I just read this post (thanks to facebook) and though I haven’t read anything else by this person many of his points resonated with me. I’d encourage you to read this thought-provoking and kind of “ouchy” post: Why People Shouldn’t Love You for Who You Are by Sean Johnson. I may not agree with every single thing he says, but he had some valid points for me, personally. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
I think it resonated with me so much because I am fully aware of my issues and flaws, yet I’m pretty good at defending them when I can’t see how I can fix them easily without it hurting a whole awful lot. But, I am constantly trying to teach my children to listen. We want them to listen to those who love them and to work on things that need improvement whether it’s how they talk to each other or how they follow through with what we, their parents, have asked them to do. It hurts to be told that you need to clean your room when you weren’t trying to make anybody upset by not putting stuff away. Or, it can be annoying to be told one more time to settle down and have a quiet voice. I know my kids aren’t trying to be bad all the time, but I also know that I need to instruct them on how to behave, how to have self-control and how to think about our actions before we do them. So, if I am striving SO hard to help them see how to think about their thoughts and actions, I probably need to listen more to those who love me that are STILL gently trying to nudge me in areas that I need to work on. Ironically, I have some of the same issues that my children are working through about themselves. I’m being completely vulnerable here and will admit that cleaning up my room is still something I need to work on–the ROOM just turned into multiple ones. YIKES!
Here are some quotes that stood out to me this afternoon:
“You are a bundle of paradoxes. You’re excited and depressed. You’re organized and a slob. You hope and you fear. You’re a good person who fights with greed and arrogance and anger and pettiness on a daily basis.
So when you want someone to love you for who you are, which one of you are you talking about?”
Hmmm… or how about this one?
“People have a right to expect more from you.
Not everyone, of course. But I would argue the closer you are to someone in [a] relationship, the more of an obligation you have to humbly listen to them and accept their feedback.
The irony of this is that we seem to be more sensitive to the opinions of people who don’t even know us. People aggressively monitor and manage their social reputations online, but bristle at the tiniest piece of feedback from those closest to them.”
Maybe you didn’t need to read this post today. Perhaps it was just for me. It made me squirm enough in my chair to make sure that I posted it so I would come back here and read it again someday and reflect on it again. I know that the Lord is still working on me and I have not “arrived” by any means. No one has to point that out to me. But, I do still need reminded when I haven’t worked on my “stuff.” Quite frankly, I don’t know how to work on my “stuff” effectively, yet, but I am actively trying to listen to those who love me most and hear what they are saying to me.
I’ll leave you with one last quote from the post:
“The next time you find yourself wishing someone loved you for who you are, check yourself. It’s likely you’re trying to justify something about yourself that isn’t that great. Have the courage to examine yourself thoughtfully, to humbly receive feedback from those close to you, to recognize it’s most likely changeable, and to have the conviction to make change happen.”