My Struggle to Emotionally Connect


Happy New Year to everyone and many blessings to you all.

My Christian parents came to visit for the Christmas and while we were driving from NY to MD a very familiar conversation ensued. My father asked why don’t I go back to church?Keep in mind that this has been a repeated question almost EVERY time I am around my parents. I give the same answer in a variety of ways but it is not satisfying. The bottom line is I just feel uncomfortable with strangers or large groups of people.

This is not something new. When I was younger, people used words like quiet and shy to describe me. I never liked large groups of people most of the time and I am ALWAYS uncomfortable around strangers. I am very slow to warm up to people. My mind was always social and exploratory but my body did not follow obediently. Ironically, I grew up with family-cousins, aunt, uncle, siblings, grandparents, parents and I shared a bedroom with my older sister. I left my parents to go away to college and lived in the dorm, I joined the military and had to share space. My only alone moment was in the shower (except in basic training) which is still a peaceful place for me even when I am alone. In a swarm of people, I was always trying to find my quiet place.

As I got older and independent, I made a strategic behavioral change to be more social which was a huge effort. I accomplished that goal but in the last few years, my old personality trait is now more dominant again and I struggle to be engaged with people including in a church. Throughout my life, I never had any issues making friends. I have a great personality with some quirks of course. However, something is very different with me now than I was at least 5+ years ago.

I am finding it nearly impossible to make an deep emotional connection with people. It’s concerning. Being on my own, I have enjoyed my single life. I have done a good amount of things with my singleness, I have made good use of my single time and I will continue to do so. However, after years of being in my personal solitude, it feels like I created a distance with being intimate with others. I may have created an emotional barrier that is now taking a toll when I truly do need that emotional intimate connection and support.

No man is an island. I now fully understand that phrase. I find myself being nostalgic of the days when I had my family around me and the strong relationship I had with others. I miss the ability to feel a deep connected love. I miss that support. I was watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 and I envied the main character. I have inadvertently created an emotional island with no easy means of allowing people to share it with me. Interestingly, my mother has a similar personality (she admitted to never having friends, she keeps to herself and socialize when needed, she has always taken care of herself and others) but the difference is she has had my father for over 48 years. I have my island.

Over the years, I have inadvertently created loneliness for myself and I am now feeling the side effects. This is not to say that you cannot be independent and enjoy single life. This is to say that throughout each aspect of our lives we need to stay intimately connected to someone. I did not realize that I was breaking those connections with the people in my life. I can admit that I am emotionally distant, I have walls with reinforced steel and a moat with piranhas swimming below.  I look at the relationship I have with people who are physically in my presence (versus friends and family far away) and I know that I am missing that connection – the connection I was once able to make. I have sat in churches and felt nothing as if I was in an empty sanctuary.

At this age, I do not want to intrude on other people’s lives. They have kids, spouses and other responsibilities that takes priority over me. I know that if I really needed help there are people I can call without hesitation but due to my emotional barrier, I have a hard time making a connection. My emotional health is not heading in the right direction because I can see a life of perpetual loneliness and emptiness. Don’t get me wrong, I will always crave and enjoy those solitary moments and doing things on my own – that is just a part of my personality because yes, I am 90% introvert. However, I am talking about having balance.

Our society now encourages isolation and there are more lonely people than we can imagine. For example, I do not know anyone in the complex I have lived in for over 2 years. I may be able to recognize two people and I have said no more than good morning to a handful. People make friends, date, and live virtually which is something  that offends my old school nature. I briefly dated someone who believed it was better and easier to text than to talk (hence briefly). So, how does someone connect when the world is disconnecting?

I would love to say I found an answer. This lack of intimate connection becomes painfully obvious when going through personal difficulties. The things I used to be able to manage on my own are now overwhelming at times. I become emotionally tired having to be 100% in charge all the time. I have worn myself out by systematically doing everything on my own all the time. I did not create a balance. I have allowed my emotional connection to become tenuous from building a protective wall without incorporating a flexible gateway. My goal is to try to fix the damage I have created. I am not sure what that is going to look like but I have to start somewhere-anywhere.

