The needy soul.

I want to please you. I want to please the fuck out of you.

I want to give you everything you want and be everything you want me to be.

I want the sheer essence of who I am to seep into the depths of your very being. I want to startle your soul into a place of deep enamor. Write poems about me. Photograph me. Craft music with me as the main theme. Show me I’m important. Show me I can move you; be a muse to you, make you think; I want songs preformed about the way I move. The way I speak. The lovely way my lips move and the way my hair falls.

I want a single glance to captivate you.

Call me beautiful. Call me gorgeous. Call me perfect. Call me all the beautiful adjectives you can find in a dictionary and then try other languages.

I’ll make it worth your effort. I want to please you. I want to do all the things you want me to do. I want something as quiet and light as my morning routine to draw out simple, inspired attraction. I want my particular musical tastes to grip you and make you wonder about me, all about me, and love me, love me. Breathe for me. I want my unplanned words to sound like poetry, poetry that you recite under your breath when you need to feel inspired to create something. Let me be your muse. Your role model, even. Your best friend. Your fantasy. Your object of envy.

I want my hobbies to cause you to be interested in me, my style to enchant you, my journaling, drawings, baking to make you smile. Because of me. Because I am special and worth something. I want my body to be your ideal and I want you to compliment me. I want my physique to inspire. Inspire jealousy. Inspire lust. Because I mean something. I matter. I’m good enough. I’m important. I’m sexy. I’m beautiful.

Right?

Approval. I need it. Tell me I’m beautiful. Tell me I matter. Use the most sophisticated words you can conjure. Use adjectives that I’ve never even heard. Forge balladry. Dream up beautiful lymericks, sonnets and quatrains. All about me. 

Then I will know I matter. In fact, I think I will die if you don’t follow through. I want this all so much. So I will be anything you want me to be. I will change for you. If my body is not what you desire, then I shall change it. If you do not like my hair, then my hair will be cut, grown or dyed. If my activities seem sub-par, then they will certainly change. If my speech does not spark fascination, then I will learn new words and mannerisms.

Please tell me you love me and tell me I matter. I will be whoever you want me to be.

I’ll be whoever you want me to be.

I’ll be whoever anyone wants me to be.

All I ask in return is your love and acceptance.

I have become a pish-posh of unrecognizable pieces of flesh and fashion – interest and activity – personality and practices – soul and game. I know not who I am anymore. And I am still unsure if anyone really loves me for me.

I can’t think about this too much because it freaks me out – because those who do love me do not truly love me, but love what I have created. My mismatched demeanor. My cut-to-pieces soul. I have sparked ruthless jealousy in some, as I have been ruthlessly jealous of others. I have slowly and skillfully adopted shaped myself into what I have believed would make me the most wanted. Given me the most adoration, attention, respect, approval.

And now I am not myself and I am not loved for myself.

Probably all the love in the world could not fill the ravenous hole in my heart that begs for evermore attention and praise. And the people’s praises that do seem to momentarily fill are so shaky, changing their affections based on the culture and age and personality.

I am left shaken, broken, older than I should be and unlike who I really am. I am too far away from reality to know who I really am. My heart cries out for love in a vacuum. I operate out of the same old mantra: “please let me please you, and accept my desperate attempts with praise.”

I am empty. And alone. With no ballads or photographs that even begin to touch the true longing of my soul.

I cry, scream, distraught – exhausted – from extracting everything I possibly could from every other option I could have sought after with my needy heart.

Already feeling the guilt and shame of the knowledge of what I should have done all along, I cry out, “I’ve tried everything now! I’m done! I need perfect love!”

He answers in grace.

He binds up my wounds.

He tells me I’m loved.

This is the answer.

But I’ll do it again.

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Flowers

Women are flowers. Stupid people crush flowers.

Nate and I have been having a lot of conversations about women and beauty. And through them, and through God, I’m unequivocally convinced that beautiful women-kind are the best cherry you’ve ever had on the cupcake that is the earth. Or maybe, like, the frosting. Because what’s a cupcake without frosting? Yes, we have flowers, trees, the sky. But can you imagine the earth without women? Without little girls, pretty hair, glowing skin, make-up, fashion – the charm, expressions, grace, and overall encapsulating beauty that is womankind?

