“The love that you withhold
is the pain that you carry.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
How many times do we make love conditional? We withhold love because we feel angry, guilty, superior, different, unworthy, unlovable, abandoned, rejected … the list is long. If we don’t get our way or the other person doesn’t change (the conditions), we hang on tightly to our “love.” It’s all about us, individually. When we withhold love, it is out of our own pain and has little to do with the other person.
1 Corinthians 13 is referred to as the love chapter of the Bible. In it, Paul writes:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails… (NIV)
Try this experiment. Replace the word “love” with your name. Can you?
Most of us cannot say that we have reached that point, but can we take a step or two toward it? Can we look at our own pain and walk through it so that we can love another person? Love is never easy. People aren’t easy, either. Oh…but love is worth it. And the more we are able to give it, the more of it we will receive.
Today…think about one person from whom you have withheld love…a spouse, a child, another relative, the homeless man on the street…and ask yourself what it is within you that has caused that withholding. Take your time. Work through it until you CAN love that person.
Your life will be all the better for it.