Sunday, February 24, 2008

Life Reflections

"You make his beauty melt away like a moth;
Surely every man is vapor. Selah" (Psalm 39:11 - KJV)

Lately I've been in a very reflective mood regarding life. I try to get my inspiration for my posts from things that affect me in my daily walk. Today while in the grocery store at the self-serve checkout, I needed the attendant to okay my purchase of my Arbor Mist Blackberry Merlot. (Yes, I occasionally have a sip of wine.) She asked me if I was 21. Very funny, seeing I'm 58, though my daughter-in-law (bless her heart) says I don't look a day over 48. The attendant said, "Yeah, I just turned 21. I wish I could be 18 again." I looked at her in astonishment -- 18 again! God, if I could take 40 years off my life and be 18 again and know what I know now, how sweet it would be. God, I envy youth and miss it myself.

I guess the older I get, the stranger life becomes to me. It reminds me of the Bible verse above. That we are but a vapor on earth - a momentary blip in the universe of the cycle of life. I feel like my own beauty is melting away like the moth in the verse. I hate growing older! But let's face it, we're all walking the same path of birth, life, and death as the multitudes that have travelled before us throughout history. It's the circle of life thingy they sang about in the Lion King.

In retrospect, I guess each of us must make our lives count for something while walking this earth. Life is short. It is fleeting. It's but a moment in time. However, as a single I feel like so much of my life, my creativity, my hopes, and my dreams, and the things I had wanted to accomplish in life are consumed by work, my daily chores, and the things I have to do alone to take care of myself. Even Solomon laments in his prose:

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up. (Ec. 4:9-10)

It's true, life is easier when you're in a good relationship. That's what I miss the most. Someone's shoulder to lay my head upon and feel safe with, a warm hand to hold, someone there to help carry my load, a companion to scratch my back or, better yet, rub my feet. I miss intimacy, someone to talk to, someone to care about, someone to share my life with. Two are better than one.

I guess my only alternative, if I never marry again, is to buy a Life Alert button. Perhaps that will take care of the "woe" if I fall alone thing and there's no one there to pick me up. Just push that button. My preference? Frankly, I prefer a human soul to help me rather than depending on an electronic device. What about you?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Acceptance and Intimacy

Today while cruising one of the online dating sites I’m on, I came across a familiar face of someone I had met last year. We had a brief meeting, a few phone calls and emails, but he had decided he wasn’t ready to pursue a relationship (probably a nice way of saying I wasn’t the one). He went his way -- I went mine, and I noticed his profile disappeared off the net. Today I came upon him again, and wrote a quick email just to say hi. He wrote back a very heartfelt note that touched me, because I think it speaks volumes to what probably most of us feel as singles.

He stated that everyone he’s met since then has wanted to change him, and secondly he misses physical intimacy. Well, he’s not alone. Two basic needs we all have -- acceptance for who we are and intimacy with another human being.

My encouragement to him was not to settle for anything less. When we are in relationships where we have the expectation of changing someone into what we want, we do a great disservice to that person. Each of us needs to be accepted and loved for who we truly are. Why? Because it brings us the greatest freedom and intimacy we can possibly experience with another human being. When there’s always expectations, you’re never really at ease or at peace in a relationship. You never feel truly loved and accepted for who you are.

I think we try to change people out of desperation, because we haven’t been patient enough to find the one we’re meant to be with. So we figure we’ll take what’s there, mold it to our liking, and then love it. But that’s not unconditional love -- it’s conditional. Do you wonder why there are so many divorces? Our mates just don’t meet up to our expectations, so we move on. We don’t love them as they are -- yet we expect them to love us as we are. It’s all out of whack -- I don’t know how else to express it.

Of course, as a single, I too miss terribly intimacy with a mate, which is another basic need -- to be touched. Unfortunately, we can go down some pretty destructive paths in our lives if we look for intimacy in the wrong places. So for me, I wait, rather than crash and burn.

Next time you’re in a relationship, I hope you find someone to love you “as is.” If you do, your greatest intimacy with that person will be born out of being accepted and loved for who you truly are.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Valentine's Day - Ugh!

Every year we're faced with holidays. We have Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, then Valentine's Day, which I attribute about as much fun as tax day on April 15th.

Here we are. Another year. No flowers. No candy. No card. No dinner out. No kiss. No proposal. No one whispering in our ear, "I love you." Shall I say it? It sucks. Okay, I've got that out of my system.

How did this holiday come about anyway? If you're dying to know the real story, it wasn't Hallmark cards or 1-800-Flowers who came up with the idea. Here's a link to educate yourself on the origin of Valentine's Day. Seems like the pagans came up with it first, then Christianity took it from there. The Europeans believed it was the day the birds started to mate!

So what do you do with Valentine's day when you have no one? My advice, don't be anxious about it or feel left out. Show someone in your life you care about them instead. Remember, it's better to give than to receive. Turn it around and shed love to another lonely person. Doesn't always mean you have to focus on romantic love on Valentine's Day. Love comes in many forms. Love of family, love of friends, etc.

Ladies, stop at the store on the way home from work and buy yourself a big bunch of flowers. You're worth it! You don't need to have a man in your life to enjoy the fragrance of fresh flowers around you. I buy myself flowers often, just because I like to. Guys? Gosh, I have no idea what to tell you. Have a beer with the boys maybe?

Whatever your situation, don't worry about. Learn to love yourself and then love others. Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Bloom Where You're Planted

You've heard the saying, "Bloom where you're planted." As a single, what does that mean for you?

Being alone has taught me valuable lessons. It's also opened my eyes to the possibilities that await before me as a human being and gives me the opportunities to explore the gifts I was born with without hindrance or distraction.

I believe every one has gifts and special talents. You do too! You may not think so, because they lie dormant under the soil of your life. However, with a little watering, those gifts can bloom and you'll realize what they are. Some of you know your gifts, but you've done nothing with them. You're hiding them in the soil, because you're afraid to step out in faith and see where they will take you.

For me, I've always wanted to write. When I was a little girl, I wrote stories with my best girlfriend about the Beatles (yes, this statement ages me). We use to fantasize on paper about being part of their lives. As I grew up, I sporadically wrote stories in school and did well. Teachers featured what I wrote. Once I wrote a poem in a grade school contest that won an award and was published. Back in the 70's, I mailed a letter to an editor of a magazine, and they published it. So I've always dabbled in writing, but because of my life, being married, and not having the full support to pursue that career, I always stuck it on a shelf. Played with it here and there. Wrote some articles and tried to start a book. However, my dreams were somewhat crushed due to personal reasons, so I took the material, put it in a box, taped it up, and stuck it in storage. I've carried that box with me every where from state to state over the last 15 years.

Being alone, however, forced me to look at myself. It's brought me to place where I've taken that box off the shelf, opened it back up, and considered perhaps the possibilities of pursuing a dream I've always had. I have no one in my life to discourage me, but only friends that have encouraged me. I'm watering whatever gift may be there in hopes that some day it will bloom into the dream I've always carried. Hence, I love blogging. I get such a kick out of it, because it helps me bloom. My newest blog on the Phantom of the Opera is such fun. Takes me to another fantasy world and tickles my imagination.

I encourage each of you to take this single time in your life and bloom! Stop stressing about finding someone or about being alone. You have such possibilities embodied in who you are now. You have gifts. You have dreams. What have you always wanted to do? Learn to dance? Take an acting class? Write? Paint? The possibilities are endless. Take your passion in life and make it your passion to pursue. Bloom where you're planted. When you do, you might find your life is more fragrant than you thought.