Question:

I'm writing because I feel completely ruined and came across your web site. I am over 45. I am unable to hold a job of any kind really; although, I should be able to because there is nothing physically wrong with me, and I have multiple college degrees.

After a catastrophic event in my life a few years ago I realized that I am a 100% psychopath. I have never been able to feel love or gratitude or to bond with any other person or any of my pets I have ever had (dogs mostly). I have always sponged off other people just to get by and never even liked anything wholesome. I had parents who loved me and took care of me when I was young, but I never loved them back. I didn't know why, and looking back I realize that I don't know how to love. I was just going through the motions.

Until a few years ago I always thought I knew all the answers to life's questions and that I knew just what to do. I went to church, was a member, and was active. I have always been charming. I always know what to say because I can read what people want to hear and tell it to them, but in truth I seldom know what to actually do even in taking care of myself.

I was married once and had children but in thinking back about it I never did love their mother, I just used her for what I could get out of her. I was fond of most of the children, but I did not really have any emotional bond with them and was unusually hard on them on things that, in thinking about it, really don't matter. For some reason I was especially hard on my son. I know he adored me but I didn't really like him, for no real reason, and now he won't have anything to do with me, and I don't blame him.

Now I remember when I was small 'asking Jesus to save me' when I went to church; I didn't know what else to do and I still don't. I am not sure what else to tell you. I have no real feelings for any other human or anything living. I thought I was saved a long time ago because I had 'asked Jesus to save me,' but I understand now that meant nothing to me, or to Him either. I try talking to God, but it is just thoughts in my head, as I am unable to love, or feel, or really be anything other than alive, and that just barely.

I sound pathetic, and I am. I do not know how to love any living thing, and that is what has been missing from me the very start; but I did not begin to understand it until a few years ago, and then reading your web site truly revealed things to me about myself that I had not really understood before. In my heart of hearts I have cursed God many times. I blame Him for the way I am, and for not helping me when I was young and not knowing how to be normal. I know it's somehow really my own fault, but I have never been able to take responsibility either. So, I have been wondering why God would not do for me what He has done for so many others; why He would not answer my thought-prayers a long, long time ago, and if there is anything at all I can do about it now, after basically a completely wasted life that should have been a good one.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.


Answer:

The Bible talks of good feelings being the results of righteous actions, not the cause of actions. Bad feelings can lead to bad actions, such as hate leading to murder. Love is not a feeling, but a course of action chosen to be followed. It leads to feelings that we label as "love." I would like you to read through Love is ... and consider whether your actions were truly loving, let's say to your parents, your wife, or your children. If it comes up short, then it isn't a wonder that you did not feel love. Yet, this also points the direction that you need to correct your actions so that love can be shown and felt. Such shortfalls doesn't make you a psychopath. It merely indicates areas where you need to learn and grow.

My suspicion is that you've focused most of your life on yourself. You never mastered the ability to put the needs of others before your own. "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (Philippians 2:3-4). Given this, the solution is to learn to put others interests before your own. Effort is required on your part instead of assuming that it should naturally come.

Thank you. I read the article, and you are correct. I have spent my whole life entirely self-focused. I have never known any other way, and you are also right in that I expected it to come naturally somehow. It doesn't.

Can a person be so cold and hard in their heart that they have passed the point or day of grace, and God just totally abandons them? If so, how do you know when that occurrs? In truth, my question is more academic than soul searching.

I am truthful when I tell you in all honesty that I do not have any feelings at all. I cannot feel anything except rage occasionally, and fear almost all the time. I know that none of that comes from God. I do not know how to get any of God's love inside of me. I do not know how to love; I never have. I get through my days going through the motions of putting others ahead of myself, but the truth is, it's all a facade just to fit in. I have never been genuine.

Please tell me how to get the divine inside of me.

Thanks

There is a conflict in what you are saying. You said you spent your whole life self-focused, but then say that you go through your days putting others ahead of yourself. The two are not compatible.

It appears that you see your personal feelings as being more "real" than what you actually do. If you know you should put others ahead of yourself and you choose to do so, then such is genuine. Your actions are consistent with your knowledge.

Christians find peace and contentment in knowing they are doing what God asked of them. The feelings are the result of righteous living. A person doesn't live righteous because they feeling like it.