I am alone path


These past few weeks I have had more patients on my schedule for short term ‘lite therapy.’ It has been a few years since my schedule have back to back patients for behavioral health since I left full time therapy. God gave me what I asked for ‘to be a little more busy at work’ LOL maybe I should have been a little more specific in what I meant. So, the recurring theme with the patients is about them going their paths alone ie. withdrawal from others due to a desire to feel emotionally safe and lack of trust in others. I do understand and recognize how easy it is to push one’s self into the ‘I am alone’ path.

Here is why I understand that behavior:
1. When I was younger, I always asked my mother to go places with me because I was afraid of getting lost. A few times my mother would jokingly respond with “you were born alone” but she would still accompany me. When I was older and out on my own, I came to realize what that meant. I quickly learn that I had to do things by myself and not rely on others for everything.

2. The life of a single person is primarily alone no matter how many friends or family are in your life. As much as people say they will always be there for you, their lives/family always comes first and you are not their primary priority. This is especially true when those friends and family have intimate relationship/spouses/children.

3. When you truly need someone by your side for an extended time, your support system are only obligated to help you for a finite period of time. After that threshold has been breached, then you can be seen as a burden.

4. As a single, you can feel used. People rely on you to give them support whenever they need it. They assume that you can shoulder their stressors or be their entertainment guide. However, you have to take a number when you need their support, your issues are not as dire as theirs (because single people don’t have issues) and you are not on their speed dial for their entertainment plans (unless they happen to be alone and want your company).

Even though being single is not considered a good thing, I have come to realize that functioning and mostly contented singles need to be strong, resilient and self-sufficient or we can easily sink into perpetual feelings of loneliness, despair, desperation, depression, isolation etc. We can sink into and believe in the ‘I am alone path.’ It is so easy to be suckered into that false sense of emotional safety because you experience people come in and out of your lives, you experience your relationship with family and friends change, you experience the feeling and behavior of no longer being important to the people who were your greatest cheerleaders and confidant, and you are not sure where you stand with others anymore.

As I became a very guarded introvert over the years, I am a prime example of the erroneous belief of the I am alone path. I use every minor negative experiences with people to push myself back on that path. This further solidify why that belief and withdrawal behaviors are sound and just. However, it is a destructive lie in the long run.  I have added that to the short list of things I need to work on about myself.

I had a brief grief moment at work two weeks ago and instead of seeking support I went into rock mode. Interestingly a coworker, who has shown support to me in small ways did a quick check. As usual, in rock mode, I said I was fine and all was well (which I was not because grief has no timetable).  However, with amazing intuitiveness, I was given a surprise hug (I initially refused it due to being in rock mode) and was asked the question “you take care of everyone else but who takes care of you?” My rock mode response “I take care of me.” While that response is true, I make it true because I do not trust enough to allow others to take me off my I am alone path.

I would be lying if I said I do not have support and people who care about me. However, it is so easy to ignore that when something minor goes wrong. My patients who have had negative things in their lives retreated to the false safety of the I am lone path. We hide, we avoid, we pretend.

Of course there will be people who will walk away from you, hurt you, change in a close relationship, betray you or there will be a natural separation due to life. We change, they change, life change. The one truth that I can attest to in my life is when one support door closes I find a way to open another. People have come in and out of my life and I have done the same to others too. I make friends easily and for whatever reason, even with my straight forward personality, I have people who care about me. I really do have people I can call on for help if I choose to make the call. How do I find supports? I have come to realize it is all about how I treat them. I have been a rock and support for them at one moment or another.

Yes as a single I will have to walk the road alone for the most part but my road is not without supports along the sides. I can get so caught up in looking at the journey ahead or even what is directly in from of me and not see the people by my side who are there if I need them. I like being in rock mode, that’s my comfort zone; however, I just need to realize that I do not need to be there all the time and my path is not always alone. It is harder said than done but it is worth the try.

