Life, Love, and Nakedness

So, I’ve got a lot to think about, and a significant number of thought-promoting stimuli around me. I have the urge to write—I’ve had the itch for months now, but hit a dead end after a couple lines each time I sit to do something about it—and so I’m going with a little stream of consciousness approach. Maybe it’s the Don Miller I’m reading, or the Tallest Man on Earth in the background, or the storm clouds and wind gusts blowing the sparrows about outside as I look out the window of my favorite coffee shop. Maybe it’s the fact there’s a pretty girl sitting across from me that I would like an excuse to talk to. Or maybe it’s that I don’t actually want an excuse to talk to her (she sneezed and I said bless you and she said thank you, but there was nothing to build on after that, alas) but that her presence is just reminding me that I’m hoping that another pretty girl that I (desperately?) want to be with will reciprocate my affection (unlikely, but I have a modicum of hope still in reserve).

No, I don’t really know what to say, and if I did, I wouldn’t know how to say it, but maybe that’s the point. Anyway, my good friend and roommate Matthew have been having some awesome conversations lately about the nature of nature(s) of love and humanity. That is, when we aren’t catching up on random TV shows on Netflix which we also see as commentary on human nature and love (by random, I mean various anime,  survival shows, Phineas and Ferb, How I Met Your Mother, and the surprisingly clever and tragically short-lived Better Off Ted). And I’m struck by how universal our yearnings are. Sometimes we view our journey in terms of humor, sometimes we paint it as melodrama or any other subgenre the critics designate. We want a sense of purpose, a sense that our journey is TO somewhere and FOR something. And we want someone to journey with us. We might want a lot of people to journey with us, but we definitely want at least one other person to come journey with us.

I’m not sure where my journey is going to yet, not have I have I figured out who will join me. I’ve got a lot of ideas for the journey part, but I’m afraid of getting too far along my journey for someone to be able to join, so I try walking a little slower, but it doesn’t really work that way—it’s more like one of those airport moving sidewalks, but it gets faster and faster the further along you get.

Now an annoying couple is sitting where the pretty girl was. That’s probably not fair to them. I tend to judge others a little too easily. Dear couple sitting across from me, if you read this, please forgive me for judging you.  They actually don’t seem very into each other. I wonder how long their journeys will be parallel.

I’ve been thinking about the women I’ve dated, the women I’ve loved, those I pursued and those I didn’t. It seems I tend to fall hard and fast. Usually faster and harder than the other person. I have a not-so-secret hope that this will change soon, but it’s not something I can bank on, which is frustrating, since I want to bank on something. I’ve been “in love” a couple times, I suppose. At least once, I truly believed the other person actually loved me, but even that relationship disintegrated rather rapidly. Then there was one I pursued for over 2 years trying to get her to commit to a relationship, only to have her break down in tears when I gave her an ultimatum; I still don’t get that, it broke her heart that I was giving up, but yet she wouldn’t do what she needed to make it work. I think she wanted to love me, but was too terrified of what it would entail. I guess that makes some sense, but it left me a wreck. I still love her even now, maybe always will, although I’ve more or less convinced myself it’s platonic now; not sure what a lie-detector would say to that. I’d be lying to say I don’t think about it somewhat regularly.

Then there’s the most recent (mis)adventure. The one where I met the (quite literal) woman of my dreams, girded up my loins (that’s the biblical term no?), and pursued her in the most earnest way I could manage. She would even agree this is true—I was great, she said, honorable, sweet. I fit pretty much everything she said she was looking for and yet…

Yet, it seems every time I try to the rescue the princess, she’s rigged the whole castle to blow.

I can slay a dragon, but melting a heart is so much harder.

Disney lied.

I don’t really know what happened. And I’m quite willing to go back for a second gauntlet run, because I’m incredibly stubborn. It may or may not work, we’ll see. That’s almost beside the point.

Matthew and I got around to discussing how so many wonderful women come to the conclusion they aren’t worthy of the person pursuing them. I’ve seen this happen so often, and it’s heart-wrenching. I suppose this happens with men too. Actually, I know it does.

We struggle so much with self-worth that we refuse to be loved. Because receiving love requires vulnerability, a nakedness. And ever since we ate of that tree in the garden thousands of years ago, we’ve been terrified of our nakedness. Nakedness is more than skin-deep. To be loved, we have to let ourselves be loved, which means we have to think there is something worth loving.

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