Thursday, September 10, 2009

They stay

I read an interesting quote the other day that is stimulating to me;

“You can reach a point in life when it almost doesn't matter whether people love you in the way you want but are simply here, nearby enough, that they just bother at all" - Jerry Battle in Chang Rae Lee's Aloft

At face value the speaker is addressing a place he has reached in his life where he has removed the expectation that his (perceived) needs will be met in what other people provide for him. There is a degree of health here.
I do believe that as relational creatures, God has provided a means by which we are ‘more complete’ by entering into relationship with others. We need input from others into our lives to have balance. By engaging in relationship and living ‘outside of our own head’ a perspective not available to us is achieved. This type of relationship may be a primary means by which God speaks to us in a fashion that circumvents our natural tendency of selfishness.
I do not think the author is saying that relationships do not meet a need, rather that he would dictate what that need is.
I have people in my life who fulfill a desire for me. I do not expect these ‘select’ to fill a void I think I have. I do not expect that they will provide something lacking in me. Rather, they allow me my life and ‘bother to stay’, offering me love and companionship. I have people who accept me for who I am, and love me; sometimes for who I am, and sometimes in spite of whom I am. So while our character Jerry Battle may seemingly loathe something about himself and find himself dismissing his desire for a particular type of love, we both apparently are thankful we have people who have chosen to stay. For this I thank God.

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