Hell on the Heart

Always watch for signs!

“You never did anything for me,” he snarled.  Those words were probably the most hurtful six words I had ever heard in my life.  It was like a slap in the face, a punch in the stomach, or a stab in the back.  As far as I was concerned, EVERYTHING I had ever done, had been for him.  That was my first mistake…there would be more mistakes on my part to follow.

I needed his approval.  I craved his love. I waited for his acknowledgment.  I wanted his applause.  I sought his favor, I looked for his respect, and I begged for his acceptance.

Looking back, I must have been a pathetic creature.  Anyone who goes to such extremes to gain the favor of another, whatever the situation, is a person spiraling into disappointment and destruction.  I should have seen the signs of my behavior as weak.  I should have recognized my actions  as a feeble attempt to earn his love.  I should have remembered that “love is not something that we find or have, but something that we do.” (from a Clint Black song)

Hungry for acceptance as you are walking on eggshells is not a good combination.  It set me up for failure.   Much of what I did for him (or his girls), I sincerely wanted to do, but the underlying factor was I was trying to earn a merit badge, a gold star, or an A+ for effort.  I had hoped to gain favor in his baby blue eyes.    Instead of earning me the love and respect I longed for, all I earned was the glare of a man, who to this day, despises my existence for reasons unknown to me.

I have since learned I need to do things that are right or good for me.  Not in a selfish way, but in a way that is true to who I am and what I stand for.  I cannot live my life trying to impress or win the favor of another.    True love doesn’t ask for a pat on the back or a standing ovation.  Instead, it offers a hug at the end of a long day.  It’s a smile from across a crowded room, and it’s a kiss on the cheek just because…

Today I am thankful that I am still learning…even if it means learning from past mistakes.

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