everything else, how you take care of yourself is going to naturally be how you deal with others around you.
It’s quite clear to see that critical people are also quite hard on themselves, while people who don’t take themselves that seriously usually have an abundant measure of grace and graciousness for others no matter what they do. To the pure everything is pure while crooks don’t trust anyone and recognize one another if you know what I mean. Usually what irritates us in others is what we are most guilty of ourselves, this is why we recognize it so clearly. Go ahead, say ouch and get over it.
Exactly what does it mean to love your neighbor as you love yourself? Well, are you kind to yourself? Can you forgive yourself when you mess up? Can you celebrate when you accomplish something? Can you speak the truth to yourself in love? If you can then you will exercise the same grace with others. If you can’t, then you’ve got major work to do. Perhaps you were raised by a parent who was critical, who called you ugly or stupid or worthless. Unfortunately these things stuck in your spirit and took root. After all, in the mind of a child the parent is always right. Whether right or wrong, early impressions spoken by parents or others can lay the foundation for beliefs that affect our mindset and our ability to give and receive love for the rest of our lives.
Perhaps you need to make friends with yourself and educate yourself about you. Find the things that should be celebrated and change the things you have simply tolerated but wished you could change. You have the power to change your world and your view of you. Remember people will see you through the lens you look through. This can take you on a road that leads to nowhere but disappointment, because you will always reinforce why others should not like you, love you or respond to you because of how you feel about yourself. Do you believe you deserve lasting love?
What are your fears about love? I have to confess that I was always attracted to men that would not commit to a relationship because I was a commitment-phobic myself. I felt safe with men that I knew would not commit. I would never have to worry about making the decision to commit. Yet something deep within longed for the very commitment I ran from. Many people are divided internally. Their mind says one thing but their heart says another. Usually it takes getting sick and tired of being sick and tired to force you to look in the mirror and make a mental shift. Namely deciding what you truly want and being willing to do whatever you have to do to get it. This is where the work should begin on yourself. Getting rid of the lies that rob you of the love you want. The love you deserve whether you believe it or not.
Go ahead stand in front of the mirror and take stock. Physically, intellectually, professionally, emotionally and spiritually. Make a list of the things you need to celebrate about yourself. Make a note of the things others celebrate about you. Do your lists match? Perhaps you have trouble receiving a compliment. Why is that? What lie is blocking the truth of who you really are and robbing you of the joy you should be free to experience? It’s time to dismantle all the things that have made you a person who sabotages your opportunities for love.
Now someone just said, I never meet anybody! That is not true. We have the potential to meet someone new every day. But based on how you feel about yourself you could be repelling people everyday! No wonder the Bible says that in order to make friends you should show yourself friendly. People that would like to meet you but the frown on your face told them not to bother speaking to you. You didn’t even know your face, demeanor, posture, or attitude was sending signals that were thwarting possible new friends and love interests. Trust me someone is always checking you out. Whether its someone you would be interested in is another story but the bottom line is, most people are completely unaware of what is going on around them. Lack of knowledge makes us draw many unhealthy conclusions—such as, no one is interested in me. Perhaps the disinterested party is really you.
How you feel about you is how others will feel about you. So check yourself and do the work it takes to have an attitude shift. Take the time to renew your mind. Find out what God thinks about you and embrace healthier thoughts about you. You are the most incredible creation on the face of the earth because you are God’s handiwork and everything He made was good. Say that yourself until it takes root in your spirit and you believe it. You have got to change your confession. I have a friend that has the same response when I ask him, “How are you,” no matter what is going on. “Fantastic!” He says. And you know what? No matter what is going on with him, things usually take a turn upward. Things always do turn out fantastic for him. He refuses to be ruled by his emotions or circumstances. He will not bow to feelings of failure or whatever he is tempted to feel when facing difficulties.
If you’re not feeling that way, you simply have to decide to take steps that will make your emotions line up. I always say you need to look and act like where you are heading to. If you begin to carry yourself as a person who should be taken seriously when it comes to love, a job interview, whatever it is that you are pursuing, others will have to respond to you in kind. The more positive responses you receive the more your mindset will change because there will no longer be anything to confirm your old ideas and feelings about yourself.
For the most part if we really ‘fessed up and kept it real we would have to acknowledge that we are our own worst enemy in most instances. We will get what we allow. Nothing more, nothing less. As is apparent from some of the letters I get like this one.
I seem to be a magnet for deceit, manipulation, dishonesty. I’m told we reflect or attract what’s inside of us. People get to know me, are turned off, and run. I generally try to live honestly and lovingly and to always think about how God would like me to behave; I am a good woman, mother, and all around person, but keep coming up short in the love department(men, friends, family). I am not the worst person in the world; I don’t seek to hurt others; I’m not perfect, and generally seek to do good and see good in others, but people are turned off. On this vast green earth, does God truly not have one person willing to stand by my side? Am I this unattractive? (maybe “boring” as you would say) I repel others and am left alone to raise my children by myself.
