I found myself completely and ridiculously sucked in. My dear roommate (and Maid of Honor) and I faithfully followed the antics and dramatics of this past season’s The Bachelor with some embarrassment and no self-control. Jake Pavelka, the awkward yet suddenly highly eligible bachelor found himself the object of some 20 young ladies’ affections and passionate desires without opening up his mouth. And about 15 million Americans couldn’t tear themselves away from the television. (Including myself).
Why??? Why do women sign up for this show? [I mean, men clearly sign up if they want to be drooled over by alot of hot single women]. I just found myself asking this question alot while these same women amused and entertained me with their dramatic hopes and fears. Many of these women were hilarious, cute, very beautiful, and had great jobs and families. Of course, they probably were all motivated by the ever-present basic human desire to be on TV; but throughout their interviews – the giggles when they were given “roses”, the past relationships they talked about, the tears and insecurities that inevitably came out when they were asked to leave – I couldn’t help but feel there was something deeper [and even more primal than the instinctive desire to be seen by millions of Americans] going on.
What won’t a human being do for love! Whether its to be loved and pursued in front of the world by a handsome stranger that 20 women decide is “The One”, or whether its in more hidden “normal” ways… no one seems to know how to make it happen, and everyone sure wants it.
Okay – transition from thinking about The Bachelor to indulging me as I talk about one of my Political Philosophy classes of the semester!!! I’ve been taking this upper level class called Love and Friendship. We started by reading some of Aristotle’s thoughts on the nature of true friendship, then on to Plato’s dialectic about true love in “The Lysis”. Socrates, that incorrigible person, makes a subtle yet undeniably true point when he sets out to “teach” one of the more annoying of his acquaintances how to get someone to love you.
Now, anyone who has read some of Plato will know that Socrates rarely stoops so low as to make a point blatantly to his listeners. His task is to lead you into deeper reflections of your own, not to tell you the answer to your questions. As I was reading “The Lysis”, therefore, I kept thinking of how desperate we human beings are for love, how much we seek to fill that vacuum in our hearts with the attention and affection of other people.
A Christian knows that the answer to that aching hunger for love is “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, O Lord”. But I would offer a bit more simple of an explanation. In my own experiences with friends, boyfriends and family, I truly believe that, “If you want to be loved, you must be lovable”.
Be lovable: embrace life to the fullest, both arms open. Decide what you love to do and do it!!! Whether thats training to run for 2 hours at a time; cycling in the countryside; reading every book you can get your hands on; shopping!; walking in the evening air; writing [blogs:)]; cooking (and eating) gourmet food; traveling all over the world; going green and organic; being a missionary; hiking and camping; living by the ocean; keeping a flower garden; painting… there is so much about life to love and to make a part of yourself.
We’ve all heard the expression, “You are what you eat,” right? [have you ever just felt like a giant french fry?? hah!] … I believe furthermore that “You are what you do”. If you don’t love yourself, if you don’t know that you are lovable, [and I don’t say “feel” lovable, cause even though happiest of individuals, especially women, have “low” days of feeling very little, least of all confidence) – ask yourself why… and don’t be afraid to be honest! The happiest, most fulfilled people in the world came to a point in their lives where they hated themselves and their lives, and they decided to change. This is the basis of Christian conversion – it is necessary to come to a point where you hate life without God, where you hate the selfishness of your sinful actions, before you can embrace God’s love and forgiveness, before you can be transformed by grace.
I so hope that women in our culture, crying out for attention and love, desperately turning in on themselves in the vain pursuit of physical perfection, can learn that true happiness does not come in attracting some unattainable guy… it comes in realizing the shortness and the beauty of life!