When I was seven, I was a child phenom basketball player. Believe me when I say it. When I was seven, I desired to be a pro basketball player. I found out later in life, that Basketball doesn’t have room for people who have asthma and don’t like being obsessively touched by other males.
When I was fourteen, I was a mathematical genius. I would sit in my room at night before I went to bed and figure out problems in my head. I found out later in life, that Math had no interest in people who didn’t want to put letters into their equations. Who the hell mixes English and Math? That stuff’s confusing.
I think we all desire things, search for things. Right now, I’m desiring a Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and, Custard Ice Cream from Culvers. Even more than that, I think we search for something, someone who stamps wholeness into our existence. I think we all desire to be desired, we desire to know, and, we desire to love. Last time I checked, a Grilled Cheese Sandwich never desired me.
I was talking to this married woman recently. She was telling me about marriages. She was telling me that most marriages don’t end because of sex, money, shared interests, or other things. She was saying that most marriages end, because of poor communication, control and power.
What is communication? Communication requires several things. Communication requires a self-awareness, that you understand how you feel about something. Communication, is trust. You trust this person enough to share with them how you feel. Good communication requires a sense of humility. Good communication requires a tenderness. Is this person saying this because they are trying to get something from me? Or, do they love me? Things like control and power have no place in our lives, they get in the way of our innermost desires and from connecting with others. We can only connect with others as far as we are connected with ourselves. We can only go with others as far as we have gone with ourselves.
If we desire true intimacy with others, it requires that we are intimate with ourselves. The human being is an eternally deep well, filled with glory, crap, joy, contempt, light, darkness, stuff, junk, ugly, and beauty. We have all been disgraced by churches, governments, advertising, schools, friends, lovers, families, and, we have come to believe things about ourselves that are simply not true. So, if I am trying to experience you on a level that is profound and deep, if I desire intimacy with that person, but, their shame, these lies, these messages, are blocking me from falling deeper into that well. And, when we are so shut down to face this gunk, we are shut down to experience this in others. If I want a more present, joyful, happy, person, I must travel down my own well, and, cut down the branches and vines that prevent me and others from experiencing a free fall of who I am.
In our search for something, or someone, we must begin with the search for ourselves. If we ever want to be whole. If we ever want to love someone or something. We must begin with loving ourselves. And, along the way we may find something that we don’t like, but, this is the beauty of forgiveness of grace. But, by facing the things we don’t like, we are inevitably making ourselves a person that we and others can enjoy more. In the meantime, I’m on a search for a Grilled Cheese and Ice Cream.
“Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt.”
“The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable.”