I had been working with Emily for several months, but she was not understanding the concept or feeling of trust. No matter how much love she received, it just was not sticking.
The other day I received an email from Emily: “Hi. I know you love me. I don't doubt that, but for some reason it doesn't seem to be helping right now. There is lots going on and lots to get done. I’m feeling agitated and not at all peaceful. I’m not quite sure what is happening in my head.”
We tend to use the word “love” without sufficient understanding. We say, “I love you” to our 16-year-old girlfriend/boyfriend. We say that we “love” chocolate. But the power of genuine love is beyond our understanding unless we have felt it thoroughly.
When we feel truly loved, down to our bones, the peace we feel is profound. It can’t be disturbed by what other people do, or what they say, or by the many things we have to do.
When we’re infants, we nurse or drink from a bottle. We cry desperately at the slightest twinge of hunger, forgetting that we’ve ever eaten before. With time, adults feed us with a spoon. But eventually we get old enough to pick up a spoon ourselves, and from then on we can’t expect to be spoon fed.
And so it is in the process of our finding and feeling Real Love. In the beginning we need to be nourished often by others, like being spoon fed. We require frequent infusions of the kind of love we never had. But the time comes when we need to pick up the spoon ourselves. We need to trust the Real Love we’ve received and remember that there’s always enough.
Emily said she trusted my love for her, but despite her sincerity, she really didn’t trust me. How did I know that? Because she was feeling agitated, not peaceful, and distracted by all the things “going on.”
Trusting love is no small thing. It requires focus, humility, and a willingness to let go of a great many of our past beliefs, feelings, and behaviors. Again, no small thing.
How do we get to that place of trusting?
Remember all the love we’ve received. Remember when and how and from whom we received that love.
Remember that people have loved us unconditionally because we’re worthwhile. That understanding is critical, because our ability to trust is most often crippled by an underlying belief that we’re worthless. When we feel worthless, our pain is too great to see anything clearly, much less trust. The love of others PROVES our worth. How could they genuinely love us if we were not worth loving?
We must do our part in trusting and remembering love, or we’ll be chained to an infancy where we must be spoon fed. But spoon feeding never ends, it’s never enough, and eventually people will tire of lifting the spoon we should be holding in our own hands.