Monday, June 24, 2013

Relationships Part 2: Longing

In the last post I discussed a selfish side that each of us has. A part of our desire is to remain unknown out of fear of what cruel punishments being known would bring. If you didn't catch it you can read it here

Today I want to focus on the hope that we each have within for vanquishing the demon of fear. We do contain the antidote to the disease of shame, but it is not always an easy pill to swallow.

We have the counterpoint to the previous post, as humans we have this inborn desire to be connected to those around us. Whether you believe in a creator or not makes little difference because it is felt by just about everyone and is even accepted by just about every worldview. Humans are social creatures, a cliché line that has been the subject of many studies; we need others even if we don’t like to admit it. I no exception to this rule, I desire to know and be known. The process of learning another life is exhilarating in ways that solitude can never match. There is something so very special in being able to love someone well and knowing them deeply is an integral part of that. I am constantly learning things about my wife that I am able to use to love her better; this is a process I hope to never see the end of. Sure I could probably continue to love her if I never learned another new thing about her but it would never be the kind of love she needs and desires. However, in learning about her I am given new insight into her mind which allows me to be what she needs. This is also true of any relationship whether it be romantic or platonic. Then of course being known is a wonderful feeling that knows no equal. Having someone who can peer beyond the outer layers of flesh and bone, seeing who you really are is refreshing. My wife does this wonderfully and knows who I am no matter how many barriers I try to hide behind. Sure it might be uncomfortable but in the end it is wonderful having someone like that in my life.

As with the first side there are pros and cons that hide within the desire to love and be loved. It can bring our hearts to leap on every opportunity that comes our way. If this desire is left undiluted it can cause us to let untrustworthy people into our lives that do not bring health but rather destruction. There are plenty of people who do not deserve to be trusted with our inmost selves and if we let the pendulum swing completely to the side of trying to find love they can take things that should never have been theirs. This isn't to say that nothing but bad comes from loving indiscriminately. There can be some positives in that relationships can seem better, friends will be much easier to come by, and companionship is a very powerful medicine.

While there is an element of desire for safety and freedom apart from one another there is a necessity to have both in balance. We cannot live to one extreme without damage being done. I tried living to the defensive extreme and it left me in more pain and broken in ways I haven’t fully discovered yet. Like so many things in life we have to live a life of moderation. There are certain times where defending our hearts is necessary, there are relationships that should be kept distanced to some degree. It takes a keen eye to notice these and it occasionally takes an uncomfortable conversation to address them. On the other hand we need others in our life. Personally I need my wife desperately because I am incredibly stubborn in taking care of myself. She is close in and so has the ability to discern these moments from the rest, then she is able to care for me in the ways I need. We always love to say that we are stubborn enough for each other, and she is perfectly stubborn for me.

So we have the two sides of our desires for relationships but what do we do with these relationships once we have them? What is their power? In the last post of this short series I’ll give you my thoughts and experiences on just that.


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