There are no mistakes in coincidences. Often I seen themes in my day to day life. This week has been a roller coaster of emotions for those around me.
One friend lost a boyfriend to a horrible brief illness this week. Another is fighting a battle with depression while another is dealing with a missing relative in a plane crash.
Some people are dealing with some really heavy stuff right now. I see people fighting each other, trying to control situations so they can feel important. Conflicts where there should be none — and that is what I know about.
Then there are the world events that just make you wonder even more. When did we as a society go wrong?
My own search for the romantic life partner has been a series of painful; yet beautiful lessons. I have become council to many over the years. Perhaps my own singleness makes it easy to talk with about relationships. My experiences make others feel better about their own. Learning to love oneself is a difficult task when you have not be taught to appreciate love in its most basic forms. I am learning and in learning life is becoming more beautiful. Why it has never clicked with me before is pretty clear.
I am constantly reminded that I need to learn patience. Perhaps my own impatience has caused me the pain I have experienced over the years. Not just in love, but other aspects of life as well. Where I have grown the most is loving myself. Loving others has been impossible because I lacked the love for myself.
Yesterday I posted a quote on Facebook — “How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?” ~Paul Sweeney. Then coming across this article this morning a list of 8 Reasons People cannot stay in love and it gave me pause… At first I got angry and then I realized much of what it was saying was true. The biggest part of this was the Instant Gratification.
Perhaps movies and our “modern” lifestyles have set us up for an unrealistic expectation that it should be that you lock eyes and you are immediately in love with another human being. That isn’t how it really happens. That it is those silent moments with someone doing ordinary things that bring you joy.
Let’s take the image of Instant mashed potatoes. Instant mashed potatoes doesn’t give our youth the appreciation of the build up. Lets pretend for a moment we are on a farm — it is July and fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available this time of the year. Picking the potatoes, then washing them and preparing them into the boiling water. Then when soft the process of mashing them with sweet cream butter and milk a little salt and ground fresh pepper. The instant potatoes will fill your empty belly but pouring powdered mix in a bowl with a little butter and milk and pressing cook in the microwave does not provide the satisfaction of the process I just described.
Perhaps that is the problem with relationships these days. We are all looking for the microwave version and it falls flat. Is not so satisfying as the beautiful process that builds over time.
Learning to love someone takes time. It is a process full of compromises, understanding and learning about each other. Too often we are stuck in an idealized version of what love is, when in reality no human can live up to those expectations. There really is nothing about love that is Instant. It has taken me 50 years to get to the place that I am ready. So what is a little more time until I find that person.
Today I have a little more clarity on relationships. It is best said in 1 Corinthians 13:4:
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
This week, I have done a lot of things I would not do because I didn’t have someone to do them with. I picked wild black raspberries, I baked a pie with a friend. I sat with another friend and just talked. I allowed myself to sit and watch an old movie in the middle of the day. So now I am understanding why this song keeps playing in my head…