Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Rules of Love

The Comment:
I'm not good at crushes. It takes a lot for me to like someone, but when I do, I like them a lot. But I never know what to do with those feelings. As women, we are taught to wait to be pursued. But I overcompensate with awkwardness when I like a guy - almost to the point of ignoring him sometimes, because I'm afraid to reveal too much too soon. I'm also afraid to really like someone because what if I waste my heart and time on something that will never pan out? And what if I miss out on something great because I was too focused elsewhere?
What if...?
You could ask yourself "What if.." questions all day and it won't get you anywhere. Why? Because you don't know. You won't know. You can't know. And our desire to know comes from this innate desire that we women tend to have to control.

Once we know something, then we have an idea of how to proceed. If we know that he's never going to like us back, then we can move on with our lives. If we know that if he'll like us when we're willing to reveal more of ourselves, then the risk is worth it. If we know that if we stay in a certain place or go somewhere else that we'll meet the right guy and not "miss out" then it makes everything abundantly clear. Doesn't it?

At least, we think so. We think it helps...
And so we spend a lot of our emotional energy asking What If.
A part of me wishes I could answer those questions for you. I wish that I could offer you some peace of mind. Unfortunately, I can't.

Here's what I know, though.
It's always a risk.
It's always unknown.
There's not a right way to do any of it. There are certain things that might "help" you when you like a guy (for example, ignoring someone isn't usually the most conducive way to convince him of your attraction to him)...but, in the end, some guy might find your silence mysterious, appealing and challenging.

I guess what I'm saying is that I think we're often searching for Rules to Life. We're suckers for it. It's all over the magazines, all over articles on social media: How to do this, how to do that, 10 steps to achieve this, 24 things for this. We want what worked for someone else to work for us, too. It seems easier that way, right?  If they've figured it out and been successful in this way, then maybe there's something to it. In a sense, the people who have done what we haven't are the answer to our What Ifs...they are the "know" to our endless questions.

But a lot of things in life don't work that simply. Just because Sally lost weight by running every day doesn't mean that I'm going to. And even if I do lose weight, it certainly doesn't mean I'm going to look anything like Sally does. Because I'm different.

There aren't these Rules to Life. The how-to articles don't give us the answers that we're looking for. And there definitely aren't Rules to Love.

Be you.
Live your life fully, doing the things before you, interacting with people the way that you do... and don't over-analyze it. Please...focus elsewhere. I wholeheartedly encourage it. You're not going to miss out. You're going to live more fully when you turn your attention to things that matter significantly more than maybe meeting a romantic partner. That part will most likely happen and it won't be because you followed a series of How-Tos or turned all of your attention toward attempting to date or changed who you were in the process.

Chase after Jesus.
Let Him be your only aim, your only goal, your ultimate desire. Do whatever it takes to live your life completely for Him and don't get caught up in the What Ifs. And when romance comes along, tend to it however you need to or choose to, but don't let it sweep you away from your mission in life. Don't let it deter you from your passions, your dreams, your gifts. Don't let it be all-consuming. And certainly don't think that you have to do it the way other people have done it... because even if you do, it doesn't guarantee the same result. Because you're different. He's different. The situation is different.

So...ignore him.
Be awkward.
Reveal too much too soon.
Waste your time.
Run away and hide.
They are all things that women before you have done and there will be both "success" stories and "failure" stories for each response. Because, again, the Lord is bigger than that. He's orchestrating things that we don't even know about, despite how we act in the process. Some day, some guy might choose you even when you don't do anything "right" and even when you might even be a little "crazy"... because that's just the way it's supposed to be.

In the meantime, focus elsewhere.
You won't miss out if you're not supposed to miss out...and it won't work out if it's not supposed to (no matter how many articles you read and how much advice you get...but you'll be so thankful for that in the end).
Rest assured in that.
Rest assured that the Lord's taking care of it.
Keep doing what you do, embracing your differences from the rest of the world, not letting all the "What Ifs" interfere with doing the things that matter.

Walk confidently into that.
There's no need to fear, despite the risks and the unknowns that you're up against. You can't control it.
It'll all be okay in the end.
In fact, it'll all be exactly as it should be.

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