If you’d asked me if I was a good friend, a caring and generous person, I would have said, unequivocally, yes. In many important ways I was all those things, but I was also deluded about myself and about how others saw me.
I was happy to give my time and my energy and my money to others, and I could always be depended on for a favor. Even though I rarely asked for anything in return, truth was, I did expect something very big in return. But what I wanted could not be bought with time or energy or money not matter how much I gave.
What I wanted more than anything was to be loved exactly the way I wanted to be loved, completely as myself with no need to fit myself to another. I wanted my every flaw to be overlooked. I wanted to be seen as perfect. And in this I was most needy.
Oh, what heartache I suffered when the ones I loved (or wanted to love) did not love me, even after all I’d done for them. When my expectations were not met, I grew resentful. In my resentment, I became angry. Angry people are difficult to love. This anger was a heavy burden which I bore without ever truly understanding how the weight of it bent and crippled me.
I understand now that people don’t always love you the way you want to be loved. To be loved, you must allow others to love you in whatever ways they do, in whatever ways they can.