This week's word prompt is LOVED.
This is immediately what came to mind after the month I've had:
This month I've had a lot of opportunities to focus on my faults and shortcomings (I have that opportunity daily, but some months are more intense than others). The specifics are unnecessary to share, but the fact remains - I am changed.
To live LOVED is different than trying to get love. When I live LOVED I don't have expectations of returned love. I don't need it. I already know I am LOVED. When I'm trying to be seen, appreciated, acknowledged, then any attempt others make to love me falls short. No amount of love, time or attention can compensate for the black hole created by my trying to get love and prove that I can or should be LOVED.
These are the opportunities that presented themselves.
To choose anger instead of grace.
To embrace pain instead of hide under the bed with my dog.
To push back on alarm with faith or freak out and go back under the bed.
To let heartbreak submerge me or lean in to the relationship.
To give back what I have been given or withhold in resentment.
To speak freedom and life or shame and condemnation.
Honestly, I did a bit of all of the above. Except climb under the bed - there just isn't room. When I was able to choose (moment by moment) to believe how LOVED I am, I could eventually (I am not perfect!) choose grace, embrace pain, find my faith, lean in, give, and speak life. It wasn't pretty, easy or fun. But, it happened - messy, uncomfortable, and stressful. The challenges remain, but so does my great big God who reminds me through nature, beauty, people, animals, and circumstances beyond my understanding that I am LOVED.