“Sometimes I feel like I have to play relational Tetris.” I said this the other night to a friend and immediately wanted to roll out of their moving car. Wow. I finally found words to put to my feeling of having to make all the right moves or my relationships will implode.
I am in a season of letting people deeper into my life. This has brought up in me the fear of rejection and the fear of man. Most deeply, it has brought up this fear that if I make a wrong move, people might leave me. Here’s the thing though: these thoughts and feelings have been so subtle that to me, they seemed to have some truth to them until I said it out loud and realized how sad it sounded. Isn’t it crazy that our biggest breakthrough moments also bring up our greatest fears? So here I am, minding my own business, trying to be brave and let people in and BAM, I’m hit with the fear that if I don’t make the right moves, it all comes crashing down.
Coming up for air
I instantly felt like I had been holding my breath for an eternity, and then I finally exhaled. My friend looked at me and asked me if I knew I didn’t actually have to live like this. In my head I knew it, but my heart is still on a journey to this truth. Like anyone, I have had my share of relationships that have been hard and some that have had to end because we just couldn’t make the friendship work anymore. What none of those people know is that my narrative always ended with the entirety of the breakdown being my fault. Now, we all know that most likely isn’t the case because it takes two people in a relationship. No one is ever blameless.
For a long time, my heart believed all of these things were my fault. Therefore, I felt I had to make the right moves moving forward. It is exhausting, overwhelming, and not the freedom that Jesus died for me to live in. I have been living in less than abundance, and I cannot afford to live in fear anymore.
A compassionate question
I was talking to the Lord about all of this the other day and in His gentle, yet very firm voice, He asked me a simple question. “Lauren, will you live like you are loved?” You can imagine the tears that flowed in this moment. In that question came the realization that I have been living for love and not from love. Living for love means I live my life trying to gain the affection and attention of the people I love. It means I strive and I try in my own strength. It means I become possessive and jealous and afraid.
But, living from love means I can rest. It means I can believe that I am who God says I am. It means I believe God is enough, and I choose to believe that the people around me actually see me and embrace every part of me. Living from love means even when something is my fault, it doesn’t result in people leaving. It means that being in process is actually enjoyable and not something I run from because I fear that people can’t handle the mess. It means that I can let go.
So, I’m throwing the Tetris game out – it can all come crashing down. I am repenting of living in fear. I am living like I am loved. And when it isn’t easy, instead of trying to earn love, I will let people love me right in the middle. Most importantly, I am letting God love me right now. Messy, complicated, unsure, afraid, and loud. I am loved, so I will live that way. Will you live like you are loved?
Author | Lauren Flowers
Lauren is a dreamer, life coach, and encourager. She thrives in settings where authentic conversation, good coffee, and the presence of the Holy Spirit are found. You can catch her challenging others to live the fullest life God has for them, while trying to figure out how to do that in her own life. The ultimate Enneagram 2, Lauren loves connecting with people, believing in their dreams, and helping them in the process of finding their destiny. You can find Lauren on Instagram @leflowers, and be sure to check out Arrow Dream Coaching for more info on Lauren’s coaching services online and on Instagram @arrowdreamcoaching.