Shed a little love



I’ve even tried to listen for the answers to life in a conch shell. I should have saved the effort and turned up Lenny Kravitz’s hit, ‘Let love rule, ‘ so read carefully and open your heart because these are just my experiences. No judgements from me.  Sometimes in life battlegrounds get drawn, and I have found in my recovery that staying balanced in life can be difficult without chemicals to numb my feelings. I began getting skewed on ideas of sex, sexuality, love, and boundaries as far back as I can remember. The three toughest words I heard growing  up were “be a man.” It was the first time I remember getting a lump in my throat while wiping away my tears. Today, young boys are faced with more perplexing social and sexual questions than ever before, but I never had to face the realities that my son has to deal with now while learning to spread his wings and fly into a great big world. “Dry it up, stop with the tears, big boys don’t cry” was what I heard while facing a father who had to grow up quickly after the passing of his father at the age of thirteen. I’ve made peace with it, and now looking back, I see he did the best he knew how. I was still confused and gravitated toward a kind, compassionate, and tender mother who was just as tough when it came to the question of right and wrong. I appreciate her more today as I have evolved in my own recovery. I began using alcohol and drugs as a teenager  to mask these confusions and pain. Four short years ago, I got help, reached out, and in my confusion and frustration, I surrendered to a God much bigger than me. Boys understand culturally that to be a man one has to be athletic, have money, and have frequent sexual encounters with members of the opposite sex. I’ve never questioned that I’m a highly driven, type A, alpha male, but the world as I see it has begun to abhor machismo. We’ve watered down masculinity like some babbling brook that has somehow lost its course downstream. It’s been happening that way ever since I tasted the vine and placed my hands on the sweet savor of a girl’s breast. Allow me to explain the confusion. Love,I thought, was a temporary emotional condition brought on by a physical reaction to a biological urge. Nothing could be more from the truth for me today. I guess I’m learning what it is to be a man. That definition is not love, that’s lustful sex, and it’s driven my train as far back as I can remember. I grew up with the biblical worldview that sex outside of marriage is wrong. In the words of the song by Tina Turner, “ what’s love got to do with it?” is what I’ve always asked, but then again I’ve questioned values, morals, ethics, and law and lived that way for years. It never ends well, and therein lies the confusion. When I’m wracked with quilt, then something inside of me says it’s time to change; otherwise, I go back to kill the buzz with a woman’s marvelous beauty. I’ve been transfixed by how God made such a wonderful being since I first laid eyes on the cutest girl in first grade. God knows what he’s doing, and I must confess that it’s love, not sex, that transcends time. Brotherly love happens inside of me when I love others enough to want what’s best for them; not to take, but to give. And in all my confusion I have found a genuine love for my brothers and sisters that I’ve never had before. It’s time to put down the shameful guilt I’ve felt for hurting others by my own selfishness, and live in the Sunlight of the Spirit. Love is learning to die to myself and realizing that it’s by serving and giving to others that has replaced the confusion and healed the wounds of a broken heart…..good day!…b

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