Monday, July 29, 2013

I'm back...

I got a message from a friend of mine the other day:

"Your blog has been mysteriously silent."

Three months. I haven't written a post in three months. Who knew so much could change in three months. (Yes, I meant that as a statement, not as a question.) Don't think that I've forgotten about you...many times I've started writing the ideas in my head while driving or at the gym or waiting to check out at the grocery store. But whenever I've come back home for whatever reason I've just felt like the thoughts had to stay inside. But something about that changed tonight.

Actually, if I'm being honest it was pretty similar to how it has been the last couple of months. I had an idea for a blog this morning, mulled it over as I went about my day, but by the time I could actually sit down and write I didn't really feel like it anymore. Until, that is, I was crawling into bed and thought about the blog. I went back and re-read what provoked my thoughts earlier and I was motivated enough to get out of my bed, grab the laptop, and feel very Carrie Bradshawish as I carried it back to my bed while wearing a bizarre outfit whose sole purpose is to assist me in not totally overheating in the desert heat. (Side note: I moved to Arizona. From Wisconsin. It's hot here. Yes, I have central air. But it's 10pm and 105ºF outside. It's just always hot.)

Do you ever have a moment where you feel like you've read something a million times, but that million and oneth time that you read, it strikes you and it feels like the first time? I was sitting in church, doing the Sunday morning thing, and there was one short sentence in the middle of the sermon that for whatever reason stopped me dead in my tracks:

There is no fear in love. Whoa. Just stop for a second and think about that.

*Taking a pause from typing.*

Now here comes the sentence right after it.

But perfect love drives out fear.

I'll be honest with you, in the last couple of months I have gone through a wide variety of emotions. I have looked at many of my relationships with a wide variety of people. Many conversations were had just trying to sort through thoughts and understand things, as well as make decisions moving forward. And it's not like I'm dying, but moving 1800 miles from all of your close friends and family to a culture that is different from what you yourself...let's just say you think a lot about people and your relationships with them and why things are the way that they are. I just had a great conversation with one of my girlfriends about how validation is the driving force in so many of our life decisions and relationships. And what some of the things are that get in the way of us achieving that sense of validation.

Nothing like a little 1950's fear to
lighten the mood a little. =)

Fear can get in our way. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the un-experienced. Fear of the unanswered. Fear of loss. Fear of loneliness. Fear of exhaustion. Fear of inability. Each of them are like another roadblock making us wonder if it's safe to proceed. Does the reward outweigh the risk?

But fear can also drive us. It can push us into the determination that we need to face the fear and overcome it. Or to try something that we aren't used to or might make us uncomfortable. It can be what causes us to strive to move ahead. To encounter the risk and take chances. Go into Google. Type "the opposite of fear" and see what comes up. (Or keep reading and I'll tell you in the text sentence.) You will find "trust," "faith," and "love."

There is no fear in love.

Loving someone here (and by here I mean in this world) is scary. At least that's what our mind tells us. Can I trust that person? Are they going to keep the secrets I tell them? Am I able to disclose my fears to them and trust that they will give me the support I need and not prey on my vulnerability? Fear and trust go hand in hand. Actually, trust is what you get when you are able to let go of the fear. And letting go of the fear is required if you ever want the trust to grow. And you can't have love if you don't have trust. (See how I'm bringing it all together now? =)

Relationships don't stand still. It's just like the moon, they're either waxing or waning. They expand and contract. They morph from what they were into what they will be. You can't get to a place with someone that you like and feel comfortable in and put your relationship in a box and expect it to always stay the same. You can't stop your life and yourself from moving whatever direction that might be. And you can only stand still for so long. Because time continues on. So I guess the question you let the fear of the unknown keep you from experiencing the rest of what life could offer you. It's unknown. And the unknown is kind of scary. And chances are, if you are probably means that you have something that's actually worth losing. But...

There is no fear in love. Don't let the fear of losing love get in the way of growing love. And as we've heard (at a bajillion and one weddings) is patient, kind, protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. And it never fails. So...let go of the fear standing in your way and experience the love that's right in front of you, whatever it might be. Because if love really is all those things (see two sentences ago), then it will not fail, but will continue to move you forward through the fear from who you are and where you were, into who you will be and where you are going.

...I'm back.