One of the clever truisms that I’ve heard again and again through my life is the line ‘don’t put God in a box’. Meaning open up your mind and stop restricting what God can and cannot do according to your self-made rules. God is so much bigger than we often give Him allowance for and sometimes we need to stop and reassess our view of Him and His abilities. He cannot be defined by anyone and He will always surprise and delight us with the awesome wonders He takes pleasure in casually scattering about us.
But now I am finding that instead of putting God in a box, I have spent most of my life putting love in a box. I have been restricting my understanding of love and instead of freely receiving love from those people around me that care for me I have insisted to myself that brotherly love can only come from deep, meaningful connections. Part of my spiritual sickness tells me that for anyone to really love me they must know me and my faults. They need to have spent time finding out what makes me tick and how I do things. And only then could they ever really love me because then they would be able to make the conscious decision to accept me ‘warts and all’.
As I am opening myself up to this new thinking I can see that yet again my spiritual sickness directs me to operate a type of one-way valve in this area. I can love people around me without having a bucket full of knowledge about them. I don’t need to know how people work to be able to love them, I just need the opportunity. A lot of the time I don’t actually get much choice it just happens, which I guess is one of the results of being in an active relationship with God, the author of love Himself.
The more I think this through the more that I can see that this thinking is just another thing that has elevated having a romantic relationship to the dizzy heights that it can hold in my thinking. It only makes sense that if I dissuade myself from accepting love from those around me then my need of a romantic relationship becomes even more important. And with that extra pressure comes even more chance of failure for any relationship that has happened or might happen.
And so I need to start taking love out of the box. I need to reassess my thinking about love and how much I am getting from those around me. Because I know from experience that I am able to do so much more when I am aware that I am being supported by loving, caring people around me and most of the people in my life at the moment don’t actually know me that well because they haven’t known me for all that long. So I can either live life to the full by accepting their love freely or I can restrict myself and my abilities by demanding that they fit my self-made rules about love.
Not much of a choice really.