Monday, March 21, 2005

True Love?

This morning I was remembering a time when I was in high school. It was the beginning of my senior year, to be exact. I was 17 and surviving my first dumping experience. I was truly devastated, but it was more about my wounded pride than my broken heart. It did send me into a time of serious contemplation, spiked with cynicism, which brought me to the (revolutionary!) conclusion, that there is no such thing as true love. It just doesn't exist. It is some kinds of fantasy/illusion that we create out of boredom or desire or delusion. Now, I realize that in the history of the world, this is not a novel idea, but it was completely novel to my eternally optimistic and (at that time) sapilly romantic little mind. This week I came across some entries in one of my old journals expounding on this theory of mine. I read it now and still see my little romantic heart beating through all that so-called worldly cynicism I gained through my post-break-up suffering. Sometimes it's amazing how truly naive I am!!

But in a way I think I was onto something. I see now, the truth that my jaded, wounded pride was twisting. The truth is that life is not like the movies, or like the fairy-tales that I lived and breathed while I was growing up. There is no "perfect" love that is going to sweep me away and solve all of my problems. But there is something even better. There is real love. This is the love that sees all the flaws in another person and chooses to love them anyway. This is what the Bible speaks of when talking about agape love. It is love that is unconditional. It can't be earned and it can't be lost and it isn't blinded by fantasy, but is clear-sighted, and so, is also enduring. I have found that love. I experience it from my family, from my amazing new friends, and from my Daddy-God. I've also seen a real-life, real-love story unfold before my very eyes in the last few months. I have watched one of my very best friends fall in love with a man, and whatched him fall back in love with her, and I see how beautiful it is. Some of the beauty is in pain, and some of it in laughter, but throughout, the beauty is there. And it may not be the "True Love" of movies. There are no bells, or fireworks, and the work is not over for them. But this love is real, and unconditional and everlasting, and it will carry them through every storm. So this is my tribute to Lori and Ron, and to my own love-affair with my Lord, Jesus Christ....and to the man who I believe is out there, who will love me with Christ's love on this earth. This is my tribute to real love.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

The Girl I Mean To Be

I need a place where I can go,
where I can whisper what I know,
where I can whisper who I like
and where I go to see them.

I need place to spend the day,
where no one says to go or stay,
where I can make my plans and write them down
so I can read them.

A place where I can bid my heart be still
and it will mind me.
A place where I can go when I am lost
and there I'll find me.

I need a place where I can hide,
where no one sees my life inside,
where I can take my pen and draw
the girl I mean to be.

-"The Girl I Mean To Be"
From the Secret Garden, the musical

When I was in sixth grade I took two, maybe three voice lessons, from a woman who later became one of my best friends. This was the first song that I "learned" to sing. Lately the words have been bouncing around in my head. I don't know how long it's been since I thought about them. I didn't even know that I still remembered all of them. But there they are, encapsulating most of what I've been feeling and thinking lately. The Secret Garden was also the very first musical I ever went to. My mom took me to see it in Dallas, with a friend of hers and her daughter and it captivated and overwhelmed me. Interesting that the song, which was just a fun tune to me then, means so much to me now, and speaks so much to who I am, who I am becoming, and how I am becoming her. Lately I crave silence, stillness and a place of my own in a way that I never have before. It's complicated, but also kind of nice...this process of learning just to be. Just to be who I am. Just to be the girl who I mean to be.

Friday, March 4, 2005

That Which is Essential

The girl who normally inhabits my body is sitting aside from me right now, muttering under her breath and shaking her head in disbelief at the girl who is currently inhabiting my body. She is the girl who takes over sometimes, and cuts right to the heart of the matter. She is the girl who makes me do crazy things, like give my phone number to a random guy who I meet in the take-out line at lunch on a Care Bears playing card, even though he didn't ask. She is the girl who drives me to live in a way that is uncommon, to claw beneath the surface of my everyday life and see the deep richness of the depths below. The girl who normally lives inside me fights for control, for steadiness, for order. She wants me to be who I am "supposed" to be and do what I am "supposed" to do. But the girl in control now, she knows who I am meant to be and she beckons me to become that person....perhaps she even is that person. What I'm realizing lately is that though I usually grant authority to that first girl, she is only a shadow and shell of the one that I want to be. She sees what is really there, but I want to see beyond. I truly believe that the eyes are blind and that one must look with the heart in order to see that which is essential. And I want to live an essential life. I think about that word essential now, and a new meaning dawns on me. That which is essential is the essence, the truest form, the truth. It is beyond that which can be seen or felt or touched. Perhaps this second girl- the crazy one, who often scares me with her wild ideas and bold acts- perhaps she is my essence. She is my truest form and my truth. I see now that the first girl, the shell girl, with her illusion of strength and control, is actually weak and scared. She has little about her to be admired. But the second girl...she is brave and strong- enough to make the choice to truly live and truly be. She is the girl I admire. I have spent so much of my life looking at the shell me and believing that was who I really was, and that was all I really was. And I have never been able to love that girl. But if I am really, actually the strong, brave, real girl...if she is the one inside me who has been trying to get out all along...if she is really the truth of myself, then perhaps I can love me after all. What a wonderful thing that would be.