Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Message of the Rose

The rose is a beautiful flower. It's been adored throughout history. A flower of romance and symbolism. We write songs and poems about it. We hold tournaments and parades in its honor. We crush its fragrant petals to make perfume. It's the flower of choice to give to someone you love.

As beautiful as the rose is, however, it holds a hidden dark side. If it's not handled carefully in its beauty, it can cause great pain. How interesting that nature has designed a flower so beautiful to look at, but so painful to the touch. Has nature (or God) left a message in creation that as beautiful as romantic love can be, it can contain a thorn to pierce our hearts as well?

I'm reminded of the scene in the Phantom of the Opera where Christine carries the red rose he's given her to the rooftop. After she declares her love for Raoul, she drops the rose that the Phantom had given her in the cold snow. As he picks up the discarded symbol of his love, he feels the thorn of rejection once again in the beauty of the rose. Rejection doesn't always drive us to madness as it did the Phantom, but it can drive us to heartbreak that is nearly unbearable.

Rejection from someone we love is no doubt the most powerful human hurt any individual may feel. Many of my readers are divorced and have felt the thorn of rejection in their own lives. Perhaps you live with the thorn of rejection daily because you cannot find love and acceptance from someone. I speak from my heart that I've felt the power of the thorn in my own life and the rejection from one I loved deeply.

So what can we say about love? Do you handle it carefully, overwhelmed by its beauty and aroma, but always cautious that we never use its hidden thorn to pierce another person's heart? If we have already been the victim of its pierce, how do we overcome the hurt and pain? There is really no right answer or counsel for a broken heart or rejection from the one we love. Does time heal all wounds? Perhaps. Do we need to carry the hurt forever? Not necessarily. Does the pain eventually subside? It does.

Perhaps we should learn another lesson from the rose. That even after the rose fades, its petals fall, it's been pruned and remains dormant throughout the winter of our lives, eventually it will bloom again in spring more beautiful than before. The next time a rose blooms in your life, I hope it brings you only beauty and no pain.

Visit: Lessons From The Phantom of the Opera

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rescue Me

It's been an interesting journey having a website for singles at JustOneSingle.com. I've accomplished the Google challenge of coming up in the top 15 in the keyword search "Single Help," but traffic to my site has been fairly low. I'm observing an interesting trend in the single world that most people would rather be rescued from single life than strengthened in single life. My web poll stats tell the story.

*83% are divorcees
*17% never married
*33% are surviving single life
*67% are trying to change it
*0% are loving it

Pretty much tells it all. The majority of us are looking to be rescued from single life, which makes me wonder if I missed the mark and should have started a dating site instead. The votes are in, we all want out. Looks like we want rescuing instead of help.

Hang in their, friends! Rescue is on the way.

"Rescue me. Oh take me in your arms. Rescue me. I want your tender charms. 'Coz I'm lonely and I'm blue. I need you and your love too. Come on and rescue me. " Rescue Me." (written by R. Miner/C. Smith. )

Friday, January 11, 2008

Loneliness - No Respector of Persons

Have you read the latest? Tyra Banks in an issue of Essence magazine is quoted as saying, "I'd go to work [on 'The Tyra Banks Show'], and women would be crying in my arms. But then I'd go home and put my key in my door and nothing. No friends, no husband, no children. I feel so full when I'm at work, but so empty when I come home." Reminds me of Whitney Houston singing the song, Run to You, with the words, "I play the role of someone always in control. But at night I come home and turn the key there's nobody there, no one cares for me. What's the sense of trying hard to find your dreams without someone to share it with? Tell me what does it mean?"

Interesting isn't it? Loneliness seems to have no respect for anyone. Doesn't matter if you're a famous gorgeous model, singer, TV or movie star, 18 to 80, or just a 57 year old woman like myself. We all have the same experience, that when we turn the key and enter our homes, loneliness is there waiting for us.

At work I have people who say to me how much they envy the alone time I have and how they wish they could just have some time to themselves. They tell me how lucky I am, but I look at them and think how lucky they are that they have someone waiting for them when they come home. It's easy to dream about some alone time for yourself, such as a day to do what you want, maybe a week away from family and friends to recoup. However, for them it's only a temporary state. They have the knowledge all the time they are alone and away, that when they're done with it and they return home, put the key in the door, there will be somebody there waiting for them. What they don't understand is that for millions of singles who live entirely alone, it's not a temporary existence. It's a daily experience and the stark cold reality that when we get home, put the key in the door, there will be no one waiting for us on the other side. There is a vast difference between being alone and being lonely.

Loneliness has a profound effect on us as humans. UCLA has actually identified through research that loneliness reaches down into some of our most basic internal processes of our body and effects the activity of our genes, that ultimately effects our well being. Yet we live in a strange society where we have rampant divorce, broken relationships, over 96 million singles in the United States, and more lonely people than ever walking around.

After I read about Tyra Banks, I feel somewhat astonished that someone so beautiful that has so much money and fame can be struck with such loneliness herself. Yet it goes to show that even money, beauty, and fame can't buy the most basic need that we all possess as human beings, and that is to be loved.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Contentment vs. Complacency

I was thinking the other day how I’ve changed. There was a time I use to be so anxious about finding a husband, that it pretty much consumed my daily life. However, now I have a strange feeling of "I really don’t care." I’m trying to determine after being alone for so many years whether I’m bordering on contentment or complacency.

Being content means that you are satisfied with what you have and don’t need anything more to be happy. It’s a state you finally reach or finally learn to live in. You stop striving and being anxious for what you don’t have and learn the secret of contentment in what you do have. You’re at rest about your situation, and at peace in the stage of life you find yourself. In the long run learning to be content in whatever situation you live is the safest place to be. It brings peace, but also keeps the door open for a potential mate. You don’t close the door to the possibility of finding someone, but you have found some contentment while you’re waiting. You’ve done away with the anxiousness of it all and have stopped being miserable.

Complacency on the other hand is a little different. You have a feeling of quiet pleasure or security in the state you’re in, but you’re really unaware of the potential dangers that may surround you. You’ve become smug or self-satisfied thinking you’re at rest and ease. A complacent heart puts you in a dangerous spot because in reality you’re hardening yourself towards the possibility of finding a mate. It’s easy after a rash of bad relationships and broken hearts to eventually cop an attitude that you don’t need anyone. You tend to put up a wall, do nothing to change your attitude, and end up thinking you’re satisfied in the state you’re in but you're not. In reality you’ve unconsciously closed the door toward the possibilities that may await you. You’ve let your complacency make you feel satisfied, but all along you’re killing your opportunities for love by not changing.

Where am I? Sometimes I’m walking in the yard of contentment and other days in the yard of complacency. I guess you could say I’m sitting on the fence between the two depending on my mood. As I was contemplating the other day my mental state and my "I really don’t care" attitude, I was thinking I really need to decide which yard I’m going to live in. How about you? Are you sitting on a fence too or living in the yard of contentment or in the yard of complacency? Maybe I'll meet you in one.