Monday, August 29, 2011

Not So Easy

Hello Beautiful

I found myself on an adventure in Blacksburg, Virginia as I vacated my home to avoid Hurricane Irene.  It is always a delight to see my college friends.  There is something reviving about being around people that authentically know you and love you greatly.  True friends.  On the last night of my trip a small group of friends went to a local establishment called The Cellar; a dimly lit underground lounge where we could tell old stories and laugh at our new adventures in adulthood.

While recounting, an eager young man decided it might be a good time to hit on my friend.  Not an uncommon sight in this college town, but we were not a common group.  A few compliments, a slide across the booth, and a page of poetry later he walked away empty handed.  I found this both comical and annoying at the same time.

I am annoyed that men, when confronted with an attractive woman, must always hit on them.  Or at least consider flirting with them.  Wired to initially think corporeally, men instinctively classify women into “girlfriend material” categories first and “friend material” second.  It is only when men learn to move past this nature that they might mature into “husband material”.

Throughout the rest of the evening we had quite the laugh from our nights tale.  This unsuspecting student was not meeting the average girl.  Her physical beauty is a manifestation of a high level of self-esteem, not a lack there of.  Her age of “I graduated while you were in high school” gave her the wisdom to see straight though his lines.  And a lack of need to find fulfillment through the eyes of a man, made my friend a tough target.  Combine that with male friends that are not afraid of running interference to guard her merriment, and we quickly returned to our convivial evening.

Inventory your life.  Are you surrounded by men that hit on you because you are an easy target?   Or are your defenses appropriately placed?  Be confident with self-esteem.  Seek the wisdom of age.  Do not look for your fulfillment in others.  Surround yourself with friends that build you up and protect you.  And go have a good time, because life is fun and you are beautiful.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Know Your Role

This weekend I recuperated from an exhausting week of work by overloading on sleep, food, and laundry.  Along with this strict regimen I had the opportunity to hear amazing speakers, comedians, and friends discuss the the role of women in modern society.  Surprisingly, women and men, single and married, religious and… not, all had similar dispositions.  I am sure that there is a significant percentage of population that would disagree, but the diverse spectrum with which I interacted all said there was something broken with the role of the independent woman in neoteric civilization.

Woman are amazing creatures.  Fearfully and wonderfully made, they have the power to  turn heads, start wars, and create life.  In the 20th century women earned many rights that were long overdue.  The right to vote. Equality in the workplace. Respect from men.  With these rights women have contributed unfathomable amounts to humanity.  From medicine to  politics, the arts to education, woman have used their rights to transform our world.

But with freedom and rights come responsibilities.  Women desire equality in rights, but do they seek equality with men.  Women and men are not the same.  These differences begin with basic anatomical dichotomies and continue on to chemical, relational, and cerebrational processes.  Woman was made out of man  Meaning she has parts in common with him, but there are parts that were removed from man and placed in solely woman, and parts left in man that were not given to women.  Men and women have different but complimentary roles in this world.  We need each other.  As Jerry McGuire said, “You complete me.”

Beauty exists in harmony.  When men are acting as true gentlemen and women as ladies, a symbiotic congruency moves us forward.  I make no claims to know where a woman’s place may be.  However, I believe that place is not pregnant, intoxicated, and abused.  Neither is it as a CFO slandering colleagues.  You can know you are living your role in this world by your worth, value, nobility, support, diligence, tenacity, charity, industriousness, strength, dignity, wisdom, faithfulness, and honor.  Walking out your role means you are beautiful.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bloom

Hello Beautiful

After a very long, yet fulfilling day of work I drove home on overcast streets lined with trees sprinkled by droplets of rain.  I love how vibrant foliage appears as it is saturated with water.  Amidst the grey atmosphere and imbued leaves were delicate flowers of pink, lavender, and white.  Having seen these same flowers before I was shocked to see that these trees were still in full bloom despite hot summer months and thunderous rains.

The incredibly diverse classification of flowering plants (angiosperm) is a wonderful exemplification of true life.  These organisms have needs just like any do.  They require soil, sunlight, and water.  They create food through photosynthesis and contribute to global life by the production of oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide.   Just as any plant would and should.  But these plants go further.  After they have taken care their own basic life sustenance and contributed to the earth’s needs, they continue to produce in abundance.  Out of this thriving they render flowers, fruits, and seeds.  They create a beautiful sight for us to see.  They supply food that others may be sustained.  And furnish seed that their prosperity may spread.  The Greek prefix angio means vessel.  These plants carry with them bountiful life.

