Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c) 2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
There is an old saying, “We are only as sick as our secrets.” This means that what we keep hidden inside will come out in one way or another. Our behavior tends to reflect how we feel about our secrets.
Let’s start a new saying – “We are only as disappointed as our rules.” Our expectations of romance can be set unrealistically high on Valentine’s Day. When the inevitable failure happens, we feel badly about our Valentine.
For some though, disappointment is aimed at oneself. “Why am I not good enough for love?” or “I cannot be loved. ” When this is us, our hopes are placed on a person or experience. Both are temporary and fallible. A sense of hopelessness replaces any happiness we may otherwise know.
There are five different types of Valentines, right? Of course, there are wide variations of each and between these main ones.
- Focused. This is the ideal, I guess. A spouse who notices the little stuff, who recognizes what brings us happiness, and plans for a sweet Valentine’s Day, raises our spirits.
- Inattentive. This person may not catch a break because we acquaint missing our romantic cues with indifference. Life’s distractions do not stop on February 14. A truly inattentive person may need to know more directly what it is we want. No one is a mind reader.
- Indifferent . This is the problem that hurts our feelings. When a Valentine no longer cares, we feel pain. This is not the same as a spouse hating Valentine’s Day out of principle. However, if that serves as the excuse du jour, we know it.
- Unkind. Selfishness, narcissism, abusive behavior – all are issues we must recognize and face head-on. These partners are not indeed Valentines, and we must ask, “Is this the relationship I want?”
- Non-existent. Singleness is not a curse. In fact, it leaves us available for deep and satisfying friendships. We can turn our attention to projects or family we are passionate about. Not having a Valentine is not second-best, but holds its own merit.
None of the above defines who we are. What type of Valentine we have only describes a fact. By placing our hope for approval, affirmation, validation, purpose, or a sense of value on a relationship, we miss the most important component of our existence.
We are loved by God
One of the biggest mistakes I made was to root a sense of worth in the soil of my marriage. Planting hope and faith in the richness of God’s love has changed my point of view, given me a sense of purpose, and held my heart in the darkest, most lonely moments.
Not only do best-intentioned people fail each other from time to time, but it is impossible to avoid doing so. We are only human. Hope replaces despair when we accept and trust in the unfailing love of God through his unchanging Son, Jesus Christ. It is offered freely to anyone who believes.
My post-Valentine’s Day advice is to seek God and learn to feel what true love is.
Today’s Helpful Word
1 John 4: 9,10
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help are yours.
Top pic by WAX115 and bottom pic by LUSI on rgbstock.com