 

 

Winter Hibernation or Depression?


Snowy Day

Winter is not my favourite time of the year. In all the years that I have lived in the east, this is the only season in which I had and is still having difficulty. I had taken a long and glorious hiatus to the sunny Cali and Arizona but decided to return to the frozen east coast. I had noble ideas about the reason for coming here – be close to family etc. However, the longer I am here the more I am craving, actually desperate, for the southwest warmth. While I am aware that one should make the most of the situation in which she finds herself, I seem to be falling into the winter hibernation lull.

As a single person, who is not living close to family and friends, I have noticed some recurring behaviors during the frozen tundra season. These symptoms include excessive withdrawal from the world when possible. This past week I had the pleasure of having 5 work-free days. 2 1/2 of those day I did not get out of bed except for the necessary bathroom breaks and easily prepared sustenance.

If it was not for a Thanksgiving invitation I accepted, I would have slept away nearly three days. I had plans to do minimal exercise while being a shut-in but the most I accomplished was a fantasy exercise routine in my mind while half asleep (Yes I know that  does not count). When I am awake, my mind is bored and therefore idle which leads to random crazy internet searches until I am mentally tired and ready for another nap. Other symptoms include the lack of energy to do anything which includes my normal routines.

There is limited daylight which definitely contributes to the tired ‘I need to be in bed’ feeling,  experiencing irritation if the phone rings, hoping no one knocks at the door and foregoing daily hygiene practices (after all it’s just me at home). For me, winter is also my sick season. Obviously, even if I am mildly sick, I use this as an excuse to stay in bed. Leaving the bedroom is unwise because the rest of the apartment/house is not as warm and cozy as being under my blanket in bed. The thought of getting dressed to go out is as exhausting as doing a 1 hr worth of intensive zumba.

Winter months have never been kind to me. As mentioned, I do get sick during this time of the year, my skin is so dry I could bathe in Vaseline and that would only last for a bit. I do get mild nose bleeds from the dry air (it’s always fun putting lubricant in your nostrils), never feeling warm no matter how many layers I wear or feeling nauseous and faint when I easily over heat because of all those winter accessories. According to the Mayo Clinic, Seasonal Affect Disorder includes the following symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain

As I have noticed, I do exhibit a few of those listed, however, I am not ready to diagnose myself with SAD. I wonder if I would be this affected living close to family and friends?  Social interaction does help to decrease the need to isolate and minimize the vegetative symptoms like over sleeping and tiredness. However, the thought of entertaining anyone makes me want to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head – a vicious cycle. I realize I could blame all of this hibernation behavior on my introversion but that would be blatant denial. I am looking outside my window (from my cozy bed) and the sky is overcast, the ground is covered with snow and it looks dreary. Oh yeah, it’s only 3pm. In an hour, it will be dark which tells my mind and body that it is time to go right back to bed.

I have yet to find a solution to combat the winter hibernation/depression except to move back to a year round sunny and warm place. For typical depression, engaging in outdoor activities is recommended – yeah! that will never happen in winter. My most feasible solution, like before, is to wait it out until the spring comes or I finally pack and move back to the southwest.

Getting The Temple Into Shape


“…Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost….”1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6: 16 is a very well know verse in the Christian world. People tend to use this verse to rebuke things such as premarital sex, drinking, drugs, certain food etc. However, I thought a twist on this would help motivate the single men and women in waiting.

When I started blogging, I was in my early 30’s and as time passed, I have moved closer to my early 40’s. This aging process has taken its toll on my body. Being single, I do not have the luxury of ‘letting myself go’ in case I decide to do a late in life husband hunt. My metabolism have slowed significantly; the muffin top is not only here but expanding; I am noticing cellulite;  and the c-cup breasts are requiring very sturdy bras to keep them looking perky. I am watching my caloric intake more often than I desire and I am working out longer and more frequently than was needed prior to my 30’s.  Taking care of my physical sexiness has jumped steadily up my priority list because aging is not very kind to the body. What makes things worse are that these changes are so much more highlighted in this appearance-obsessed generation which makes people like myself a bit self-conscious. So, what’s an aging woman to do?

