LESSONS ON LOVE – is there really such a thing?


angel of mine

Full disclosure: the following post may be boring to you. The reason I say that is because, well, it just takes me a while to figure things out. I’ve always been a late bloomer, perhaps a bit slow on the scale of “aha! I get it!” That’s not news to anyone I went to school with, worked with, or fell in love with. You, on the other hand, probably figured things out like a normal person. I have never ever professed to be normal. Sometimes that sucks but most of the time it rocks.  My husband says I wake up in a new world every day and he is right, but maybe not the way he thinks.  It works for me.

I want to talk about love. I’ve learned a lot about it over the years. And because I’m slow, I’ve made a ton of love mistakes. After all, I was single for 20 years between husbands. I’m afraid I spent my young adult years with a screwed up thought process about love. I simply didn’t know the reality of it, just the romantic fantasy of it. I hate that because I sure wasted a lot of time, time that I should have been using to lay a strong, solid, informative foundation for my own off-spring. Unfortunately, I have to take responsibility that my children didn’t really have a good example to follow.  Thankfully, my precious (almost middle aged) kids don’t hold it against me.  I think.  I hope.  Does that ring a bell with anyone?
It wasn’t all bad. You know what they say about mistakes – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I hate that cliché but it is true. I’m strong. Very strong. That isn’t an acquired skill, it has to be learned and earned. I’m a survivor.

There is a huge difference between love and infatuation. Everybody knows that but not everybody acts like they believe it. These days most people fall in and out of love like they change their clothes. And the funny thing is it really feels like love. So they go full on with all the trappings they think love entails. Then it’s over. Hurt feelings. Move on. Repeat.

People, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Of course, I’m not saying this is the way it is for everybody in the whole world, especially not the young couple I have in my mind and prayers today, but people in general from what I’ve observed and experienced. It’s like our society has morphed into something else. You decide if this pertains to you or someone you know.

My point is something like this; love shouldn’t be all about feelings. That won’t last. You’ve heard that before, haven’t you? Feelings are important, don’t get me wrong. There has to be an attraction factor first. That is a feeling, but one based on all kinds of biology and psychology stuff, believe it or not. Which leads me to this – for heaven’s sake, don’t mistake lust for love! Lust is definitely based on feeling. Lust equals sex. Sex does not equal love. Sex can be a wonderful magical part of love, in fact it can be an amazing by-product of love. But you don’t have to have love to have sex. Lust is not all there is to love.

Loneliness is another love risk factor. We have all been there. Dare I say we have all fallen in love a time or two because of loneliness. Trust me, being alone is much better, in fact, much easier than fooling yourself into thinking you’re in love based on feelings (read lust). There is nothing worse than making yourself be in love with someone after the reality of truth sets in, and it will.

Here is another defining factoid of love; don’t think you are in love because you need him/her. It doesn’t work. We all need someone. That’s the way God made us. We were created to couple. But being needy is a different thing altogether. Being a needy person entails looking to a partner to meet all of your emotional needs and that just never works. It’s not fair to saddle another person with that much responsibility. You cannot depend on someone else to make you happy.  Loev doesn’t make you do that.  Part of being a mature person is learning to be in charge of your own emotional stability. Coincidentally, you can’t constantly keep rescuing your partner from whatever. There is nothing wrong with being partners with your partner as in supporting and helping each other. That’s what you are supposed to do. On the other hand, if you feel like you have to fix everything in your partner’s life, if you are in a frenzy to make sure he/she has everything you think they need, that’s not love. That’s co-dependence. And co-dependence is a much, much harder problem to work out than being infatuated rather than in love.

After you sift through the difference between infatuation, lust and love, loneliness and neediness, the learning curve goes way up. Oh my gosh, learning to compromise is a big deal. There is, in fact, an art to it. You simply can’t get your way all the time and expect a relationship to work. It won’t. People develop resentments, then maybe a little pay-back enters the situation, finally living without that selfish ass begins to look more and more attractive. Don’t go there. Give a little. You know you have reached a higher level of true love when you wake up in the morning and your heart asks “what can I do today for him/her?” Don’t tell me that’s based on feelings. That is based on action, loving, considerate action. Here’s another thing; don’t go getting all hurt when he/she says something you don’t agree with. Or, for that matter, does something you don’t agree with (Cheating and all illegal activity are the exception! J ) I’m not saying that you should put up with everything. I’m saying please keep in mind that just because you are a couple doesn’t mean that your partner should think and do everything the same way you do. There is a huge difference between men and women, if you didn’t already know that. There is the learning-to-be-compatible part. Compatibility is another art form, much like compromise. You have to work at it. Of course, the bonus would be that a couple doesn’t have to work too hard at it, that compatibility is what draws them together. That would be a wonderful thing but don’t assume it is going to pop out at you automatically.

There is another dimension of love – Holy Love. Because we are all made in God’s image, every one of us is capable of holy love which is the absolute best, loveliest, safest, most comfortable, happiest kind of love imaginable. It is the kind of love in God’s eyes when He set in motion the plan for man and woman. Of course, human beings have continued to screw that up since Adam and Eve, but that’s another story, another blog post. The point is holy love is what we should all strive for. It is love that goes beyond the norm, love that endures the good and the not so good. It stares down anything that causes pain and discomfort, loss and difficulties. Holy love happens when two people commit to feeding their relationship with good, not selfish desires. Holy love works through the nastiness that sometimes accompanies life. It joins two people as one (even if one or both of them snore, fart, and kick in their sleep). It perseveres through every cold, flu, or illness known to man. It holds together during calamity, heartbreak and hardship. It never gives up. Holy love unites a couple in ways that are difficult to comprehend these days. A couple can share a holy love even if they are as different as cats and dogs.  Ask me how I know.

