For many years I have chased being loved.
The more I chased it, the faster it ran away from me.
I work in Malaysia and when I came back to Europe, I expected from my closest family a very warm welcome. Small things and big things that were not done used to make me really unhappy and resulted in negative feelings that soon were translated in negative actions with more negativity coming my way.
Things changed when I read the prayer of Francis of Assisi.
He was asking in that prayer to be given the strength so that he would hunger more to love than to be loved and to understand rather than to be understood. And that was really a game-changer for me. My next visit home in Europe, I decided to appreciate greatly whatever nice things were done to me (and believe me, if your focus is on that, you detect more than ever before) and to accept with an open and understanding heart whatever expectations (even those very normal and logical ones) that were not fulfilled.
Guess what, my next trip was one of the best ones ever.
Here is the complete prayer of Francis. I hope you benefit and find as much meaning in it as I did.
Lord, make me an instrument of
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.