There is a beautiful and exciting atmosphere I love experiencing at events where women are present and have dressed themselves up. I think a lot of this is because of the way we feel at these events – confident and caught up in the romance of the night – and how this feeling makes you shine. All the different ways we reveal the essences of femininity is facinating. We glitter, we lipstick and powder  – we do twirly, or lacy, feathers or leather. We lengthen and cover and reveal and shine. The different perfumes – fruity, bold, sweet, flirty, or the nostalgic grandmotherly fragrance that I always breathe deeply when it covers the air. We express, we reveal, we dance. We are badasses.

We are different and varied as flowers, but not even. Flowers do not have the choice of fluidity, which is beautiful in and of itself – to dress themselves by how they are feeling a certain day; to express their personalities with whichever color or style they choose.

Only one other breed of being has this option, and this breed is the man. And while men can be all-around fabulous and expressive, and I would never want to take away from that, there is just something different about a roomful of girls than a roomful of guys.

Men have so much to offer. But I want to focus on the ladies, because so often the ladies are just, not focused on. At least, not because of their God-given beauty. Often the talk about women takes on a darker flavor.

And why wouldn’t it? Think of the most beautiful things on this earth. The environment, for example? We’ve absolutely trampled it. Great beautiful bodies of water have become polluted. Trees chopped. Air poisoned. Furthermore, churches are burned down, animals are force fed hormones, caged and cruelly slaughtered, young puppies and kittens put into mills. We are sick. Really sick.

Buildings are struck down. People are murdered. Schools are filled with bullies who crush confidence before talent can bring forth beautiful art. This world hates beauty – kills it. At the first sight of something beautiful, we love to critique and destroy before anyone gets too cocky.

Look at magazines, filled with the world’s so-called loveliest people, right? These people are more scrutinized than anyone else! If these are the ones that society has chosen as the elite and beautiful, why is society not praising their beauty? It is true that sometimes, they do – but often only for a time, until the next body type is deemed more attractive, or they gain an ounce of weight, or they walk out the door without make-up.

We are hardwired, it seems, to crush what is beautiful. We may love Jessica Simpson one day, but call her ugly soon after. And even though we might bless her with the loving title of “HOT,” (right) we qualify with, but she’s stupid, untalented, a slut… And if she gains weight, we scrutinize her until we are sure our egos are filled and her, and many others, confidence is destroyed.

Here’s my point. It is so obvious to me that women are beautiful. Not just outwardly – no. Personally, I think that a women’s beauty comes from deep within. It is planted there by a loving Creator and is lived out through a lovely and precious exterior. (Of course, we all know 1 Peter 3:4, and I like this version – “But be adorned in the secret person of the heart and in a humble spirit which is uncorrupted, an excellent ornament before God.” But try to think outside the box. See bottom of page for biblical basis.) And I see this shine practically intoxicatingly at parties, where women are confident and feel beautiful and lovely caught up in excitement and adventure.

But there is a dark side. While a woman may feel confident and lovely, she also may feel jealous. Angry. Protective. Insecure. Unconfident. Ashamed. Embarassed. And she may be putting every other woman down in her head to make herself feel better. It just might be a confusing swirl of emotion, good and bad intentions, feelings and motives.

Even worse, men have learned to absolutely pulverize the beauty that is so natural in a woman, by critiquing her body parts or her hair color or whatever he wants. It’s his body to judge, he thinks. Her style to approve or disapprove. He has been trained not to see what is beautiful, but what is hot – and everything that he does not consider hot, he violently condemns. It is practically car shopping.

The problem is that women are walking around, believing that they are not beautiful. Not able to express themselves the way they’d want to because they are ashamed. Not able to not wear make-up if that’s her thing because she does not believe that she has natural beauty to offer. Not able to wear glittery, fun make-up because she is afraid the world will see her as pretentious or superficial. No winners here. We’re all in a box.

This is a hateful crime we have enacted on the modern women. I am guilty as anyone. Instead of crushing what is obviously beautiful, I suggest we begin to celebrate beautiful womenkind in all its glory. Because we are not only crushing each other with all the hatred and jealousy, but we are crushing ourselves.

Stop crushing flowers.

Extra: this is a link to a video by Larry Crabb, a leading Christian Therapist and one of my favorite authors. It’s a kind of corny 2 minute video, but it addresses the core fear of a woman concerning beauty, and I think it’s very valuable.