I’m currently doing a three-part video series on what Jesus said is the second greatest commandment: To love one’s neighbor as oneself. My messages are about healthy self-love; not buying into the “loops” that often swirl in our heads, especially from childhood; and loving ourselves because God loves us and created us AND sent His Son as expiation for our sins. Healthy self-love is not narcissism. There’s a BIG difference.
Yes, some folks have a challenging time loving themselves, but for me, the challenge is loving one’s neighbor, which can range from an actual neighbor who lives nearby to work colleagues to church friends to other friends and even family. Actually, I do have love in my heart for everyone, but let’s admit it: There are often people we don’t really like or who hurt us in some way, casting a cloud over how we feel about them.
I remember when my boys were growing up and would occasionally get into trouble, I’d sometimes say something along the lines of,” I love you, but I’m not happy right now” or “I love you, but I don’t like you very much right now.”
Anyone feel me?
As I write this post, it’s Independence Day, our nation’s 247th birthday. Typically, I receive a few invitations to parties, but none this year. Instead, I’m having wine with a few other “uninvited” neighbors.
And this whole idea of not being invited is resonating with me.
Love your neighbor as your love yourself.
Yes to both, but sometimes we have to erect healthy boundaries.
This may look like
- Not allowing people back into our lives at all or just superficially who have truly hurt us, unless they make amends. I’ve made amends to others I have wronged or felt I’d done wrong, and it’s a beautiful, healing experience.
- Dropping someone as a friend on social media. Take a look at your friends’ list. Do you ever ask why you are friends with them?
- Not selling your car to a friend who has professed an interest in buying it but can’t extend a simple invitation to a gathering to which you are usually invited (Laugh, but this is similar to a certain dynamic in my own life).
- Just backing off for a while or indefinitely!
When we are uninvited in some way, whether it’s not receiving an actual invitation to something or being “ghosted,” or anything else, we may have a little “snit fit” or say “Well, if that’s how they are going to act… etc.”
The better choices are to put up a healthy boundary, smile and wave, and say a little prayer for those people and for your own heart to soften. We can have soft hearts and love for others, but we should love ourselves enough to say,” That hurt, and I am going to just move past it and pray for them and us.”
Oh, and don’t sell that car unless you get every cent you are asking and not a penny less! Healthy boundaries…!
Amy Walton is a multi-certified Christian life coach, speaker, author, and Holy Yoga ambassador currently living in coastal Virginia. She loves invitations to gatherings and will happily consider any and all, especially if it involves sharing the hope we have in Christ… even when we are fortified with a few healthy boundaries! Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.