Monday, September 26, 2011

Shine a little light

I feel that I have been living under a little bit of a rain cloud as of late.

 For the most part, I am blessed with a great family, supportive co-workers, fun friends and a man I love very much. Over the past month or so, however, I have allowed myself to be caught up in negativity. Here's what I'm learning;

As we age, our life experiences shape us. Up to a certain point, we are who we have been raised to be. The timing is different for everyone, but I believe there comes a moment when each person becomes aware of the flaws of their upbringing. Then there is a choice to be made. You can either accept things the way they are and always have been and continue along the beaten path, or do something a little fearless. You can change. Appreciate the past for what it was, a lesson in life, and strike out on your own. 

I'd like to write a bit about marriage. (Have I lost my audience yet?) I find few positive paintings of marriage in western culture. Tabloids are filled with pages of cheating starlets and 72 hour celebrity marriages, Primetime is wrought with sit-coms chronicling frustrated wives and their foolish husbands as they navigate their way through the life they've resigned themselves to. Maybe it's just the recession talking, but it seems to me that making the best of it is the name of the game these days. 

How did we get here? Television programs like The Bachelor (and many others like it) draw millions of viewers but same-sex unions between people who actually know and love one another are destroying the sanctity of marriage? Really? Something about that just doesn't vibe with me. Call me old fashioned, but I don't want to 'win' the man of my dreams by being the final contestant on a reality show. I'll keep my fairy tales. 

I was raised to believe in marriage. My parents have been married for 30 years and in all that time, I can remember only witnessing one major argument. It was about money and it was the first time I'd ever heard a profane word come out of my father's mouth. My family is not necessarily wealthy, but we've always had enough. I'd never wanted for anything, mostly because I was raised to be grateful for what I have and to place my value not in material possessions, but elsewhere. Faith in God is and always has been the cornerstone of my family. It was obnoxious at times, because I couldn't tattle on my little sister without being reminded never to "create strife", but I am thankful beyond words to have been raised to know the meaning of true, agape, love. 

I am not into the idea of needing a person to complete me. I have a God who loves me and did not make me with a few missing pieces. I am an ever changing, living, breathing example of His grace and compassion. My life has a purpose, just as all do. When I find myself fearing that my life without my boyfriend would be empty, it's a reality check for me. I am not where I need to be in my walk with the Lord. Relationships shouldn't define us, they should bless and edify our lives. If I am hit by a bus tomorrow, I would hate to think that I would be remembered only by titles via my Facebook profile; Teacher, Singer, Blogger, Josh's Girlfriend. Yikes! These things are amazing, important parts of my life, but they are not my sole purpose and motivation for living.

My goal should be to live in such a way that people are pointed to Him by the love pouring out of me. I don't want to be preachy, because I don't think that is what we are called to be. Somehow, "Go and spread the Good News.." has turned into shoving religion down people's throats or ostracizing them for thinking differently. Whatever happened to leading by example

With each passing year, I find myself a little less the hopeful romantic I claim to be. I struggle with a need to know. I overanalyze things and people which robs me of the joy and surprise of learning something new. Nothing seems natural anymore. It takes courage and faith to release oneself from the worry of tomorrow and focus on the blessings of today...I fear I'm lacking both.

Instead of letting ourselves be bogged down by the flaws and failures of the world, my wish is to focus on that which is good and perfect. I believe in the healing power of love and of music, because it is Love that saved me and continues to sustain me, even in my most cynical and darkest of moments. Each day is a precious gift, and I long to spend the remainder of mine surrounded by the ones for which my very heart beats. 

Maybe it's the daydreamer in me who wishes to think only on the positive. Instead of the constant panic of the nonsense of this world. I feel homesick, and I look forward to the day when our time on earth with all make sense. I am certain of one thing; there is meaning it all, each heartbreak, each burned bridge, each moment of laughter at a favorite song heard on the radio and the list goes on. Although society is wrought with addiction, deceit and divorce, doesn't mean there is a place in my future for any of those. Life is what you make it. Really.

& here's the quote that began this entire rambling:
"Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner."
- Amy Bloom
...I think that about sums it up. =)


"Out of Nowhere" Miles Davis
"Across the Stars" (Love Theme from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones) John Williams
"With or Without You" Vitamin String Quartet
"Butterflies & Hurricanes" Muse
"Today" Joshua Radin
"Time" Billy Porter

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