Sunday, September 23, 2012

Secretly a Cylon?

"Russell was perfect. What's wrong with me? Am I self-sabotaging? Am I secretly a Cylon?"
"You just didn't love him."
"But what if it's me? What if I have some idea of love in my head and it's just totally wrong?"

This is why I like watching television. In the midst of a ridiculous sitcom, like New Girl, there are some really introspective moments that so many of us can identify with. Jess has just broken up with her boyfriend and above is a brief dialogue with her best friend that we get to witness.

There have been moments where all of us feel like this, to some degree. Are we really just destroying ourselves, without even meaning to? Are we living our lives in such an illusion, hopeful of an ideal that simply just doesn't exist? What if I, too, have an idea of love in my head and it's just not what love is at all? What if I filter everything through that ideal and I push the good in front of me away because nothing measures up to this false reality I've created in my head?

It's worth taking a look at.
I've battled with this same issue a lot- not always in regard to love, but it's reared it's head up in regard to community, family, friendships, jobs, ministry, etc. etc. There's always a way things should be that doesn't line up with how things actually are.

Been there?
Do you feel self-destructive in the way you handle situations?
I used to pat myself on the back for my criticism. I was glad that I wasn't willing to settle for something less than perfection. By golly, if community is supposed to be a certain way, why would we ever want it to look different? If love isn't supposed to be like this, why even waste my time pretending?

My quest for my version of perfection in all of these things made it impossible for me to co-exist with others (in relationships, friendships, community, jobs, family, etc.). Because, as time went on, I realized that they also had their own version of how things were supposed to be. They had their own values, their own priorities, their own dreams... and just because they looked different than mine, it didn't mean that they were wrong. That was a hard lesson to swallow.

What if my idea of how things should be are wrong?
Or, even if they aren't necessarily wrong, what if others have opinions/thoughts/ideas and theirs could also be right? Am I open-minded enough to allow for that to be the case?

And I think this is where the self-destruction can end.
A realization that my ideals don't need to always be the thing that prevails. That my quest isn't about finding perfection in all these various aspects of life... but it's about something greater than that. That my end goal isn't to have the perfect husband, family, love, job, community, friendship in the way that I've deemed perfection to be... but perhaps it has much more to do about surrender, sacrifice, and letting people simply be.

Instead of looking at what things are not present, looking at what is. Instead of disappointment in the things that are lacking within community, being grateful and amazed by the things that are true blessings that already exist.

It's a shift of perspective.
It's a willingness to admit that your version of perfection may not actually be perfection at all.
It's a willingness to admit that, sometimes, the idea of love in your head might be totally wrong.

There's so much hope to be found in this. There's so much freedom.
And, instead of destroying all the good that already exists, you can embrace it and truly allow good things to happen to you....instead of pushing it away because you think it's supposed to be better.

Maybe, when we stop always looking for better, we can realize that the good before us is better than we could have ever hoped for...


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  1. This is good, Debbie!

    Reading your entry makes me think of Hosea in the Old Testament. I can't imagine his idea of love included marrying a prostitute...but God commanded him to do so and he did. Then after some time Hosea experienced the pain of Gomer's multiple affairs and pregnancy's by other men. Until finally she leaves him and years later Hosea finds her on the streets...a shadow of who she once was. Again, I can't imagine this was his idea of perfect love in his life, but it still happened just the same.

    I think it's easy to forget the beauty in the broken and the value of the little imperfections in each of our stories. If every scenario or relationship was exactly the same for everyone, then wouldn't we take love for granted?

    1. Thanks Jeremy- good thoughts!
      I was inspired by your story tonight, actually. Thanks for being vulnerable and raw with the world.

  2. I really love reading this.. i also watch new girl.. "and What's wrong with me? Am I self-sabotaging? Am I secretly a Cylon?" line also caught my attention xD

  3. this is enlightening ;)