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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Truth, beauty and a picture of you

This is another in a series that was written some months ago, but I withheld publishing until now.  I think I wrote this back in October 2011.

One of the songs by The Whitlams that never fails to mist me up is No Aphrodisiac - "there's no aphrodisiac like loneliness...truth, beauty and a picture of you".  It's a really poignant song that speaks to me about looking for love in all the wrong places, giving ourselves too freely, too soon and too much because we are longing to be loved in return.  I'm writing today's post in honor of several friends who have given their hearts recently to men who aren't sure if they want them...ladies, I want YOU to know your beauty.

Several months ago, I was preparing to attend my grandmother's funeral.  In the dark quiet of the wee hours, I shuffled around the house getting ready - ironing my best dress, fixing my hair, finding a necklace she gave to me which I rarely wear because it's not "me", but wanted to wear that day.  I wore it as my link to the past, and a pair of ear rings from the man who holds my heart which I wear daily as my hope for the future.  I finished fixing my make up, and looked in the mirror, to catch a glimpse of that first five minutes of "make up perfection" that never seems to last quite past your front step!  And I realised...I am beautiful.  No, not because I have stunning features or a figure to die for (I wish!).  But I am a beautiful woman who is tender of heart, loyal, compassionate and generous to a fault, and for all of my flaws and insecurities, I have an inner strength and beauty that deserves to be cherished, because my silent soul has the strength and faith to move mountains, to do what needs to be done, no matter the cost.  YOU have this, YOU are beautiful.  We ALL are.

In these last few weeks, I've had several girlfriends on the phone, in tears or close to it, talking about the problems that they are having with the men they hold dear.  Sadly, it seems to be somewhat endemic in my friendship circle at the moment - as one friend said to me "I'm beginning to think there's something in this man cave business.  I thought Croatia was the hot new tourist destination, but dude, that man cave must have something!".  

Another friend told me in tears about sleeping with her boyfriend for the first time, when he said to her "that would have been so much better if we were actually in love" - a stab in her heart, which she'd already started to give to him.  I told her about a decision I made some time ago - to save myself now, for the day I remarry.  That I am not giving of myself that way again, until it is to my husband on my wedding night.  Not because sex is dirty, but because when we give of ourselves in sexual intimacy, we are giving a part of our very soul to the other...a gift that should not be made except in the total commitment of loving marriage - a husband and wife who are ready to say unreservedly "I will fight for you - to win your heart, to keep your heart and to cherish and protect it.  I will never walk away from it".  

So often, particularly as women, we give too freely in the bedroom, because we hope to get that total love and commitment in return.  Time and again, we walk away feeling we gave more than we got in return.  We walk away feeling unsure, powerless.  We are looking for a total loving acceptance that our men are just not ready to give.  We are looking for them to truly see our inner hearts, to see past our insecurities and faults to all that we are at our core - our inner strength and beauty - and to love us so totally, they would never choose to be without us.  We want to be fought for, cherished, for who we are.  We want to feel that if he could have any other woman, he would still choose to have us.

My message to you, ladies, is this.  You ARE worth this.  It is not a childish fairy tale from which you have to grow up.  Relationships take compromise, YES, definitely.  They take work, and rough patches, and times when you have to remind yourself intellectually that you love them, because you're just not feeling it right in the middle of the tough stuff.  But it should be compromise of blending two lives together...not a compromise of commitment.  Gird the walls around your heart, secure the drawbridges to the moat and immerse yourself in the love of friends and family - given and received - until you find the man who is prepared to leap across the lake, scale the walls and beat down the door to your heart.  If he thinks it is too much trouble, then be thankful you have protected your heart from a man who didn't want it badly enough to fight for it.

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