Jest looking for Love

Boats, Relationships, and a little Bible for Spice

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I do not own this picture. belongs to walope.com
I do not own this picture. belongs to walope.com

Smooth sailing. The waves of gentle romance splash gently on loves boat, and you drift gently asleep… CRACK! A second later; you are faced with a Pirates of the Caribbean type whirlpool with lightning bolts as far reaching as the sky itself. What happened; just a second ago you were on the Love Boat, but now it has turned into the Titanic!

Okay, okay so I am being a little melodramatic, but I am an artist darn it all! Anyways, the ship that I am referring to is quite simply the “relation-ship” (pun intended), and the ocean is inevitably the forward progress of time, which is sometimes very coarse and other times peaceful. The person who doesn’t expect to get his/her feet wet in all of these romantic endeavors is foolish. The person who believes they will never be hurt, and won’t hurt, another is just as well. If love was as easy to love our brother and sister what need would we have for laws and principalities? No. The emotions that come all too easy for us are the emotions that are mill-stones around our necks in deep waters. It is: anger, resentment, cynicism, skepticism, melancholy and the other abusive feelings that pass over us like waves.

The wind and waves are rough teachers, but again, life and Mother Nature are not without their timeless advice. The waves are trials that should strengthen the hulls of our love for our significant other, and not weaken that love until our ship springs a fatal leak. The wind of adversity can topple us to one side, but can also be used to power us in any direction we choose so long as we respect its power. The creatures below the sea wait in the darkness for a meal, and they are the lechers that lust after our partners. Warning: do not feed the animals. You see they are there for a reason as well. By keeping our competition in the back of our minds that keeps us sharp for our loved ones, and keep the fire burning within us. Lest we fall asleep at the wheel and be swallowed up like Jonah!

I have a confession to make, and I like Jonah, had to face down my own fears. I recently had to tell my ex-girlfriend a very difficult truth. I felt as if my heart was being pulled towards another woman. I suppose this was a wave crashing into my very own HMS Bad News. I had been battling the winds of these feelings for some weeks, and upon the urging of a friend, I summoned up my courage and said the six words that any sea faring man or woman dread to hear: we need to have a talk. For the longest time before hand; I had wished my feelings to be non-existent for the other person. It was as if I was looking for a life preserver in the face of the incoming tidal wave. I had no idea of the other person liked me or not, and no way to deal with the storm that raged inside of me. So, as the captain of my ship, I did what I needed to do. I told my girlfriend I needed a break to sort out my feelings for the other woman.

Of course, our “relation-ship” hit consequently hit a reef, and all life aboard was banished except two life boats that went their separate ways. She called me later that night to tell me it was over. She didn’t want to, in her words, “play second fiddle” to another woman. I of course apologized profusely, and didn’t fault her for her feelings. Heck, I would have done the same thing in her shoes. I suppose in my heart you can never conquer the very nature of your heart. It wants what it wants and I suppose my ship is still awash in this ghastly river. The point I am making is this: honesty in a relationship and to you is paramount. If there is only one side of oars working then you will only be guided into a discombobulated spin. But the feeling of honesty is comparable to a feeling of lightness after the yoke has been lifted. Both of us have by now moved on, so I think, to safer waters.

I have now harbored my heart back at home where it needs to be, and had this profound time of reflection. It saddens me to know that journey of our relationship is over, but the ripples in the water behind me still remain, and for that I am happy. Only a bitter man looks back on the journey and hates where he has been when he has led a good life. As the Bible tells us; no matter what: love they neighbor. That has taken me a few years to fully understand, but with this most recent parting of sea-farers, I have learned to forgive myself and others much more fully. Like, I told my good friend, whose ship fell on bad weather, do not hate her or poison her memory but love her and the memories you shared. Human nature would dictate that as a Herculean effort. Take the time to center your ship and get your head above water, but you need to let go of the pain you hold in order to forgive. You will be amazed at how wonderful the feeling is.