Exercising and eating right have not been a big emphasis in Christendom. Besides references to gluttony in Catholicism, many Christians do not spend enough time getting their temple into a fit and  healthy shape. In all my years, there have only been a handful of sermons that taught the followers of God to be mindful of what they eat or discussed the importance of consistent exercise.

Being single gives you more time to do nice things for yourself. What is better than getting healthy and turning that body into a good-looking temple? Please note that I did not say women should be thin or men should be muscular. I have admitted that the healthy in-shape body is attractive to me. If that is my preference, then I too need to make a good effort to maintain a healthy and in shape body.

In the US, consumption of food is no longer just for sustenance. Eating has become so out of control which has resulted in anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, emotional eating, and food obsession. There are low carbs, no carbs, low fat diets and every day someone discovers a super food or a new product/diet  that will help transform you into a runway model. The pathway to being healthy has nothing to do with being a bobble headed women on a stick body. The pathway to healthy is choosing a lifestyle that will benefit inside and out.

While I do support the big is beautiful campaign, there is a line that many women cross from being healthy to unhealthy. Years ago, I was walking behind a former coworker who could only fit in stretchy pants. I could not help but notice how much she waddled and her derriere was so large I knew that I could fit into one leg of her pants with room. It does both disgusts and saddens me to see men and women in this state. There are only a handful of people who can legitimately claim an illness for their current defilement of their temple.

Choosing the right foods, eating in moderation, and engaging in exercise takes motivation, work, time and energy. There are times when I am so lazy that weeks have passed without working out or I was not consistent with my exercise schedule. I do become bored with my routine-I have done kickboxing, zumba, spin, yoga, taebo, belly dancing, walking and other regiments in order to mix it up and keep it interesting. Like many people, I absolutely hate to exercise. However, while in my 20’s, I decided that I needed to start taking more interest in being healthy so it would be less hassle to stay in shape as I aged. This idea started a trend that involved incorporating mandatory exercise (gym or home) one specific day and time once a week into my normal routine. The rest of the week was flexible. This worked for many years until I became lazy within the last year. This idea ensured that at least one day out of the week, I focused at least 30+ minutes on my health.

Eating is something we have to do every day. The problems with eating are our food choices and portion size. I am a main course eater who likes larger portions. In times passed, I could afford to eat for two without weight gain; however, those days are gone. I have now incorporated words like ‘doggy bag’ and ‘salads’ into my vocabulary. I absolutely refuse to give up complex carbs and good tasting foods but I have learn to curb my appetite. While I am not a calorie counter, I am mindful of my consumption and accepting that there are times I will ‘fall off the wagon.’

All this attention is for me. This is not to conform to the outside pressures of physical beauty or mate attraction. It is all for me, myself and I. If I feel good about my temple, then I feel more confident. While society is more focused on the difference between size 4 and size 8, taking care of the temple is about healthy lifestyle choices. It’s about being the sexiest you can be with a healthy and beautiful body.

Security in Singleness


Yep, I admit it. I am going to be a life long old maid bachelorette and I am not shedding a tear. As I grey in places that shouldn’t have grey hairs , as each year I move closer to the 40’s, as my body struggles to drop the fat it’s holding to for dear life,  and as body parts start to creak and pop when I bend, I realize that I am becoming more and more settled within my lifestyle.

Recently, I was up to my ear in small children, married couples and first time pregnant women. I may have been the only one who noticed that I didn’t belong to either of those groups. I chuckled to myself as people introduced their children and significant other and I wanted to jokingly say “Hi, I am …. and it’s just me.” I refrain from doing it because it might have made the others uncomfortable with my plus 0 status. To make matters more comfortable, the wives were not clutching their husbands in fear that I might lure them away as a single she-devil.

