Saturday, June 19, 2010

It Ain't About Deservin'

In my solitude of late, I have been able to identify a number of the scripts that run in my mind and unconsciously affect my behavior and mood. The most persistent of these is "I don't deserve to be loved/I'm not worthy of love" or some variation on that theme.

I'm confronting the script with a big fat "so what!" Of course, I don't "deserve" to be loved and am not "worthy" of love. Nobody is. Love is not an entitlement. It is freely given, an act of grace which cannot be earned or demanded. It wouldn't really be love if you could cash in your chips in exchange for it.

My very existence is testament to the love that God has for me. He so arranged the universe that I would come to be in it and live in it. What an amazing gift. And He sent Jesus and claimed me as His own, all before I was even born. There's no issue of deserts or worthiness with God.

The same goes for people. I don't have claims on their love. Nevertheless, I find it freely given and coming from unexpected quarters.

The script can run all it wants but its power over me is fading. It is true that I am unworthy and undeserving of love, but is also true that I am, in fact, beloved. This is a powerful and important realization for me.

Now my focus is turning away from wanting to be loved and more to wanting to love. The prayer of St Francis comes often into my thoughts and as part of my prayers. The salient portion in this case being:

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love.

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