Beth asked him to leave several times, each time shouting – “I’m done with your rage and empty-embrace; I’ll ‘never again’ want you back – please leave me alone, get out of here!” Truth is - his arms always embraced her with heartache and unfulfilled hope - yet it was only weeks later, I would guess out of loneliness and fear of losing what he could provide, she accepted him back. It was a mere four-weeks later she once again pulled back from his angry-bellow and before she could spit-out the words she thought to herself – “Oh God, here comes ‘never again’ again.” Letting go is difficult – letting go of what many consider love – but isn’t - is the most difficult letting go of all.
There are several “things” we have great difficulty letting go of, things we consider “love” – the leading three are: the misperception that sex is the same as love, the misperception that love is found in “stuff’ such as food, and the misperception that love can be found in the importance of self. These three (life muddlers) lead many down the pathways of sorrow and into the loneliness of “Disappointment Hollow”. You would think by now we would understand the meaning of love, but most remain oblivious and linger in the arms of misperception.
She whispered to herself – “I want to be loved, held high – treasured”, she was jolted to reality by his call – Hey girl – come to bed!” There are many who have failed to fall in love, instead they have collapsed into the unwitting embrace of sex. We have examples clearly demonstrated by generations of diminished family values. One in every two marriages will end in divorce, the majority of households have a missing parent (mostly fathers), and more often than not today’s couples are living outside the sacred embrace of marriage.
He shuffled to his feet and headed towards the couch. Halfway there he stopped, turned and headed towards the table – Ken mumbled – “hell, almost forgot my desert.” “Big Ken”, as he was known to those who surrounded him, was home alone, just finished dinner and was heading towards the couch where he’ll watch television until mid-night. Ken often sought love, but the stress of an empty heart drove him into the arms of “food”. The vast majority of those who are obese have these things in common – mental stress, social rejection, and they’ve found love in the unconscious embrace of food.
It’s a gift to look into a mirror and find satisfaction in “seeing you” – that said, falling in love with yourself is falling for make believe. Love, real love – is found in the arms of loving others. Perhaps the most difficult and deadly problem that haunts humankind is our inability to love others more than self. Try as you may it’ll be difficult to walk with yourself hand-in-hand, kiss your lips with hope, rest in the arms of faith and most certainly, the whisper of “I love you sweetheart” is meaningless when coming from your own lips. None of us can ever be complete until we love another.
Hey – y’all hear the news (no not the fact that Biden kicked Ryan’s butt) – rather that Beth and Bubba are together again, but more out of convenience than love. It’s been a long time since they talked over a meal, turned-off the television and walked together hand-in-hand, and it seems forever since he kissed her with the tenderness of devotion. Instead of finding themselves ‘stronger’ than they have ever been as a couple – they have settled for the comfort of misperceptions. He called out – “hey, where the hell is my glass of ‘Jack’” - Beth whispered – “Oh God, here comes ‘never again’ again.”