It’s been nearly nine months since I received my final rejection from the last school I applied to for a PhD program. I know I bring this up many times but these rejections still have a terrible, emotional hold on me. I scream to my heart, “Get over it, already! Move the hell on!” Although my mind has been content to move on, my heart lags behind, angry and bitter.
And this anger and bitterness has made my love wax cold in terms of how I relate to others. I want something in return for the love I give. Before my rejections, I was able to love without expecting anything in return. I just gave my time, presence, and other expressions of care freely and happily. I was patient, almost long suffering, with difficult people. I had more of a desire to connect with distant friends. I was more uplifting in my attitude, and brighter with my smiles. I wasn’t defensive as I am now because confidence brimmed from my cup. I allowed my anger and bitterness to swallow whole my entire personality and turn me into this person that I don’t even know or want to be around with. I don’t like the person I’ve become. She’s cold. Distant. Angry. Aggressive. Cowardly. And insensitive to people’s feelings and needs.
In other words, I need to change. I’m not sure if I can go back to who I was five years ago, but moving forward I can take the best qualities from who I was and mold them with the best of who I am now. And what are my best qualities now? I listen more. I’m more aware than I’ve ever been of my faults and possess a strong desire to fix them. I truly love people, but I don’t trust them. Along with the list of weaknesses above, I’m surprised by how much I don’t trust people to be kind. Loving. Caring. Empathetic. Toward me. I have this idea in my head, which unfortunately feels frighteningly true, that people hate me or that I’m undesirable. Small remnants of my depression: that it would be better if I were dead and so on. But I don’t want to die! I want to live, unflinchingly and bravely. I want to savor life and all its beauties before I pass away from this Earth. And I want to love others without fear, without insecurities, without hidden motives, without manipulation, and without the expectation of receiving anything in return. I want to love unconditionally. This is my life’s goal. To perfect my loving.
How about you? How do you love others?