Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

And I feel
Like I’m slowly, slowly, slowly slipping under
And I feel
Like I’m holding onto nothing…..

So goes the lyrics in U2’s Lemon.

My question to you is this:  What do you do when you are slowly slipping under?  Where do you go?  How do you cope?    It comes down to this:  What drives you?

What drives you when you’re happy and content?  More importantly what drives you when you are not?   What do you do when life goes sour?

The truth is, life really is one big fruit salad.  It’s not always topped with cherries or strawberries.  Sometimes it’s the pits.  Sometimes life gives you lemons.

Those pesky things in life you can’t control in life (namely people and situations) sure are hard to swallow sometimes aren’t they?

Do you throw back stones?  Do you make lemonade from life’s lemons?  Or do you choke on the bitterness?

We don’t always get to choose our suffering, only our response.  We don’t get to take the shortcut –that is the long way around.  No, we are called to pass through.

Sometimes the suffering of others causes us to suffer.  As if we didn’t have our own sea of sorrows we frequently wade in, sometimes we are called to go deep with a friend or loved one into their own private ocean.  It’s hell.  But it’s good.  If you remember this:

I’ve got your back.

Are you still afloat?  Then you are not alone.

You can even be the life preserver for someone else when they are sinking.  You can be the sunshine in their dark world.  You can do what you don’t think you are strong enough to do.    You can go where you don’t want to go and see what you’d rather not.  You can think clear enough to do what is called for here.

And I feel
Like I’m drifting, drifting, drifting from the shore
And I feel
Like I’m swimming out to her

     Yes, you have to leave your comfort zone if you’re going to be in the rescue business.  You have to leave all that’s familiar even if you’re going to allow yourself to be saved.

Midnight is where the day begins
Lemon
See through in the sunlight

     Chaos and confusion randomly can surround us and seat themselves comfortably in our relatively stable world.  These terrorist twins sometimes just show up unannounced and uninvited.

We’ll have to walk through the dark scary woods to reach sunrise sometimes.   We carry our fear with us as we journey far into the darkness.  Can you feel it?

You are not alone.

At the edge of the horizon of darkness, a crack of light appears.   

Lemon
She is the dreamer
She’s imagination

She had heaven
Through the light projected
He can see himself up close

She wore lemon

      Sometimes we are called to be the light in other people’s dark world.   Sunlight is such a great disinfectant.  Whose light are you called to be today?  Lemon or lemonade?    Choose well.

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.  Isaiah 43:2

Partial Lyrics above are from U2 “Lemon”

Photo by Beautelle

    

 

 

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Liz with the mother and father who loved her when we lived in Oberhochstadt, Germany September,1965

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8

     What’s love got to do with it?  What’s love but a second hand emotion?  That’s what Tina Turner sang in 1984 when I was living in a mobile home with my then boyfriend.  Tina with her spiky hair, red lipstick, leather skirt, and sultry eyes begged this basic philosophical question when I was just 19.  MTV had just started airing videos, but this one sure struck a nerve in my head.  I knew that by living in a trailer park and “shacking up” I probably wasn’t seen by many who loved me as making the most mature of choices in the name of love.

A few months passed and I viewed the video several more times with friends we used to chill with on “our pit”.  You know, a pit sofa, also known as a sectional sofa, another 1980’s extravaganza.  I digress.  Anyway, I was the first from our group of couples, who in no uncertain terms made clear to my boyfriend, even though Beyoncé was barely out of diapers, that “if you like it, you really need to put a RING on it.”

So moving right along,  it’s May of 1985.  That boyfriend in the trailer?  Well, we got hitched.  OK; married is the upper class word.  We spent our honeymoon is Disney World and I turned 20 there.  Everything was hunky dory…..well, almost.  My mental maturity still hadn’t caught up to my physical maturity.  We worked full time by day, and shared dreams and made plans by night.  Still, insecurity reigned, at least on my part.  I laugh, and sigh a little bit in shame when I look back at all the times I cried over unsubstantiated jealousies,  and dished out bits and fits of rage when my husband worked late, all in the name of trying to improve our lot in life.

Soon our song was more like “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” with me constantly screaming “Do you love me, will you love me forever? Do you need me?  Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?    We may have tied the knot, but I seemed hell-bent on turning the other end of the rope into a noose around my husband’s neck, insisting that he stay at close range, and to please try, try, try for the thousandth time already to FOCUS more on our relationship (translation: me) than his work.

Ah yes, the crux of every relational woe.  Men go out and must climb the ladder of success to find meaning.  Women want to be the thing at the top they aspire to win, lay claim to, and above all relate to.  Thus begins the long painful journey of discovery.  You learn so much about one another, that you pretended you didn’t know when you were dating, or ‘just going with the flow.”

Like the tide of the ocean, you roll in and out of love with each other.  You hug, you argue, you scream, you laugh, you say you’re sorry, you make up, you make love, you wake up, and you repeat.  Before long, love does feel like a second hand emotion. Which is what exactly? The emotion that’s left over when all the other ones are thoroughly used up?  Anger, jealousy, desire, control?

Responsibilities increase.  Children arrive.  More cares, more things to do; you realize, things aren’t always wonderful, but somewhere in the process of building a home and a life, they’re not exactly terrible.  It’s a happy compromise, often filled with amazing moments.     Time starts to erode the rough edges of our selfishness, but also our dreams we may have had for ourselves a little bit too.

Years keep passing.  Kids go from diapers to car keys in what seems like a blink.  You notice your first gray hair.  One by one the kids leave and go off to college.   You begin to ask yourself, “Who am I now?  Who are we now?”

One of my favorite Christian authors is John Eldredge.  He completely nails this truth regarding love in his book The Journey of Desire:  “God promises every man futility and failure; he guarantees every woman relational heartache and loneliness.”   Think about that for a moment.  It’s true!  If you are old enough to remember life before smart phones, hybrid cars, Facebook, and Twitter, than you have probably already experienced this if you are either a man or a woman.  We learn we can’t have it all (success), give it all (what others need from us), or receive it all (what we need from them).

And sometime, hopefully before we retire, you finally have one of Oprah’s “Ah Ha” moments.  You realize, contrary to Jerry Maguire’s claim, another person cannot complete you.  Nor you, them.  We find our completeness in God.  Because try as we desperately might, we cannot completely arrange the life we desperately want in our head.  John Eldredge continues in The Journey of Desire: “Will life ever be what I so deeply want it to be, in a way that cannot be lost?”  He reminds us “We must have life; we cannot arrange for it.”

Oh, how painful my friends, and how true.  Yet, how totally freeing.  Once you can finally wrap your head around this and accept it, you will be set free.  Free from expecting others to love you the way you most need, and free from the insecurity that attaches to yourself when you feel like you may just not be enough to someone else.    Love will start to become less like a feeling, and more like the decision it was always intended to be—a decision to be true, to stay the steady course, to find a way to navigate through the darkness of life.

Love will be found in words you read and songs you hear in your head.  Love will also be found in deep friendships, and in life’s truest moments:  the majestic places you’ll travel and inspiring people you’ll meet.  Love will be found in the prayers you pray, the tears you shed, and cherished moments you engrave in your heart forever.  Love can even be the quest to act on those dreams you shelved for so long.

Tina was wrong.  Love isn’t a second hand emotion.  It’s a first responder action that saves lives and changes them, maybe even your own, when drawn from a higher power.

What’s love got to do with it?  Everything.

Love is a temple, Love the higher law……  U2  One