loving the unlovable

Loving the unlovable sounds impossible. Just writing that sentence reminds me of one of Thomas Merton’s famous quotes, “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.” And this holds so much truth, doesn’t it? I am not to ask, “Is this soul worth loving?”, I am simply called to love.

But I don’t. There is one person in my life that I often find to be unlovable and unworthy of love. She complains about my small mistakes. She misses the goodness of her life and puts the little hiccups of life under a microscope. She is cruel to me. She calls me horrid names: stupid, ugly, untalented, fat, lazy. She judges me and expects perfection from me without the grace and honor I deserve. Yet, I crave her love so much. When I get glimpses of her love for me, I soar. I feel like I can do anything. I begin to forget her lies and begin to see me in a new light.

Why don’t I get rid of the bitch? I mean, even small doses of love isn’t worth the pain she causes. Well, you see, the bitch is me. For me, I can be one of the most unlovable people in the room. It not only makes it impossible to find freedom and love in my own soul, but it also makes it impossible to love others well. When I go out in the world with an internal dialog of hate, perfectionism, and bitterness what spills out is hate, perfectionism, and bitterness.

When it comes to love and compassion, I must start with myself. I can not hate my own soul and claim to love others. It is an impossible goal that many seem to have. In order to love others well, I must start with the most difficult for me to love, myself.

So, I slowly move towards an honest, grace-filled life. I forgive my imperfections one day, and the next remember that I will never be perfect. Perfection can’t be my goal. Completely and honestly myself must be my goal. I need to take the microscope off all the small hiccups of life and put it on the beautiful and brilliant parts of life: my marriage, my children, my friendships, my faith. I must offer the sweet balm of grace to all my mistakes and trespasses. And as I slowly move towards a true and honest self-compassion, I can move into being my own cheerleader. I can see the beautiful in my own soul. I can see what is good and needed for my life and the lives of the people that I do life with. And as I fall head over heels in love with myself, I can begin to love others with a deep and real love.

Does this mean ignoring the pain of life? No, of course not. But in order to walk through the dark parts of life, I must be sure of my companion. And while I have a compassionate and courageous companion in my God, I must also find that compassion and courage in myself. I am, after all,  made of the same magic and light as He is.


For more thoughts on loving the unlovable, journey to Lindsey’s blog  and then continue through the posts.


  1. Meg · February 15, 2016

    So vulnerable and so utterly beautiful. Thank you. I love you dearly.

    • Staci Lee · February 15, 2016

      Thank you, friend. I love you right back. x

  2. Andy Kennelly · February 15, 2016

    wow! beautiful words and images. xoxo

    • Staci Lee · February 15, 2016

      Thank you, babe. xx

  3. Allison Hughes · February 15, 2016

    Wow. Beautiful, Staci. When I read things like this, I only wish you could spend one day in my shoes, seeing you as I do. And then to think what God sees! We are so hard on ourselves!! Your words and images are lovely. And so are you!

    • Staci Lee · February 15, 2016

      Thank you so much. That means so much to me and encourages my heart.

  4. Susan · February 15, 2016

    This is wonderful. I love every single word of it. Mostly I love you.

    • Staci Lee · February 15, 2016

      Thank you. Love you right back.

  5. Cara Monaco · February 15, 2016

    yes. yes yes yes yes. yes yes yes.
    ugh so there right now.
    why do we do this to ourselves?

    • Staci Lee · February 15, 2016

      I am not sure. If only we could see ourselves as amazing! xx

  6. lizzy · February 15, 2016

    Beautiful and brave writing. You write of what we all as women feel and battle with. Thank you for your honesty! I struggle with the same things! This really encourages me today. xo

    • Staci Lee · February 15, 2016

      Thank you so much. I am so grateful it touched you today. xx

  7. Jayne Covell · February 15, 2016

    Stacie, I just want to thank you for your beautiful transparency. You’re saying what most of us do not have the courage to say. I can so relate to the mind chatter that is pure evil and utterly destructive. That is why the verses on ‘renewing your mind’ are so poignant to me. I’m finally embracing His words of truth and speaking blessings over myself. It’s a good thing! Love, Jayne

  8. 7thsisterphoto · February 18, 2016

    …hands together, bowing my head slowly… I’m on this journey, too.

    • Staci Lee · February 18, 2016

      Oh, yes. Journeys are so much better with a companion. xx

  9. Pingback: loving the unlovable – confessions from an angry adolescent daughter | Cissy Brady-Rogers
  10. yawkheel1 · February 22, 2016

    So very beautiful. I love everything about this. What’s funny is that at first I wasn’t tracking, and I was ready to find this person who didn’t love you and said mean things to you and punch her out. LOL Thank you for being a great example of vulnerability, love, and someone on the path toward self-acceptance.

Thank you for your kind words.

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