Loving People Who Are Hard to Love
If you read a lot of my blog posts, you see a lot of “Let it go,” “You gotta have healthy boundaries,” and “You’re responsible for what shows up in your life” types of posts. It may give the impression that if something or someone isn’t working for you, it’s time to cut it loose. Before you do, consider that sometimes those who are hard to love are the ones who need it the most.
It’s not your job to save anyone. You have no obligation to put yourself in a position to be used or betrayed. But if you have the strength and patience to give a little of yourself, you may be the thing that turns someone’s life around. How?
See the Beauty Beyond the Brokenness
Hurt people hurt people. When someone shows up as angry, abusive, or difficult, you can almost guarantee that his spirit or soul has been broken along the way. If you look past the facade into his heart, you will find a light within. I know because we all have it.
Speak to the Light Inside
People who are hard to love know this about themselves. They act it out so people around them reinforce their brokenness. Stop. They already know about their shortcomings. Show them their light. Talk about their strengths and value. Show them what they aren’t seeing so that perhaps they will reflect that back into the world instead.
Transformation is a process. Caterpillars don’t turn into butterflies before our eyes. It takes time. Change has ups and downs. There can be hopelessness, frustration, self-pity, rage, and all sorts of unpleasant things that happen before the prince or princess inside emerges. It’s not a set back. It’s part of the journey.
Let Go of the Outcome
Maybe you want to see your mom become a “real” mom. Perhaps you want your family to have a Currier and Ives style Christmas. Don’t give love for that reason or you will be disappointed. This is not a makeover. You don’t get to control what happens. Let go of the outcome and love because you are loving.
Forgive those who don’t deserve it – because we all deserve it. Extend forgiveness even if they aren’t sorry. The healing has to start somewhere. When you offer it, you receive it.
If you are struggling to keep it together, put yourself first. Get to the place where you can stand strong before helping someone else up. It’s like rescuing a drowning man. A desperate person can pull you both down.
However, if you have the patience, strength, and desire to help someone who is hard to love, won’t you spread a little sunshine? What you send out comes back to you because the universe is interconnected. We all get exposed to plenty of negativity throughout the day, but your light could be the thing that makes all the difference. “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.” ~the Talmud