So, my Jesters and Harlequins, if I haven’t “sunk your Battleship” with all of these ocean metaphors, then I sincerely thank you. I would just encourage you today to center YOUR “relation-ship”, to reconsider one that will not suit your future journeys, and let go of a ship that has already left the port, and as God forgives so too should we. I hope you find yourself in open waters and with clear skies. God Speed.

A Letter to Remember.

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To my Future Son,

Son, there will be times when you will be hurt, and it will seem like your heart has been cleaved from your chest. Pain is God’s way of reminding you to trust in him. Trust me; I’ve travelled many miles and done many a foolish deed to be with a woman, I thought, loved me. The distance in that example is symbolic for the length of time you would be willing to give or wait for another person, or what mountain you would be willing to climb for her. There will be women out there who use flattering words, look exquisite, and drawn you in one way or another, but in time you will learn just who is meant to be the woman you love for all that you are, and you her.

Women are God’s gifted companions to men. We fit together by design like a lock to a key. It is simply the way of the world. But in this wide world God has plans for his people and we cannot presume to know his plan. All the same; one day the path will be made clear for you, and one day you will know who you are meant to spend your life with. The woman your heart bleeds over now may not have been God’s plan for you, and that is why in prayer we seek guidance. I know you believe, and I am asking you to give your pain up to God. In the Bible we can find sound advice that stands the test of time: Jeremiah 29:11 – “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.” Thus he knows his plan for you, and the young lady who you feel is still the right one for you. I can appreciate your pain, and wish you did not have to experience it, but experience is the only way we learn. And I pray that young woman will learn from this experience as well.

“But, she was the one…” It may seem like that now, but like I mentioned God has his plans for who the one REALLY is. Let me also caution you against hardening your heart: especially to the person you loved. Forgiveness is the key. I don’t ask you to do that lightly, because I myself still find it very difficult to forgive. But, because God himself gave his only Son to forgive us our trespasses: so too will I ask of you the same. We rob ourselves of joy and live in the painful memory of the past if we let ourselves be caught in these thoughts. Take solace in the fact that you had the opportunity to make memories with a nice young woman, and don’t let that memory be poisoned. Where the world will advise you to close your heart; find the strength to open yours. Your spirit is strong, and your heart is filled with goodness. You are far too strong to have your heart caged by sorrow. Live for the glory of God and he will show you the way to a woman he has ordained for you.

I pray that you live without regrets and that you live without experiencing this pain once more. In summary: trust in God and let him guide you. In the end you will discern your path and be free from this pain. You are an amazing young man so please allow yourself to be open to forgiveness to find the right woman. Joshua 1:9 “…Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”.

Sincerely,

Joshua

Vintage Wine and an Indecisive Emperor

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It is a child on a temper tantrum, a brooding and scorned lover, a well of sweet promises, a cornucopia of dreams, and it is a detailed life story written in red ink. It is the heart. As a writer the one that comes most readily to mind is my own, and of course they say the best writing comes from personal experience. The two previous sentences were as cliché as they come because everybody has a heart and every writer will inevitably write about something they are familiar with, but please bear with me as we dive into this beast.

Our lives and hearts are inevitably marked with the photographs and captions of times in our past. When you look back do you find that your heart yearns for that certain someone? Take a minute and really consider this for a moment. Is there someone that you would have dropped all other tasks and engagements to be united with? Our hearts are the children within us that beg to see that favorite person again, and pulling our hands with hurried feet toward the direction of a love interest. And, when we finally have picked the apple of our eye from the tree of life… it ceases to shine and like Aphrodite’s golden apple it causes discord within us. For men, and please excuse the overly male metaphor here, it is as if were are gladiators or huntsmen. Dueling against ourselves in our hearts until we wear away the armor of logic and army ourselves with the crude tools of emotion, and once the victory has been won the trophy heart loses its luster.

Welcome to my world; with the exception of this being my present reality as well.

