Object Constancy, Part III
"As far as the east is from the west, so far has he [God] removed our transgressions [sins] from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear [trust/reverence] him."1
As we have pointed out in the past two days, it is imperative that we have object constancy in our lives if we are to have meaningful and fulfilling lives. We were created for loving relationships not only with God but also with others. And without sufficient love we wither up and die inside a little every day.
To heal from past hurts so we can achieve a sufficient level of object constancy, we need to be in a meaningful recovery program, because we don't heal without our active participation. We need to be emotionally honest and to resolve all bottled-up negative emotions, and we need to face and deal with the causes of inner emptiness. Next is:
Fifth, when we come to the realization that we didn't receive sufficient parental love, we're not looking to blame our parents because they could only give love to the degree that they had been loved themselves. We don't want to feel sorry for ourselves either; but we do need to take responsibility for our re-parenting and getting our needs met in healthy ways—and, again, not expect anybody else to do this for us.
Sixth, to re-parent ourselves we need to be courageously open and honest in safe, trusted, non-judgmental, and affirming relationships (non-romantic) and keep accountable to these people. When we admit our weaknesses to safe people, we find we are loved and accepted exactly as we are. Through their love and acceptance, little by little we learn to love and accept ourselves in a healthy way. This is critical, for only to the degree that we feel loved and accepted are we able to love and accept anybody else. One effective way to do this is in a safe twelve-step recovery group.
Keep in mind that we were damaged in damaging relationships and are healed in healing relationships.
Seventh, for those who have been abused—physically, emotionally, spiritually and/or sexually—or seriously emotionally neglected as a child, it is essential to get counseling in order to resolve our fear, so we can learn how to discern and receive healthy love, and are able to trust again.
Eighth, above all we need to realize just how much God, the Heavenly Father, loves and accepts us exactly as we are, so we can experience and feel His love and affirmation at the very core of our being.2
Every day, as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, we are reminded of God's unfathomable love for us and that "as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions [sins] from us."
In sending His Son, Jesus, to come to earth and die on the cross to pay the penalty for every sin you and I have ever committed or ever will commit, there is a profound demonstration of God's love for you and me. To know and feel this love—if we haven't already done this—we start by accepting God's gift of forgiveness by confessing our sins to Him and inviting Jesus to come into our heart and life as personal Lord and Savior. (See "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9 for help to do this.)
And all who have accepted Jesus as their Savior (no matter how long ago) we need to daily remind ourselves of and thank God for His great love for us, and pray that we will learn to love and accept ourselves as He loves and accepts us. It is also helpful to picture ourselves as a child being held in the arms of Jesus and being blessed by Him as He did the children when He was here on earth.
These steps take time and considerable effort, but follow them faithfully and you will, in time, find object constancy and the love your heart yearns to find.
Suggested prayer, "Dear God, don't let me die without having found the mature love my heart craves, and without having learned how to fully live and fully love. So help me God. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Psalm 103:12-13 (NIV).
2. Adapted from "The Power of Love" by Dick Innes, http://tinyurl.com/283t54