Holy love doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of work to achieve. It would seem that holy love is rarely sought after. How sad. Holy love is truly a reward for hanging in there when times get tough.

 

I invite you to interact with me. Leave a comment, like and share my blog, agree or disagree. It’s all good. Now that I’m finished with brain tumors, pacemakers and other life interruptions I’m going to get back to my blogging and writing. I can’t wait and I’m so looking forward to getting better at it! I hope I never ever stop learning.

 

Peace of the Lord be with you! And please don’t forget to pray for world peace. So many lives depend on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Thoughts on Gabrielle Reece, being submissive and Proberbs 31


I was watching (-actually just listening half-heartedly because I am so easily distracted)- the Today Show (NBC) the other day when, to my surprise, I heard the lead to a story about Gabrielle Reece’s new book MY FOOT IS TOO BIG FOR THE GLASS SLIPPER.  My imagination was immediately piqued and my ears automatically grew three inches so I could catch every detail.  The title alone is what grabbed me because I don’t know Gabby Reece, in fact, never heard of her – sorry.  My one remaining goal in life is to become a princess so I wanted to hear all about big feet and glass slippers.  Could my feet possibly fit into glass slippers?  Would I dare try them on?  I would think being a princess does have some requirements and necessary skill.  Could I qualify for the position?  Frankly, I’ve never had glass slippers or been a princess so I don’t know.  I’ve often thought I’d make a good one.  I am spoiled and I think perhaps that might be one of the prerequisites.  And I think I would like having a life of ease and comfort.

Screeeech!  Wait just a stinkin’ minute!  As the interview progressed, I discovered that Gabby Reece didn’t intend to convince people that being a princess is all that.  As a matter of fact, the point of her book was something along the lines of  My Life Is Not Perfect, therefore, I must work on making it what I want it to be. 

Not exactly what I wanted to hear.  And to add to that insult, she had this to say:  TO BE FULLY FEMININE IS TO BE SOFT AND RECEPTIVE AND …SUBMISSIVE.

What?  Did I hear that right?

My heart fell.  This is the argument of the ages between men and women, and as you might guess, a pretty prominant one between my husband and I.  In fact, just the other day we had a slight disagreement that ended with him informing me how he waits on me hand and foot (Yeah, right.  In your dreams!).  I had to keep my mouth shut and walk away because if he had to go so far as to pull that out of the arcenal, he was precariously close to loosing it.  We don’t want that.  So anyway, you can see where this is going.  I prickle at the word submissive.  Yes, I do.  Now you know.  I was born in the woman’s lib era.  I believe in equality on all levals.  Equal pay, equal rights, etc,. etc.  Sadly, I’ve seen men have an advantage over women in too many ways.  To be fair, I’ve seen women have an advantage over men in many ways as well. 

My husband comes from a long line of submissive women in his family.  In the little community we live in, old fashioned women take care of old fashioned men — still.  You guessed it, women do all the housework and cooking and disipline the children for the most part.  Men go make a living.  DISCLAIMER:  not everybody here lives that way.  There are some modern, enlightened families too.  Like us.  Yeah, that’s right, like us.  Much to my sweetheart’s dismay, we are modern and enlightened in ways he never dreamed of.  Example:  Him:  I have to do my own laundry and clean my own bathroom!  (said with a red face and clenched fists).   Me:  So?  I do too!  (said with a red face, hands in the air and exasperation in my voice.)  Keep in mind neither of us work outside the home.

Really, it’s not that bad.  I can almost chuckle over what he thinks is fair.  But that was before GABRIELLE REECE on the Today Show.  After I calmed my reaction to her submission statement, I challenged myself to listen to her message. 

Oh my sweet Lord, she made sense. 

Some of the statements I heard went something like this:   It works both ways.  Being strong and being submissive is a choice.  To be submissive does not mean being a slave.  It’s about respect and love.  It’s about waking up in the morning and choosing to do whatever you can to serve the people you love.   She said she wants to be cherished and her husband cherishes her so she does whatever she can do to show him he is cherished by her.  Of course that’s not verbatum, but that’s waht I got out of it.  She said something about learning to be skilled at loving someone.  Wow, I had to think about that!

I began to listen to the interview in earnest.  And I learned something I had forgotten.  It’s called being a Proverbs 31 woman.  And what Ms. Gabby said was incrediably close to the blueprint of womanhood set in Proverbs 31.  Look it up in the Old Testament.  In essence, a Proverbs 31 woman is one who takes care of her family, is loyal and dedicated, can run the household efficiently, can even work and make a profit, and takes joy in doing what she does. 

I am reminded of a sermon given by Father Charles Ray, a man who became a priest not too long ago.  He gave it on that Sunday when the Church readings were about loving one another, women submit to your husbands, husbands cherish your wife, etc.  I held my breath and was prepared to automatically feel rebellious to whatever he said.  But he surprised me and I’ll never forget what he said.  The message was:  Women, you have the most important job in the world.  It’s up to you to see that the family runs like a well oiled machine.  It’s up to you to keep your family together.  A woman gathers her family unto herself.  Make it count.  Keep it together.  Men, when you leave work, be with your family.  Leave your job outside the door and play with your children, help your wife, love your family.  Staying in love with your spouse is not a guarentee, or an automatic response.  It’s a challenge.  It’s a choice.  If it is your choice, you will do what it takes to keep it.  You do what it takes to serve the ones you love.  Being submissive can sometimes work out to be an honor. 

Awesome

So, I guess I’m going to have to help him with his laundry.  But I’m not yet so skilled that I’m going to touch his bathroom, lol!