Thursday, February 18, 2010

Brian’s Reflection: Friday, February19, 2010

….. most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone
wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret
way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved
fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover
is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible
relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain.

Carson McCullers, author, born on this date, 1917, in Columbus, GA.
(She died at 50.) I don’t know is she said this, or a character in one of
her novels.

A rather dire view of Love, I think, and of Lovers. Which makes me think that this is something said of one of McCuller’s characters. I quite disagree that a true lover is “forever trying to strip bare his beloved”. In fact, a true Lover would never do such a thing. And as for craving “any possible relation with the beloved” – no, this is not a true Lover. Only a Lover deeply absorbed in his own Ego would want this. A true Lover is deeply self-aware, and deeply focused on the Beloved, and would do nothing to violate the Beloved.

It is indeed harder though, I think, to be the Beloved than the Lover. I do think that most of us human beings struggle with a sense of unworthiness. With some it is right up front – Peter the Apostle, for instance (“Go from me Lord, for I am a sinful man”). With others, it is hidden or denied – but that sense of unworthiness is very often at work behind the scenes. Such a person finds it hard to express their love, for fear that the beloved will somehow see the Lover’s inadequacy and reject them. It is the rare person who is confident, respects himself, knows herself well, and accepts himself as (s)he is.

The Judeo-Christian God, in the best theology, is made in the image of the fully confident, self-respecting, fully self-knowing, self-accepting being. This God embodies the person we want to be, both as Lover and Beloved. When we falter, we can turn to this God, know how to Love and how to accept Love.

I feel that I was blessed with a grace to know “true love”. I can smell false love a mile away. I am not vulnerable to it. I think this came from knowing God, and sensing how I was God’s beloved and not sensing any vulnerability, no sense that I would be “stripped bare”, abused, mistreated.

I do not understand the Journey, or really how I entered upon it. But I am grateful.


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