Do you have a very difficult time feeling the love of others? Do you feel disconnected and like there is no relational intimacy? Do you feel like your heart is empty or numb? There can be a variety of causes for the disconnectedness that you are experiencing. And no doubt, Christ is present to help you walk a healing and restoring journey.
One very important aspect of the healing journey is to recognize the propensity of people in this condition to blame their loved-ones for not loving them. They interpret their disconnected or loveless feeling as being a result of their loved-ones’ lack of love for them. It is an easy mistake to make, thinking one’s own heart is healthy enough to feel love if others actually loved us.
As a result of the hurt of disconnectedness it is also common for a person to create a defensive perimeter around their heart. Their view is that it is others’ lovelessness that has caused their own sense of lovelessness and emptiness.
The Apostle Paul loved the church in Corinth, but they were withholding their affection, they weren’t reciprocating the genuine love that he was giving to them. The church, for whatever reason, had a wounded heart, so Paul appealed to their intellect which was very much active and sensitive. His advice was this:
“…Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one… I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you.”
~ 2 Corinthians 7:1-3
Paul iterates the fact that he was not the cause of their feelings of disconnectedness and their subsequent self defensiveness. He had not wronged them, had corrupted no one, and exploited no one.
Your loved ones surely love you, whether you feel that love or not. The practical steps you can take are daily and “repetitive,” like the repetitive steps on a long journey: (1) lower the defenses of your heart, (2) become vulnerable again, and (3) express your own love for your loved ones in speech and in action.
Remember, your heart is wounded, and though your feelings are very much real, what you feel (or don’t feel) with your heart is not a true representation of life. Don’t accuse the others of being loveless, uncaring, or absent from their relationship with you. Even if they are, the defensive perimeter around your heart may have bit them a time or two, causing them to step back but not out of the picture.
Initiate the restoration of your heart’s healing journey. Open your heart and become vulnerable to your loved ones again. Vulnerability, while it risks feeling some hurt, opens the gates for experiencing great, genuine love. And by the way, let prayer be as important to your daily life as air is to your body. The healing of your heart is a God-thing, while courageously becoming vulnerable again is a You-thing.
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