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Pursuit = Love

Thoughts on this statement? “If no one pursues you, you’re not valuable. If you’re always the pursuer, you’ve never been loved.”

This statement came out of my journaling today, after reading a portion of Ordering Your Private World, by Gordon MacDonald. I swing back and forth between blogging and not-blogging, sharing and withholding. Social Networking sites provide yet another opportunity for people to be driven to pursue approval or to experience rejection.

Social Media as a Pursuit of Love

After attending PubCon South last week, I created several new Twitter lists of influential marketers, figuring I could monitor them via lists without having to follow six hundred new people. Unfortunately, all the content coming from those lists tries to brainwash me all over again into thinking that I’m not important unless I write good enough content and enough people think I’m interesting. Meh. Pass.

And yet, my heart hurts as I read this book. It forces me to reopen those questions I asked myself during college. Those questions I thought I’d outgrown but, it turns out, have just become to busy to remember. I begin to re-examine my motives. My goals. What REALLY drives me. And it turns out, in the end, it’s all about being pursued. Because, at least in my world, being pursued equals being loved.

A Little History on Me

My parents had no idea what to do with me as a child. My older sister was so well-behaved and good-natured. There was no precedent for how to handle me… my energy, my logic, my questioning authority, my eventual criticism of EVERYONE. They apparently didn’t know that a child, especially me, needed to be pursued emotionally. They weren’t trying desperately to understand my world. They were the bridge generation between “kids should be silent” and “kids are my life.” They were more of a “kids are to be occupied with toys and activities” mindset.

Activities are great, but I remember specific days where I sat on the top of the playground monkey bars or up in a tree and just wondered what was wrong with the world… and why I felt so alone.

Looking back, I felt alone because no one really knew me, and I desperately needed someone to want to. I had a rich world of dreams, ideas, and imaginations, but no one saw value in drawing them out of me. I grew up to have no ambition, no goals, and no interests except self-pleasuring through food, cigarettes, movies, sex, and self-focused introspection. I never knew what it meant for someone to think I hung the moon. I never felt that special. I was a frustrating problem that buying new toys could at least temporarily solve.

My Confession

So this is my honest, heavy-hearted confession: I still want to be loved. And I feel loved when I am pursued. So when people comment, tweet, follow, friend, whatever that expresses their initiative, I feel good. I know that I have not solicited their response, which makes it altogether more trustworthy.

And here I am, an adult with a wife and two children, and I’m learning to face a terrifying truth. I am bankrupt without love. And as I write this, I hope you’ll hear the mixture of sorrow and hope. Sorrow because of what is 27 years lost. Hope because of what has begun to be found, and has yet to fully bloom.

There is a Lover and a Pursuer. Oh yes, there is.

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    • Thanks, Destiny. What I share from the heart is usually not popular with most of the web marketing pros I normally connect with online. Theirs is a self-promotion driven culture that directly contradicts my understanding of Scripture. But it’s not quite a clear-cut situation, for I feel that the man or woman of God should be bold and ready to advance – always positioned to expect abundance from God.

      I’m still working out the details.

  1. Well, as for being the well-behaved sister, being a people-pleaser was my attempt to find acceptance. All the adults in my life seemed to teach me that if I could perform well enough and act good enough, I could win approval and praise. And praise was important because my primary love language is words of affirmation. But as I’m getting healed of that performance mentality, I realize that people don’t approve of me as much anymore. It just goes to show you that people approve of you only if you’re doing and saying what they think you should be doing and saying.

    However, just because I felt approved of does not mean that I felt understood. I have always tried to care about other people and really know them and ask how they’re doing. But very few people show real interest in knowing or understanding me. Even the guys I dated were self-focused and never understood me at all. But I have great joy in knowing that God understands me and affirms me. And underneath it all I am an eternal optimist, and I have high hopes that God will bring more connections with people who truly want to know who I am.

  2. We all have that desire to be loved, but more importantly we want to be loved for being who we are. I’ve never been one who had an abundance of friends, but I’ve treasure the few that I have had because I feel they’re the few people who ever “got” me. All we can do is focus on those who do love us and make sure that we return their love. Quality over quantity, quality over quantity!

    • Good point, Jake. We all want to be loved for who we are, not for what we can do or for some image we’ve imitated in order to gain more approval. It’s the love for who we are that puts our heart’s desperate searching to rest.

  3. First, my apologies for not making out to your blog long ago.
    Second, wow… reading this, felt a little bit like you were talking about ME rather than yourself.