My husband and I love “House”. Last night’s episode was about Lisa Cuddy’s illness and cancer scare – giving her boyfriend, the deeply wounded and complicated Dr. House, an opportunity to step up and be a man – as it were – in regard to her emotional needs. But in keeping with the story line of the show – House has never ‘stepped up’ except when it comes to saving lives and figuring out complicated cases – then he’s a genius. This is part of the complexity of the character – and what makes the show work – from the dysfunctional staff and relationships – to the hidden messages and lessons every week from them.
But last night I recognized something in his character and in Lisa’s too that was foreign – and yet strangely familiar too. How often have I had a friendship in my life that was in the form of a charming, yet troubled person. Most women – if they’re honest – somehow like the deeply complicated and wounded man. I’m not sure why – maybe because it brings out our nurturing nature – or our maternal instincts. Or maybe we just don’t believe that a man has to be that wounded – if they have enough love. But from experience – I can tell you that even though the song says, “Love is all you need” – sadly – this is not true. Love can only go so far in the healing process. Often a deeply wounded or neglected person – is that way because of something traumatic in their childhood – and they have learned to cope by being this way. And most times – it is a ‘high’ to think that by coming into their life – you can actually ‘fix’ them. It is not true. Usually the ‘fix’ is just temporary at best.
How many times have I spoken with women – and some men, about their troubled relationship – only to find out that at the beginning with this person they actually believed that they could fix them. Somehow the love that they felt for that person – or that the person felt for them – would magically be enough. Sometimes it does help – but it does not fix them permanently. And it is a deception – because looking through the lens of love can make you see things that are sometimes not very accurate.
Ahh the complicated person. Usually when times are good and everything is put right in their world – all is well. But when it is not – they are hurt – they fear pain or want to avoid it altogether – or when they have abandonment issues – all I can say is – look out. The person they are closest to – they can often hurt the worst. So if you are in the line of fire – duck!
Healing comes from within – lasting healing comes from God. It is arrogant to assume that we can be God to someone – when what they really need is a touch from Him – the one who made them and understands just how to do it. And often times that complicated person cannot let go of their issues – long enough to allow God to heal. It is a decision – and takes a lot of courage. To the wounded person – their issues become a like a safety blanket of comfort and security – however dysfunctional they may seem to you and me.
Love is not all you need. It’s a wonderful place to start – but just not enough. If you love someone troubled and complicated – who has hurt you over and over – you know what I am talking about. It is okay to protect yourself – while still loving. It is okay to say – “I can’t fix you – only God can – but I still love you – and I will not allow you to keep hurting me”.
Praying for you today as you love and encourage those around you to reach out to the only one who can really help, restore and heal.