I happily joined into the family centered discussions because despite my old maid bachelorette status I had stuff to say about pregnancy, young children, and marriage topics. I did not feel out-of-place or bothered with my plus 0 . The grass did not look greener on the other side. The grass just simply looked different. I was secure in my status knowing that I was the odd person out in that group dynamics but being aware of it did not change the fact that I  felt secure within myself and what I had to offer to the group. I was relaxed and it resulted in a great time. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

I recognized that many singles in the same situation would have left early, felt very out-of-place and exhibited that behavior, felt bad for themselves, and perhaps swear off groups with 2 or more couples/families involved. Frankly, I don’t have the mental capacity or the energy to get myself in such a depressive tizzy. The self-pitying can only go so far before it becomes a useless tool in the single person survival kit. I was invited to that gathering and I was there to celebrate an occasion for the host; therefore, my self-centeredness was not welcome when there is fun to be had.

So many singles are afraid of such gatherings because they fear they will feel bad. They will be reminded of what they are lacking. However, my view is that there is so much more to life than one’s single status in such situations. I had the opportunity to be around really ‘good people’ and it was a great way to spend a few hours. There is nothing wrong in feeling secure in your singleness because it shows security in oneself.

The Greedy Fascination with Things in Our Mouths


 

(Image copied from autostraddle.com)

It took going away to a Christian college in order to get the first taste of people’s idiocy towards alcohol. Despite the school’s location in the wine country, there was never an interest in testing out my drunk limits. Growing up in a different cultural atmosphere that did not restrict alcohol use for minors ie. parents at times will give their kids a small sip of certain alcoholic beverage but did not encourage a boozing behavior. So, like most normal kids, I had quite a few sips and occasional gulp of different liqueur before I was a teen. Interestingly, during the teen years, there was no desire to become plastered much less drink. The fascination was gone and still had not returned even with my new-found independence while at college. On the rare occasion that I do have a glass of some fruity alcoholic beverage, there is always my limit of one.

The word-on-the-street psychobabble is that people have an addictive personality. This implies that certain people, due to a genetic factor, is able to become more addicted to a substance than others. I can assure you that such a description is not in the DSM (the bible for mental illness) and this is just an excuse for not taking control of one’s behaviors. An addiction is a repetitive behavior that ultimately interferes with one’s daily life. The important words are ‘repetitive and behavior’ which are two things that are in a person’s control. Most people who overindulged seem to have an insecure side. They are only able to be themselves or loosen up or feel better when they are intoxicated. There is also an inexplicable ridiculous cool factor with stumbling around and making a fool of one’s self in public. It is even more distressing to see women fall prey because they are at a higher risk for being sexual assaulted. Unfortunately, quite a number of sexual assaults have an alcohol factor.

People who become drunk at every social outing, drinks excessively, and become alcoholics are due to greed not an addictive personality.  At a recent event, there were plenty of opportunities to watch people (young and older) drink one bottle or large glass of alcohol one right after the other. At times, people had two glasses or bottles combination in their hands to cut down on the walking and ordering time it would take to get to the bar and back to their spots. One thing a nutritionist will tell you is that liquids are quick  fillers when someone is hungry. Having a minimum of two bottles or large glasses of alcohol would fill anyone very quickly.  So, the excessive drinking is not about being hungry or thirsty but forcing the body to accept more and more in order to reach an intoxicating level.  It is no different from continuing to eat when you are full. There is a guarantee that if you should ask those same people to drink as much water as they do alcohol in one setting, they would have some difficulty completing the tasks. The difficulty would be because it is not a behavior choice to drink that much water but it is for alcohol.

Even after all these years of seeing people purposefully stuff their faces with alcohol, it is always bewildering as to what they truly get out of it? I have witnessed one too many people being dragged home unconscious from their greedy consumption. These are the same people who drive home and the few bastards who cause unfortunate accidents or do very rash things in their impaired state. The other distressing and surprising thing is that the impaired are always the ones who end up with minor scratches while killing others. This is definitely not fair. The body has a shut off valve or warning signs for every excessive thing we put into our mouths. People just choose to ignore it because they are greedy and that is the real reason behind alcohol and food addictions. Alcoholism and food addictions are luxury disorders-ie. these are chosen behaviors that afflict people who have access to excess. A poor alcoholic who does not have money to buy booze will be sober very quickly. A food addict who does not have money to spend on pizzas etc on a daily basis will learn to ration and look like a supermodel in no time.

