Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places... Are You A Soldier Of Love?

She is crying, sobbing uncontrollably but you've been here with her a million times before, she is shaking her head and you vaguely make out the words " How could he do this to me? why does this keep happening?" A question you have tried to answer time and time again...Is she just destined to be as "Soldier of Love?" Mr. Right-on-time who is always there when you need a shoulder to cry on but emotionally detached once your over the last heartache and things seem to be getting deeper between you "I'm not ready for marriage..." then there was Mr. Let's attend every wedding, dinner and karaoke hand in hand and basically spend every moment together until my calls become few and far between .. don't forget Mr. Lets be friends with benefits and see how it goes" until you bump into someone holding a souvenir from his wedding.

It is a given that many ladies will seek true love, and yet finding it is not necessarily a sure thing. There are those who seek comfort and stability; others, delight in excitement and bask in the attention offered by a male cohort but the bottom line is that we are "nesters" looking for the right person, with whom to build a loving, comfortable nest.

The number of women that I come into contact with that, for whatever reason, find themselves single again and again after thinking this is Mr.Right is astounding. The worst part is that they have to cry it all out and then pick themselves up again and give the next guy a chance but he turns out to be worse, might be a cheater, not hold her in high esteem and just treat her like a new toy acquired by a toddler, that will be discarded once the next Ben10 action figure comes out. The worst part is that after all the heartbreak, she is still bent on finding love. And if observers are kind, she get classed as a serial-dater but truly she is just a Soldier of love.

Often a "Soldier of love"  wouldn't recognize love if it slapped her in the face. Does she love herself? After she went back to guy #5 who left her with a black eye because she went through his phone, I doubt it. The series of bad experiences have shattered her self esteem to the extent that even a flicker of affection seems like the love she so desperately longs for. 

She must first take a step to accept God's love. First Corinthians 13:4-8 lists the characteristics of love. Few understand and appreciate how unique God's love really is. We relate God's love similarly to the way we've been loved. Our bad experiences prevent us from accepting God's love bringing Him down to our level thinking His love is conditional or proportional to our performance. That's how everyone else loves us, but God's love is different. It's like no other love you've ever experienced; it brings life, hope, builds self esteem and helps us to love ourselves.

Ultimately, it is our relationship with ourselves and God that is the most significant and indeed the most important relationship that we will ever have because all other relationships are reflections of this. Often, though not always, the desire to be in relationship with another comes from a place of wanting to fill a void, a space that somehow feels incomplete. When one enters into relationships from this starting point, they often lead to much disappointment and disillusionment and we end up concluding that relationships ARE hard. However, if we could be awakened to the fact that love of another begins with a strong focus towards God's love and then kindness, tenderness for another and from another begins with kindness and tenderness towards ourselves first. It is the relationship with self that leads us eventually to a place where life makes sense. As within, so without. A great teacher once said that happiness is an inside job and it's the same with loving: loving is an inside job!

Ijeoma Olujekun

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