Love is tricky. You really cannot know a person- their unique set of reactions, traits, beliefs and the deeply embedded underlying ideologies behind their casual remarks in a matter of 8 months, even a year. Yet, you emotionally and physically latch on as though you’re both in confident agreement you’re on the same page. Later, things come up.. things happen that spark surprising conversations, reveal their/your perspectives and perhaps irrational or unhealthy beliefs and behaviors, and at first you’re slightly alarmed but relatively cool. If you’re optimistic, this feels like an opportunity to grow together. You get to put in some effort (yay) because your relationship is worth it!
Then, as these new revelations continue and you notice your differences, you wonder how much of them are the natural, acceptable, expected amount of difference between two humans (due to upbringing, experiences, DNA, etc.), and how much of them are actually a potential source of harm to one’s identity or conflict about what you two- as a couple- will do in a situation. No, you won’t find someone identical to you, nor do you need or want a completely parallel, submissive or apathetic partner who offers no alternate view. But, as things are uncovered and the pressure of “compromising to find middle ground” remains, you may find yourself having to go against your better judgment, your worldview or preferred approach on how to handle matters, to meet them where they are. They may feel the same about bending to you. While that can be a humble, admirable act of grace, kindness, love and patience, it can also be worrisome when you find yourself bending very foundational convictions and essential views; you can lose some of yourself. And, we know this about relationships: two halves don’t make a whole. Two wholes make a whole. An incomplete person seeking completion in the other does not offer the same kind of strength, durability and proactivity that comes when two whole people join together in a mutual effort to build something beyond themselves. The former finds fullness in another imperfect human who is bound to disappoint you sometime; the latter does not co-dependently/wholly rely on the partner, but has an independent grasp on their purpose and identity, while finding the beauty and joy of having a compatible teammate for this journey through life.
Now, if your partner’s viewpoint seems to reflect a deeper wisdom and love than you possess, then I can understand how bending and adapting can actually be beneficial to your growth in character and point of view (and also to the health and well-being of your relationship). But when it seems to lead you anywhere other than the fullness of God’s grace and love (please substitute your own barometer), it ceases to be a positive force in your life.
I’m afraid, kids, that we fall in love passionately and quickly…. and really, with whom? Not our partners, for we don’t really know them as well as we think in the beginning. So, we fall for what we know of them, plus _______: a) who we hope they are. b) who we think they’ll be. c) etc. But all this to say: there’s wisdom in being patient about how wholly you involve your heart, body and mind in a person you’re getting to know. Never mind the fact that most of us are still trying to figure out our own selves simultaneously. So, from somebody who is going through a break-up — the painful undoing of attachment, companionship, support, shared joy — please take your time when you meet people. Be patient and use wisdom in letting your innermost places be laid bare for them. Your heart is a fragile, powerful thing. Love yourself.
My new single “Pretty Girls” drops today! Get it on iTunes!
I’m thrilled to have been a part of every stage of this song, from its conception to songwriting to recording to composing a video treatment and producing the original MV to monitoring visual effects hours before release. Nobody except those who dig for information will know the arduous, taxing process, the sleepless nights and troubleshooting, the money spent to improve quality, the tremendous stress and even greater gratification of seeing a dream to fruition, and the complete and utter release of letting it go to the world. Regardless of what happens with this song, I know that I gave my all. And that feels good as an artist. The opinions and feedback don’t even feel that crucial. I just hope people enjoy it when they listen.
The song itself is actually a very strong social statement hidden in polished production. “Pretty Girls” is about the power of Beauty in culture and how women use it to get what they want. It follows a woman who’s explaining very plainly to someone that if they get too close, they will be blinded by her beauty, even if she doesn’t mean to affect them. There are so many facets of Beauty that we use to seduce, entrance, manipulate, and persuade. And they work. In the boardroom. In the bedroom. What we can do is become aware of the difference between artifical/superficial Beauty and authentic Beauty, embracing Beauty and exploiting Beauty. I hope when you hear the song, you love the beat, you love the message, and you’re not afraid to call it for what it is. No spite, bitterness, complaint or envy. Just recording my observations through my chosen medium.
Who are we kidding? “Pretty girls learn to work it early…“
Stream of consciousness this morning:
If anything, 2014 has been about setting aside excuses and also ceasing the search for short-cuts. I have admitted that I do not transform overnight- with any sustenance, at least. I have begun assimilating to the patient, stride-by-stride reorientation of self-management, incorporating learned principles while allowing a mist of grace to cover the remaining blemishes. And boy are there are imperfections. But it’s funny how someone can be standing in one place, and depending on which way he’s facing, find every fault as another shovel of dirt over his head, or every challenge as a fertilizer for his personal growth and story. Attitude is everything. Compassion for self is critical to our well-being and progress.
This year my sister checked me for being out of line. A first. I’m usually not the troublemaker/-seeker, or out of touch with my values. And she was very bold for risking the placidness of our relationship by reprimanding me. But I’m so grateful. It struck a chord or truth in my gut and reminded me of my roots instantly. The roundabout victory of this all was that I, the rigid perfectionist, had allowed such flexibility and risk into my life that I needed reining in! And, I trusted my core group to let me experiment in the wild without reaching the point of no return. It’s important we watch who and what influences us, and that we set up an infrastructure of unwavering values and truths, so when we grow curious, rebellious, and stubborn, we can return to these timeless building blocks. In the journey of self-discovery, it gets messy. But don’t get so wrapped up that you think it’s your destiny to stay in the chaos. You can venture far and wide and still return home in your mind, body, and soul.
And those little whispers… Whew! Grow sensitive to those whispers. Seek consciousness, wakefulness… Work with your parasympathetic nervous system, be creative…
Find roots before you take flight. Find roots and take flight. Roots, flight.