There really is a cure for all these things. It is called moderation. This is not to say that at times people do not overindulged which is natural. People will also argue that there is an emotional factor to being greedy. In the mental health world, this is a part of the step to treatment; however, in the real world, emotions and behaviors are separate. For example, feeling angry does not equal shooting your family or coworkers but one could punch a pillow, punching bag or scream loudly. Feeling depressed does not equal cutting one’s self, using drugs, or suicide but one could watch a funny comedy, call friends, get a cheap massage, listen to upbeat music. Feeling lonely does not equal sleeping with the first person who shows affection but could involve getting an affordable make over, join a social club, take up salsa dancing to meet people, or do online dating. Feeling proud does not mean being disparaging to others etc. This is all about that dirty word call choices.

Why is this important for the single Christian? Making note of people’s behaviors are key to making a choice to whom you want in your lives.  For example, if your date involves the person stepping outside to have a smoke and you do not want to be with a smoker then, that is an easy choice. However, if you are someone who does not find alcohol appealing but is willing to accept a social drinker then, it is important to note if your date seems to enjoy having 2 or more glass of liquor in the space of one hour. Does your date have to drink 3+ alcoholic beverages at every social outing? People do not have to be drunk and most importantly they do not have to consume large quantities. So any signs of your date being drunk is one very big red flag.  Eating is the same thing. People have healthy appetites; however, there is a large, no pun intended, distinction between healthy and greedy.

Christian+Single+Sexually on Fire


At the risk of being branded immoral and unchristian,  it’s now time to open the closet doors with a few more frank Christian sexual and single discussions.  There is no denying that I find sexuality very interesting. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that anything surrounding sex is kept an open secret for may centuries. Take for instance, old hollywood would depict  married people sleeping in separate twin beds. Male doctors would masturbate women (invention of vibrators) to cure female psychological illnesses while at the same time denounced female sexuality and orgasm. Back in the day, people had scores of children to increase the survival rate of their families but young girls and guys would be married without knowing where to put what. The current day religions and conservative countries that chastise anything sexual tend to sanction men having multiple wives (or lovers) with numerous children. In a recent news report from the middle east, there is an ongoing fight to make sure women do not drive cars because the upstanding men thought if they did, then it would allow women to have more illicit sexual opportunity (interestingly the report did not mention that the ‘council’ was worried about the other half of the sexual equation-the men)…bla bla bla. As I said, an open secret.

The other open secret is Christian singles (and some married couples) sexual mojo are totally on fire without an outlet. There were a number of objections when I suggested masturbation. So, then what? Someone, not religious, once said she noticed that Christians (women) were more likely to marry quickly because they just wanted to have sex ie. attend to the sexual fire. I had to stop and think about that for a moment and then agreed. So, could it be that single Christians who marry later in life have a shorter courting or dating period because they want to get to the physical part sooner rather than later?

The sexually active population do not face such a spiritual dilemma because there are a number of sexual programs to which they can subscribe: The paid sexual satisfaction program, the friends with benefit program, the booty call program, the one night stand program, and the sex outside of marriage in a committed relationship program. The single Christian has…ummm….wait…well… God. There are no easy and quick fix solution for the sexually on fire Christians despite the fact that they do exist in very large secretive numbers. Why? because no one would ever thing that being a single christian would entitle you to have any sexuality at all. They are all castrated monks.

I wonder how many would admit to another person or themselves that they are as horny as hell and they can’t take it anymore. How many would admit to seeing a hot guy/girl and for a long few seconds entertain the thought of a quick fiery quenching moment of passion or lust. Speaking of lust, which means a passionate or overmastering desire or craving, that word has been vilified in the bible and there is a clear understanding why. However, he who has never felt lust (repeatedly) cast the first stone. The issue is lust comes with sexual desire because it’s a normal part of life. When was the last time you looked at the opposite sex and the only things that were stirred up within yourself were the very basic of emotions. By the way, I would hope married couples have some of that in their marriage to keep the fire burning.

