Thursday, May 21, 2009

Romance in Central Park

Biking through Central Park I thought through the hundreds of romantic scenes I had watched played out on its grounds, particularly at the angel fountain, most recently seen in Enchanted.
All romances stop at the kiss, the engagement, or the wedding. Few movies or books take us beyond these pivotal , tear jerking, orchestra swelling, song-worthy moments. I saw a few couples taking advantage of the flowers to sneak in a kiss or more. But they were all young, unmarried. Does love continue to exist? I'm still working on the Love Dare, so it is on my mind. Here is what I am thinking about.

A girl, a boy, attracted... seek to attract. For a brief period of time they are share, forgive, serve, offer continual acts of kindness. A more perfect version of themselves reflects back at them from the other's eyes. Each expects that same kindness, that same consideration for the rest of their lives. Stirring. String playing. Screen filling.

Now roommates, co-bill payers, parents, with late nights, piles of dishes, unmade beds, commitments, needs, endless jobs, endless worry . . . Kindness? Consideration?

Each is consumed. Eaten alive with demands from others. Exhausted, disappointed with self for accomplishments, daily and life. They must DEMAND their share. They must wrest their fairness out of life because who is going to look after number one? When so much is given/taken, if you give the final bit, what does it leave you with? Wouldn't you be gone? Vanished?

My Love Dare journey goes slowly as I seek to incorperate each principle. Principle #3. "Love is not selfish." Well I've certainly got that down. What do I do all day for myself? My life is for others. I read on.

"When a wife constantly complains about the time and energy she spends meeting the needs of her husband (and kids), that's a sign of selfishness." And, "Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive."

Love seeketh not her own. (1 cor. 13:5) Does that scripture really mean that I should not look after myself? Think about what is best for me when so much is already given?

I have been pondering this question for days. Studying, reading, seeking and praying for an answer. I must admit now, I am a selfish human being. Second, I am afraid to do anything about it. What will happen? Will I end up a drudge or a slave?

I can't find a model. No true heroine would be such a pushover in the movies. Strong intelligent women are really in right now. Their men and kids know they need to toe the line have the priveledge of being with these amazing women. In chit chat, we girl friends are constantly telling each other, "You do not need to put up with that!" We women have been slaves long enough. NO MORE we say! How can I prioritize the well being of my mate without losing my authenticity?

I turn to the example of Jesus Christ. Goodness. He really didn't seek his own did he. I mean really! Who wants torture, ridicule, and death? I'm not lining up. I guess he sought for others, in all things unto death. He held nothing back. Nothing. But he was completely and entirely himself. He never bent his thoughts, standards, or actions to suit others, yet all he did was for others long term best interest.

Darn it! It is much more complicated than I would like. Luckily I have a life to practice. But . . . will I be happy? Can I trust that less selfishness will bring a happier existence? Jesus Christ's philosophy is that we will find our life when we lose it. When I become invisible, my needs, my rights.... I will find what I'm truly after.

Well my life has been based on trust in his teachings. Thus far he has not let me down. I am finally ready to move forward with the challenge of Day 3, adding selflessness to patience and kindness. I think I am ready to graduate... from "movie love" to something better, from a movie heroine to someone better. Nineteen years later I'm ready to pull the cord and J U M P. Is that worthy of a shot in Central Park?

1 comment:

  1. This thought . . . this moment of contemplation . . . this, in the end, is the payback. It may be 30+ years after the fact, but giving pays. Selflessness comes back full circle and is truly self-fulfilling.