As I type these words it seems a cacophony of  “These Words” by Natasha Bedingfield,  John Mayer’s “Half of my heart” and the Counting Crows version of “Big Yellow Taxi” are playing within me. I know that the pressed grape wine of love has been poured into my cup, and yet I feel the desire to push it away in favor of another equally appealing vintage. The truly lamentable idea is that one cup has been already poured and the bottle cannot be returned, and I know that the bottle of white whine that glimmers in holy sunshine is being courted to another table. I, of course, harken my wine and my gladiator to the splendor of Roma. Of course what can be more romantic than a dinner at the Olive Garden, no?

Now for the Metaphor

And as I continue to watch the two Gladiators fight within me I partake of the wine that has been so graciously been poured for next to nothing. I glance over and I see that one Gladiator has his crimson blade resting on his throat. He awaits my thumbs vertical approval. To the left of me is an aged man full of thought and experience, and to my right is a young and wild, passionate, lover of many things. They both paddle on to each other about the merits and detriments of the situation I find myself in. And yet when it comes to giving the gladiator a decision… My eyes darting back and forth from the wild lover to the aged scholar. Each give me fair arguments and fiery passion, and yet neither one is convincing. What to do…?

I wave my hand in a noncommittal fashion and the fallen gladiator springs back to his feet and continues his bloody fight to the end.

Wine has a bitter taste and yet when consumed gives a pleasurable effect, and if taken without moderation robs us of our decision making. The security of my faculties brought low by the quick power of a sip of intoxicating love, but now my sense have returned do I realize I have entered the coliseum out of folly, and I desire a way out in sheer panic lest I strike out and destroy something beautiful.

The Emperor gives but two choices to a gladiator: Life or Death. I know to whom my heart wishes to live, but that is the losing Gladiator, and the victorious Gladiator I know deserves to be brought low.

And again, the red wine has been poured and cannot be returned to the bottle. I must drink. If I do not my fear and weakness will show, and someone will fall.

I am the Emperor. Now, I must decide.

Visit the website in the description for ownership of this picture.
Visit the website in the description for ownership of this picture.

Boys and girls: why can we never get it right?

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And this title is supposed to accurately cover thousands of years of male and female relationships?! Not hardly.

But, maybe I could shed some light on this situation. Call me a mediator between these two seemingly warring factions. My friends, who will remain name less, have had relationship issues as innumerable as the stars in the sky. I’m sure much of you, like myself, have stayed up late at night pondering just exactly what is going on through the other genders head… From deciphering such a simple text as “Heyy :]” to a like on a new facebook picture by that special person.
WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!

Here’s my list of things (that I’ve experienced) and is a huge hinderance for boys AND girls:
1. Fear of being hurt (Fear in general): We let ourselves believe we aren’t good enough, pretty enough, any NUMBER of things that inhibit us from taking a leap of faith and talking to that special person. Don’t let fear derail your car, because the biggest regret you can have is never trying.
2.  “Should I text him/her?” Well, let me go ahead and tell you this… If you’re in doubt text your special person. If they’re interested in you as well I am fairly certain they will answer you back in a way that will make you GLAD YOU TEXTED.
3. ” I don’t want to ruin the friendship…” If you are in doubt about this. I know this is a tough one, but again Believe in yourself. You are the king/queen of the world. You deserve nothing but the best. Talk to her/him about your feelings, and make sure the other person knows how you feel and discuss it. If they are your FRIEND they will understand how you feel. Give yourself a shot.

FEAR. The great enemy of love. It shuts us down before we have a chance.

I myself want to ask a girl out… She will remain nameless as well (as I write this with a big smile on my face). I am afraid to text her, because I don’t want to seem “too into her” and scare her off, but as a man I am a hunter and I have to man up. I am just like all of you: scared to be hurt, looking for love, and confused about what the other person wants.

The easiest way too find out is to ask. That way you can move on if the other person doesn’t feel the same way.  (I know you all are shaking your head on this one, but believe me its easier when the uncertainty is gone).

Well, This is it for my first post on the laborious task of figuring out how to love. I hope you at least learned a little bit. Or at least found what I wrote about interesting or having some similarity with your own life.

 Men please treat your women like princesses, because they make your castle a home. And women… treat your men like kings, because even kings fall from their throne every once in a while.