The problem with lust is that sometimes it’s taken way too far. Take King David for instance, he had lustful feelings for Bathsheba, after all, she was apparently beautiful and bathing naked in plain sight. What he did after seeing her was the true sin. David allowed his imagination to linger a lot longer than was appropriate and he was overcome with an uncontrollable desire for something/someone he should not have had. Like David, I can honestly say that I would definitely have had some lustful thoughts if I had a good view of  a gorgeous naked man next door. I also can’t say that I don’t have some lustful thoughts when a gorgeous man fully clothed walk by me :-). However, unlike David, I would not be venturing boldly over to the neighbours for an afternoon or late night delight.

I know that people will quote the passage stating that a man who lusts in his heart has already committed a sin. The reality is no one, Christian or other, walks by someone of the opposite sex  that they find attractive and thinks “I bet she has the smartest brain ever” or “I am sure he will make a good husband and father.” In all honesty, the first things we do say are “she is so beautiful or sexy” or “He’s so hot.” The next thing that happens is that the brain sends a message to the heart and those perfectly functioning sexual organs and bang… sexual spark that can lead to an inferno. The other truth is one does not have to have a visual object to ignite those horny desires-the body is just an amazing God created vessel with God created functions. Believe it or not, there are normal things or moments that can kick the body into a sexually aroused state automatically: an innocent touch, a smell, a memory etc.

There is no shame in admitting to being horny and sexually on fire. There is no sin either. This is just the facts of life because we are all created sexual beings. There is no shame in admitting that for singles and sexless couples that it can be very difficult to not be having some kind of sex or at least some way to relieve those normal sexual feelings and desires. Sex and all things related is meant to be a fun activity. There are and will always be moments when sex is overwhelmingly on the brain, heart, and genitals just as there are moments when it’s not. Sexual frustration is a very real thing for a number of people: virgins, married, singles, old, young, men and women. It is even more frustrating for Christians because of the mental message that there is a fine line between holy and perverted. For Christians, feeling sexual desires and all it entails should be synonymous with healthy and normal.

Desperate Times, Ungodly Measures


(copied image:crimson crow.com)

 

Most people, while growing up, usually imagine their adult lives as an easily navigated road. Most people have a very clear plan of with whom, what, when and where their lives will take them. However, the cruel reality about being an adult as well as with Christian beliefs is that the roads are never always clear and smooth as imagined.  With the state of the economy and the direction of the ‘doom and gloom’ of this world, many Christians are finding themselves in some difficult situations. They are facing the reality of life that desperate times pushes them to think and even act on ungodly measures.

This is not the first or will it be the last time that Christians have faced difficulty either as a group or as part of a larger population. Most bible believers are taught to hold fast to prayer, fasting, and all things glorifying God in order to make the difficulties of their lives more bearable. It follows in the teaching of God will not give you more than you can carry. For each person, her load bearing capacity is different. Or is it more like every Christian’s load bearing capacity is the same but emotional, cognitive and spiritual will/determination are different?

The secular world has the opportunity to make choices from the ‘broad road’ when push comes to shove. For the secular world, morality can be easily over ridden to do what is in the best interest of the individual. It is the survival of the fittest scenario. Christians do not  or should not have that mentality. However, when those desperate times are not particularly followed by measures that are Godly, the human nature in every God worshipper starts to ponder on the ungodly measures as a means to survive. The doubt, the questioning, the bewilderment at God’s allowance of such difficulty and pain begins to drown out the thanksgiving, the praise, praying and worshipping.

