Oftentimes, when we fall in love or enter into relationships, we hype up the qualities in a person that naturally drew us to them, and we glamorise these qualities to a fantasy. We then fashion our notions about our loved ones exclusively on our romanticised versions of them and unfairly impose and inflict our expectations upon them. Our loved ones inevitably crack under the weight of our unrealistic projections, and we in turn end up feeling betrayed by their shortcomings.
The one thing that will be helpful for us to remember about humanity is that no one is perfect. Everyone is fragmented in some way, including our loved ones and our own selves. Especially our own selves. Brokenness is part of the human condition.
One of the most helpful things for us to ask ourselves is, “What are the ways I am broken?” and try to understand our own dysfunction, and begin to desire and allow God, who longs to make us whole, heal us in the inner parts of who we are.
Upon introspection, you might find that you can relate to some of these confessions:
“I don’t often think about the needs and feelings of others.”
“I tend to demand perfection from people with out taking into account what they could possibly be going through.”
“I tend to let my fears overrun my life.”
“I can be very controlling.”
“I am almost cynical about peoples motives.”
The by-product of understanding the ways we aren’t perfect will allow for a more compassionate disposition towards those we love and those who fail us. It will allow for us to embrace others in the fullness of their humanity, both their strengths and weaknesses.
1. Ask yourself, in what ways am I broken? What are the things that I constantly fail at?
In his book entitled A Course on Love, Author Alain De Botton phrases this question as: Ask your self, How am I Crazy?
2. In humility, communicate to your loved ones the areas about who you are that you struggle with. You may find that your vulnerability is actually a way you can extend grace to others.
3. You can also take the extra step of asking your loved ones for help as you work on these areas of brokenness. It is here where you allow yourself to receive love from others.
Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behaviour from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.
Watch the message here:
Love Does by Bob Goff
A Course on Love by Alain De Botton