Major Turn Off
Of course God has someone who will be willing to stand by your side, but you have to believe that and act accordingly. This letter is laden with conflict. On one hand you seem to have a positive picture of yourself, on the other hand you don’t. A bad magnet, a turnoff, a repellant, that’s pretty strong language! Really? Everybody is terrible or turned off by you? Is that really true? However, when you are the common denominator in all the situations listed one must stop and ask themselves some very deep questions. First, is it me or is it them? After all, do all these people know one another? Probably not, this rules out the theory that they all got together and conspired to ruin your world collectively. Therefore we have to ask if there is something you need to change. Like your choice of friends, men and associates, or a personal habit that could be putting a damper on your relationships. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions and see if their answers sound like a broken record. If it does, listen to the song and see if you can change the words. Sometimes the truth hurts but its always good medicine that will set you free. However if you are making the wrong choices of who to walk with or simply not exercising discernment on who to trust, keep or eliminate again the onus falls on you to master your personal world. Take charge! Decide what you want your relationships to look like and then find people who fit that picture. Begin by being that picture yourself, from the inside out. You see, if you believe you deserve kindness in your life cruelty will be unattractive to you and you will be able to recognize it in a persons’ character right away. A huge part of stopping the madness in life is cutting it off before it starts, girlfriend. So ask God to expose their hearts before you invest yours. Why? Because it’s priceless. You better know it!
Okay I couldn’t resist. One more– same root, different fruit.
My ex boyfriend and I broke up more than 3 months ago. We’ve been together for around five years. It has been an on and off relationship. There were many problems in the relationship including his not giving me enough time and not being thoughtful; and on my part being easily angered, strict and a little bit of forcing God into him. We are both Christians, but he’s not truly committed to God. He doesn’t enjoy going to church or reading the Bible.
Two weeks after the break up, he promised me that we could try again on his birthday which was on September 28. On the 28th, I reminded him of his promise, and he resented me. He agreed to try things out but he said that he is really just forced too. I didn’t contact him for the 3 months because I was really looking forward to fixing things with him. When I greeted him yesterday for his birthday, I started crying again, and the feeling of rejection was overwhelming. I really hope that we could still work things out. I am really so lost and confused. I want to be with him so much but I feel that it’s wrong to run after him. But how can I show him that I am better now if he won’t give me a chance. Please help me!
Trying to Make It Work
You said you did not want to pursue him but you are! Why are you reminding him he is supposed to give you another try? My even greater question to you is why are you trying to make it work? You said he didn’t give you enough time. Was not thoughtful. Not committed to God. Basically didn’t do anything that was important to you. Furthermore you stated he resented being reminded he was supposed to give you another try again on his birthday. On his birthday. How convenient. Just in time for you to buy him a present, right? You say he inspires feelings of deep rejection, being lost and confused. Why, why, why do you want to be with this man? While you are trying to be worthy of him, he is not worthy of you. Is this all you think you deserve? This is not God’s best, or His design for women who belong to Him. First of all HE is supposed to be pursuing YOU! He is supposed to think you are the best thing since sliced bread and want to do whatever it takes to win your love. But this all begins with you getting a revelation of your own worth. Men treat you they way they are allowed to. Drop him like its hot and move on. Allow yourself to be found by someone who loves God and you respectively without the drama and heartache. After all, I don’t need the help of a hair product to tell you, “You deserve it.”
Okay, here’s the deal. You will not put up with nonsense like this if you believe you can have something better. The only reason you would not believe you could have something better is if you think so little of yourself that a bad man is as good as you can get. In this case nothing would be better than something my sistah. You need to kick boyfriend to the curb and work on yourself until you have a better appreciation of your own value. While you’re at it pick up a few of my other books to help you get your head and your heart together. (see list at the back) Trust me, when you tighten up your perception of yourself and your worth you will flip the script on your expectations. Men like him won’t be attractive to you once you figure out you deserve someone who doesn’t need to be schooled about God or how to love you.
Come on now! Love is God, was created by Him and embodies Him. Everything about love reflects the nature of God—nurturing, giving, protecting, making you even better than you were before you chose to embrace a relationship with Him. Love should make you better than it found you.How can you let a human being mess that up?! Back to loving yourself. Someone with a healthy sense of who they are and how much their love is worth will not tolerate bad behavior from someone who claims to be interested in them. They demand they be treated well by the way they treat themselves and what they choose to allow in their personal space. Because God loved us it cost Him everything. That which was nearest and dearest to Him—His Only Son. Love does not withhold. Love gives. Everything. Nothing Less. Selfishness is not an attribute of love. Selflessness, however does not mean that you become Boo Boo the Fool. You should have such a great sense of self, what you have to contribute and the power of your love that you freely give because it doesn’t cost you anything. After all there is plenty more of that where it came from. It’s up to you— your love should not be for free. It should cost the person who wants you. Everything. Why? Because you are worth it.
Here’s to Celebrating You!
excerpt from The REal Deal on Men and Love. Get your copy on Amazon.com and ChristianBooks.com today! For more info log on to www.michellehammond.com and sign up to be on the mailing list.