What about humans?  We consider first our need for food, shelter, and education.  We bear children and hold jobs to contribute to the human race.  This does not make us life bearing vessels.  To carry life is to reach beyond your immediate world.  To beautify another's environment.  To nourish another’s soul.  To illuminate another’s day.  Through this cross-pollination of life true bonds are formulated.  It is in these symbiotic relationships that we ourselves are transformed.  Uplifted.  Beautified.  And much like the trees along the street that are still in full bloom despite adversity, perseverance in trials will yield even longer periods of bloom.  We will express our love longer, brighter, and more generously.

Be a flowering plant in this world.  Carry life into your world through storm and sun.  Show them you are beautiful.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Over Easy

Hello Beautiful

There are few things in this world that disrupt our lives more than a broken relationship.  Whether dissolution of friends or the parting of romantics, the pain is great.  Time invested seems lost.  A vacuous space remains in our hearts.

Many young ladies have questioned why men seem to get over relationships more quickly than women.  This question has a few answers with varying degrees of complexity.  The simplest is this: they don’t.  Men do not actually get over relationships more quickly than women, they just get over them in different ways and at different times.

If a man chooses to end a relationship, typically it is after careful consideration.  A man has likely begun thinking about the end weeks to months before he actually executes his decision.  This means that he is already considerably further along the healing process.  Two weeks later he may seem completely fine because in his heart he feels six weeks out of the relationship.  However he should not plunge into another relationship as this is unacceptably disrespectful to the lady who is still experiencing pain.

If it was not the mans choice and he bounces back quickly, several things could be at work.  Perhaps he was contemplating the end, and thus is further along in healing.  He may be moving on as a coping mechanism for the pain.  Or he was not into the relationship to begin with and thus not worth your second thought.  You are too amazing to waste time thinking about boys that have yet to grow up.

We may also see instances where a man takes time to heal after a relationship, whether he or the lady chooses to end it.  In this case you can see that men do have feelings.  However, this is not evidence that the relationship should continue.  It is just evidence that heart mending must transpire.

In all cases the male reaction in the aftermath of a relationship speaks nothing of the lady involved.  It tells a tale of what kind of man was involved.  His character.  His respect.  His thoughtfulness.  A woman’s worth is not determined by men with mending hearts.  The lady’s actions speak of her character.  They tell the true tale of her poise.  Her respect.  Her heart.  What kind of tale do you display?  Do you reveal your vindictiveness or portray that you are beautiful?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dust

Hello Beautiful

I am fascinated by sand.  Living at the beach I have accepted the cruel fact that it goes everywhere.  In my shoes.  In my house.  In my couch.  It fills up the expansive space of shore that lines our terra.  It dissipates into the air when released with force.  I enjoy realizing the particularization of our earth.  An entire planet created from finite grains.

Each granule comes together to create a whole.  Sand refined to glass.  Limestone reacted into plaster.  Dirt fired into pottery.  Each whole becoming greater than the sum of its elements.  Even we are made from the same.

“for dust you are…”

But what will you do with what you are?  What will you add up to?  Each of us can live a life that is barely more than the dirt we are given.  We can live a life of just enough; scantily surviving.  Giving the least of our exertion.  It is effortless to complain about our economic circumstance.  Maintaining the same level of employment is undemanding.  Remaining stationary in our addictions is paltry.

To move beyond and create full life takes tenacity and adventure.  We love stories like Mulan, Two Weeks Notice, and Ever After.  Seeing our heroine or hero from humble means defeat obstacles inspires us to greatness.  When we are faced with training, trials, and battle we must step up to the challenges.  We should expend every morsel of time, resources, and life that we given.  We need to realize our dreams of bettering ourselves, augmenting the nefariousness we see, and raising the human condition.

“…and to dust you shall return.” Gen 3:19

Tomorrow we will inter my aunt.  Her life came to an end after a swift fight with cancer.  She is not thought of by the three week battle of internal dematerialization.  We remember her life and the fullness therein.  The joy, love, jokes, and lessons she brought us.

How will you be remembered?  Are you merely an amalgamation of dust?  Or are you a spectacular particle storm that dances upon the earth?  You are more than simple sand.  You are beautiful.