"How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved" -Sigmund Freud
What would you do differently if you knew you were loved? If you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was someone who knew you, loved you, as you were, what would you do differently? What if this love wasn’t the passive, watered down love that said it knew you and loved you but deep down wished you would change, wasn’t the love that had ulterior motives, or thought you lacked? What if this love was passionate, actively for you, fiercely fighting, knew you to your very core where the bits of darkness we try to hide live and the bright spots of light we are kind of scared of live, saw you, knew you, and still said, “I am here”?
Each and every one of us has a deep need to be loved. But when we say “loved” we aren’t talking about feelings of affection or care for someone else’s well-being. We feel lots of affection and care for a ton of people. Sometimes when we say “love” what we are really saying is that we care what happens to the other person. We don’t want them to be hurt and we want them to have a better life than they do currently. But when we say that we want to be loved, we are talking about an entirely different emotion.
We want to feel like we are known, accepted, worth fighting for, that we belong. We want to know that there is nothing we could do, say, think, or feel that would change those things. We want to be able to show our whole, true, authentic selves and receive others’ whole, true, authentic selves.
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”- Tim Keller
How do we find this kind of love? Some of it is being willing to be authentic and vulnerable, being willing to show parts of our hearts to people we are close to. We find this kind of love by first being this love to others; to truly accept, fight for, and know the people around us. To not give platitudes or empty well wishes but to truly see and know the people we encounter—our family members, our friends, our spouses.
To really love someone, to see them and know them and then be so excited about what you see and what you have come to know, breaks away fear, shame, brokenness, and grief. It repairs relationships, creates new ones, and allows each person to become who they were created to be.
If you were loved like this—truly loved—what would you do differently? If everyone around you was loved like this, how would that change the world? And then if everyone encounter the source of true, deep, abiding, self-sacrificing, fight-for-you love, how would that change the very foundation of humanity?
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.—1 John 4:18