I have some stuff to say about romance. My thoughts were sparked when one of my guy friends texted me the question “which holiday do you like better, Valentines Day or Christmas?” That’s a dangerous question to ask a writer. My reply was probably geared as much to make him uncomfortable as it was to be self indulgent:
“I find myself a little more in love with the world than normal on both holidays. But Valentines Day to me is a canvas for poetic expression. It makes me want to color and sing and write. It’s not about flowers, candy, jewelry or woo woo. It’s about heart fluttering awe over little things and happenings in front of me and this overwhelming need to express it somehow to the world.”
He pretty much exited the conversation after that. I don’t blame him. I’m always complicating things. Valentines Day really IS about candy (especially chocolate), flowers and woo woo. Right? Specific traditional gestures and items given on a designated day to express the love we feel for people.
My words to him were an attempt to shun my own aching desire to be romanced BACK by the world on a regular basis, not just on holidays. To truly be seen. To be noticed. To be heard. To be acknowledged. Are we not all wired this way? Humans are a constantly changing, ever evolving, fluttering, flowing mass of beautiful, creative energy and this energy becomes more powerful and bright when someone says to us “WOW! You’re freaking awesome!”
Deep down all people really long to hear words like “You’re beautiful”. It’s not just a woman thing, right? Men like to be authentically admired as well. Its human nature to seek one’s reflection in a more impactful way than a mirror, which doesn’t always tell the whole story. Sometimes beautiful isn’t the right word. Replace it with: pretty, handsome, gorgeous, hot, funny, smart, creative, humble, delightful, spectacular, brilliant, bright, glowing, fabulous, witty, joyful…they are all words that can tell as much of our hearts and our minds as our physical appearance.
Several years ago a wonderful elderly gentleman said to me: “I think you’re absolutely lovely” at a social gathering for work. I had been poking fun at myself, as is often my way when I want to cover up the fact that I am out of my comfort zone and a little scared. His words stopped me in my tracks. I don’t think anyone had ever called me lovely before. I felt different after, altered somehow. His words still whisper in my head from time to time. Am I really lovely? Was I lovely before the words were spoken? If so, why did I need to hear the words to actually think I could be?
My entire adult life I have questioned why so many of us, myself included, yearn to hear words (words that are truthfully spoken) from other people so that we might better believe we are beautiful or smart or funny or whatever it is that we are but can’t quite appreciate all on our own. What stops us from having complete certainty, all by ourselves, without help from others, that we are magnificent? We are ALL for sure created to be so, regardless of whether or not it is acknowledged.
This is where God comes in, to answer this question. Our maker, creator, higher power, flows through our souls with glowing warmth and makes us want to sing, write, paint, laugh, dance, shout with joy and just PRAISE in authentic admiration all the cool stuff and people around us.
Or maybe some people just say “wow life is good!” I realize not everyone is a nutcase.
But here’s the thing: sometimes I try to break up with God. I don’t know why. Maybe I just like the drama. Maybe sometimes He’s just a little too much for me to bear. And when I do this, the ache, that deep, painful aching desire to be seen, to be admired, to be romanced is the most intense.
He, of course, just kind of hangs out, my annoying persistent lover. I sometimes imagine Him rolling his eyes at me and grinning “Oh girl, when are you going to just give IN?”
And when I roll my eyes back at Him (sometimes I call Him my stalker) and step aside from myself and make room in my heart once more, a peculiar thing happens: I am able to see again that the world is magnificent. And because that lovely warm, interesting light that I am recognizing in everything and everyone around me is the exact same beautiful light in my own heart, the ache leaves.
That gentleman who said I was lovely? I believe that when he saw my eyes light up from being SEEN by someone who had nothing to gain from simply saying what he SAW, he recognized himself in the light, and the world got brighter.
It’s just so romantic, keeping where the light is. Yes?