In a lot of my recent discussions with people regarding relationships the subject of insecurities and baggage has come up more frequently. These two terms have become code words thrown around to devalue a person’s worthiness to be dated, involved in a relationship, and ultimately loved. But I submit to you that this is not only disrespectful but an offense to the lover.
If there is a person on this planet who has not, at some point in their life, held an insecurity to please speak up and show the rest of us mortals the secret. Insecurities are natural. They are the result of our inner selves trying to reconcile with the contradictions of the world around us. When the world is telling you one thing and your heart is saying the opposite, an insecurity forms. The soul is trying to decide who to believe. Therefore, it is reasonable for a person to be unsure. How they handle their insecurities or whether they allow them to poison their life is another matter entirely.
Insecurities do not have to be debilitating. They can be managed even if they aren’t eradicated. If and/or when someone reveals their insecurities to another person, it is an act of trust that is betrayed if misjudged. Instead the two people should be able to relate to one another (as the other person probably has insecurities of their own) and support one another in their efforts to manage their insecurities and heal from the damage it has caused.
Relationships are always life changing. They are meant to be. When a person falls in love, they are forever changed. However, when things go wrong or someone is hurt, that too changes them.
It is not uncommon for a lover to have wounds healed and unhealed from their previous relationships. It is not unnatural for a person to be changed by the things they have experienced. In fact, that is just how it should be. This notion that we all can walk around as perfected creatures is a ridiculous delusion. A delusion most supported by those who have little to no experience with the joys and pains of true love.
What we call baggage is really just experience. And experience is how we learn. The person with baggage is not the person to run from. They are not the ones to fear getting involved with. In truth, it is those people who are able to constantly engage intimately with others and remain unchanged that should be feared: they’re sociopathological. Those people are the ones most likely to have an incapacity to love. No one understands love better than the broken hearted.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
The problem is that we approach love like a job interview. We want people to have a spotless background full of credential and positive references. We expect them to come to us ready to impress us during their 90 day probationary period so that we can justify keeping them around and offering them benefits. Well there is a reason most people hate their jobs. It is because an employer, more often than not, sees you only as the skill or knowledge that you bring to their benefit. They don’t care about your life passions, your fears, your insecurities, or you challenges. They pay you to perform.
When we approach love and relationships in this way, we essentially turn human beings into tools to be used. And, ofcourse, when a tool fails to perform, we trash it and get another one. But people aren’t tools and they shouldn’t be disposable. To treat a person as such in a relationship will only result in a parting of the ways. Either one person will lose their usefulness or the other will tire of being used. Either way the end result is a loss of love and the relationship.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love.
– Khalil Gibran
I had my ipad for maybe a good 2 months before I dropped it and shattered the screen. For 2 weeks I tried to call around and get it fixed for free because I couldn’t see paying for a whole new one and I felt it wasn’t my fault the damn thing broke inside the case I purchased from the company that made it. When that didn’t work, I pulled it out and turned it on. It still worked perfectly. What I realized was that the screen had broken but the LCD was in tact, so it was still usable. I bought a screen cover to keep my fingers from getting cut on the cracks and went on using my ipad. Everything that’s damaged isn’t broken.
The lover having his/her own battle scars from loving will recognize the bruises of another and will have compassion. The lover will know that those pains have brought both of them to the point where they are: together. The lover will reach out for this other creature who has known love and love them in spite of the danger.
We live in a society that tells us that the self is all that matters. We are selfish, self-centered, self-absorbed, and self-conscious. We are so full of ourselves that there isn’t possibly any room for anyone else. But love comes to turn our world rightside up and we have to be willing to let go of everything we think we know and learn only from love in order that we may recognize it when it comes for us. The lover will come to his/her beloved like the warrior, wounded and scarred, but with the strength of a survivor and the spirit of a conqueror.
I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,
An Angry Black Man