The ‘narrow road’ to salvation is quite limiting. Such restrictions can make the believer wrestle with his brief or long moment of wanting to choose the opportunity that the ‘broad road’ offers despite the fact that it can easily lead to ‘destruction.’ It is not always easy to hold onto God or faith when things are too good or going bad. The desperate times truly pushes the boundaries of one’s faith and beliefs. Even though not one believer can tell another just how much load s/he is capable of bearing, it puts things in perspective when reflecting on the early Christians who were fed to the lions for sport. Talk about really desperate times and still choosing God.

Tis The Season of Commercialized Love


                                              

Valentine’s day is back again. Most people either vehemently hate it or romanticize it. I stagger back and forth on that scale over the years but usually land in the middle. In school, it was a big deal because as a young girl I wanted to have been acknowledged by some guy just like all the other girls so, back then, it was distressing to be Valentineless.  These days I sleep through it just like another day.

Valentine’s day is more for women than men. I have yet to hear a guy jump with glee about shopping for or creating a romantic moment for his woman. The flowers and chocolate redundancy has made it easy for the very lazy unromantic man to save his arse at the last-minute and hope that those useless tokens are enough to be rewarded later. A coworker and I make fun of a Kay Jewelers commercial that has the woman overreacting to a lightning storm and the guy barfing up some ridiculous drivel that no straight man would utter.

My problem with Valentine’s day is that the idea of romance should not be a reminder on the yearly calendar. Sort of like, remembering that God exist only on Easter and Christmas day. The women who hang their spandex on this day are the once who are missing that loving feeling throughout the rest of the year which makes this a distasteful reminder that some couples do not work on their relationships daily. Sort of like we need to work on our connection with God more than one time a week or twice a year.

When I received my first Valentine jester many years ago, it was disappointing because I recognized that it took a calendar day to have the guy who was interested to make a move and I was not impressed. These days the symbolism of Valentines are not my cup of tea: I hardly wear jewelry, not fond of cut flowers and don’t care for chocolate. Furthermore, if the guy has not shown his ‘love’ throughout the year, then I will be less likely to appreciate his gestures on a commercialized day of romance.

 It may just be me but I like the element of surprise. I enjoy the idea that a person would be thinking about me on any random day and find it in his heart to do something ‘romantic’ or that would bring me pleasure and vice versa. Is it too much for a woman to ask for a daily valentine? As a single, Feb 14th is not as threatening as it use to be. I have grown up and expect much more than roses and heart-shaped candy. My requirements for love is a search within a person and what we can offer each other long-term with some added prayer to God to help me make the right choices. So, the world can keep their Feb 14th because I set my sights on something bigger which is a Valentine endorsed by God who is on the job 365 days of the year and 366 on leap years 😉

“All I Need From A Man Is Sex and Companionship”


pair of swans

The first time I heard a dear Christian friend of mine expressed that sentiment I was not sure what to make of it. Is that all she really needs from a man? Is there something wrong with her view? She went on to say that she is able to provide the other necessary things for herself (money, clothing etc) and therefore did not require materal objects from anyone.

In essence she was highlighting her wants from her needs. She was asserting her independence whilst still indicating that there was one or two things in which she has to depend on someone else. Her statement is an anthem for independent working women who are seeking a man for long term relationship and not a “sugar daddy.” 

After thinking about it, I have to give my agreement with that statement. It seems very simple but very accurate. In a mature relationship with two adults, we really only need sex and companionship from our partners. The sex aspect does not need further explanation. However, companionship connotes a broad requirement. If you think about it, when someone is your companion it implies a sense of being trustworthy, supportive, sharing, encouraging, and a good match you. These are the qualities the sane and normal functioning adults want from partners-a mate for life.

When you think about Adam and Eve, their union was about companionship. Adam was not meant to be Eve’s “saviour” or vice versa. Most women and men believe that a partner will “save” them in some way. Can you image what a burden that must be to take the role of someone’s savior? Trust me it is overwhelming. I trully believe that job was for Christ alone.

The Lord has blessed me enough to manage my day-day life. However, like Adam most singles are missing a little something.  I can be equally honest and agree with my Christian friend in saying that I only want a man for sex and companionship.