Friday, February 8, 2019

Attention! Attention!

Okay, so there are some things on the horizon that give me pause.  There are many thoughts that I am currently exploring.  You already know about identity but there is also the issue of reaction or action.  I'll attempt to explain it by saying that when I was younger, I would go to these Spanish clubs.  They played Spanish music and most of the dances were danced with a partner.  This differs from American clubs in that you can just go out by yourself on the dance floor and dance.  You don't have to follow any rules.  Well, there were rules.  You could go out and dance by yourself but it was sort of frowned upon.  Women would line up around the outskirts dressed to the nines and wearing their best faces.  They waited.  What were they waiting for?  They were waiting for a partner to dance with.  The unspoken social norms of this environment included having females chosen by a male partner to dance with.  Some women came with their partners to avoid this situation.  Others would lend out their partners to their friends in an act of trust and friendship.  I detested this practice when I was younger but that didn't stop me from going.  There is a restlessness in waiting.  It was some type of game.  This whole practice reduced you to just appearances.  Guys picked girls that were physically attractive.  What did this mean if you weren't chosen?  There was this idea of hierarchy.  Those who were chosen meant something.  It suggested that you had value.  You were worthy of being chosen.  The more attractive the man, the more worthy the girl.  The girl's worth was found in the man.

I could probably speak ad nauseam about this situation and the subsequent implications but that wasn't really what I wanted to spend my time talking about.  This practice warranted being seen and getting attention.  My Senior Pastor spoke about losing his wife.  I'm not at a place where I would like to talk about it now but he posted about "being seen" by his wife.  And that's the thing.  It's not about being attractive, pretty or beautiful.  We all aren't wonderful to look at all the time. It's about being seen or even acknowledged for being who you are.  This sentiment ultimately leads to validation.  God has chosen me.  My validation should lie with God and Him alone.  And yet...  I find myself wanting attention.  I recognize those moments of restlessness.  I have to identify this emotion and then follow it to where it lies in my psyche.  I was seen by my husband.  He knew me.  He loved me.  And he didn't stop loving me.  That wasn't the issue, the issue was that he stopped living.  This concluded our covenant.

In an attempt to build relationships (because relationships should alleviate some of the problem) I struggle with words when I'm speaking to people.  Oral conversations require topic, patience in the ability to listen and timing.  I'm awful at this.  It can be hard to talk about pleasantries.  I like the truth all the time.  I prefer written language where I can read and reread and interpret and analyze.  This speaks greatly to my personality.  [Aside] which leads me to think about how people perceive me.
I love this idea of editing and taking my time to communicate looking over the words and picking the exact ones to speak for me precisely, like making a beautiful piece of jewelry.  There is an artistry in it.  Because of this, I find it hard to communicate sometimes.  How do you make friends?  How do you let people in?  How is there dialogue?  How do people meet other people?  In a community like church it's easier.  You just introduce yourself in the hopes that you have Jesus in common.  Out in the world, it can be problematic.  As an adult female of a certain age, I find that I may limited.  Who do I want to talk to?  Whose attention matters?  Are we all in some planetary dance club where the beautiful people pick each other and the rest stay alone or settle? There are moments when it is hard to convince ourselves of the truth in light of humanity. The truth is that we are loved by a Good God.  The truth is that we are already validated and redeemed.  The truth is that only God's attention matters.  But then we look for attention in unworthy mediums.  Further proof of how dumb I really am.  So what's the remedy to attention seeking behavior?  What can be done about the restlessness?  What are we expected to do?  Wait and continue living until we are seen?  I want to believe that the answer is to wait on God and trust that there is a good plan for me.  In the meantime, remember that life is short and I am just a blade of grass, here today and gone tomorrow.  In light of eternity, I should work and do as much good as possible before the coming of our Lord.  Is it hard?  Yes, but this is what I have right now.

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