I JUST WANT TO BE LOVED
I was watching an interview with Katy Perry where she broke down crying saying, "I just want to be loved." The interview began to make me think about the power of love and the deficit it creates when we don't receive it.
Here is a woman who's net worth is $330 million. She's known around the world. She's the first person in the world to reach 100 million followers on Twitter, beating out Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Barack Obama. She's won numerous musical awards. She can afford to live anywhere, fly anywhere and do almost anything money can buy....and yet in front of the world this woman who appears to have it all is breaking down crying saying she just wants to be loved. It's proof money can't buy love.
She said there's a difference between Katy Perry and Katheryn, referring to Katy Perry as a "façade". She went on to say how when people meet her they expect to see this image that has been created. So many people fail to realize that the people and images we see on tv and social media are a hyped up persona of makeup, hair, staged sets and photoshopped Instagram images. She went on to say that at night when you lay your head down on the pillow you want somebody to love you for that person.
This goes to show that deep down inside each and every one of us we have a desire to be known and loved for who we are at the core, not for our title, or money or what we can give or do for someone else. The question we all want to know is, "Do you love me for me?"
And in today's world of not just fake news, but fake photos and fake lives that have been photoshopped, filtered and cut and pasted, it can be difficult trying to find genuine, loyal and real people.
So much of today's world is being based upon transactions, not relationships. Look at online dating for instance where you're supposed to find a mate with a tagline and a swipe. How can you possibly make a decision based on this little bit of information? It's so shallow.
Anyone who's been single for any period of time knows some of the horrors of modern dating, if it's even fair to use the term "dating" anymore.
I was listening to the radio one morning and they were taking calls from people about horrible dates. One woman began to share about her last several dates. She was out with one guy when he came back from being in the bathroom for quite some time. When he returned he explained to her that she had excited him so much that he had to go in the bathroom and "pleasure himself."
During another date the man opened the back door to his car and pushed her into the back seat. Another date abruptly ended when they were sitting in the car kissing and he grabbed her hand and put it on his crotch. When she pulled her hand back he jumped out of the car and said he had to leave.
These stories would be comical if they weren't the norm, but they are. Talk to any number of women who have been in the dating scene for any period of time and you'll be almost certain to hear similar stories. I'm sure men have some of their own horror stories as well, but it tends to be primarily women that have these types of stories to share.
However, in all fairness we have to look at both sides. Women are not blameless in this war on love. Most of our behavior is learned. So what are men learning? How many women are having casual sex? How many women "hook up" on the first date or go on dating sites for that specific intention? How many women dress provocatively? How many women stay with habitual cheaters or sleep with men whom they know are married or are involved with someone else?
In today's culture some of this behavior has become the norm for women as well. Used to be that a man had to court a woman, meaning take her out to dinner, buy her flowers, send her cards and meet her parents for a period of time before she gave up the goodies. But today, men can get on Tinder and three hours later after a dutch coffee at Starbucks they're knocking boots. At least a prostitute gets paid after her services, but women today are out here giving it up for absolutely nothing!
So is it any wonder that some men (I didn't say all....just a lot of men) have actually come to expect this from women? But they wouldn't expect this if they weren't getting it for nothing. It's human nature to look for the path of least resistance, and this is across the board in humanity. I don't care what country or ethnicity you come from, if humans can get more by doing less, the majority of them will follow the path of least resistance.
It takes a disciplined, focused and intentional person to go against the grain. These kind of people are not the norm, but these kind of people realize that nothing good in life comes without hard work, and relationships take work, but when you invest in them they are so worth it.
But we are living in a culture with an epidemic of fatherlessness where massive voids of what it entails to be a strong man have been left in the wake of absent fathers. A strong man provides, protects, commits, sacrifices and invests in his family. However, when a father is absent and abandons these responsibilities a son grows up having to look out for himself. Without a father there to protect and guide him he begins to adopt the "dog eat dog" mentality. The notion of sacrifcing for others is seen as weak.
No one is going to look out for me, but me, becomes his motto. When he looks for guidance to show him the manners and customs of a man there is no rite of passage other than the initiations of his group of friends, many of which are growing up without fathers in the home, or if they do have them in the home it's not a positive interaction or they're uninvolved.
So his circle of friends look to the culture of what they view on tv - rappers, athletes and the like - men who gain power through athletic skill, money and womanizing. The lifestyles they're idolizing and looking to model oftentimes treat women as objects for their own gratification.
Therefore, the concept that people are only there to be used for your own personal gain and pleasure becomes instilled. The concept of staying committed to someone when there's no immediate personal gain or pleasure, and will actually cost you something is foreign. It's not in their playbook. They've not been taught these principles. Discipline is something taught and learned. It's not innate.
And the truth is, having long-term, worthwhile relationships requires a level of discipline. At times those closest to you will say and do things that are hurtful or frustrate you and you may want to say or do things that are hurtful back, but you learn to put a pause on your mouth and not say what comes to your mind because you know it will be hurtful and that won't foster a growing relationship.
There may be times when they frustrate you and you want to throw your hands up and walk away so you don't have to deal with it anymore, but you stay in the fight because you know that relationships have ebbs and flows - good times and bad times, and you know it's worth pushing through the bad times because the good in the person makes it worth staying.
But, if you've never been taught how to stay, if you've never seen this displayed, all you believe is that when people do things to hurt or frustrate you it's time to leave, and so you do - over, and over, and over again. Leaving behind you a wreckage of broken relationships and hearts.
However, we were never made to live life like this. We were made for long-lasting relationships. Even science proves this true. Studies have shown that married couples in monogomous relationships are happier and healthier than singles and those having casual sex. That's because God made us this way. We weren't made to objectify other human beings for our instant gratification. That's why when you have sex with someone there's a chemical that is released in your body called oxytocin.
Some people refer to this as the "love hormone". This chemical causes people to bond with one another and give a stronger sense of attraction and feelings towards a person. This is good when it comes to marriage because it causes the couples to look at each other with rose-colored glasses, overlooking minimal flaws.
It can be bad when it's a fling or a hook-up, causing you to stay in a relationship that's destructive to your personal development or have feelings for someone who only wanted to "get off" on your body.
What's interesting is as a person has sex with more and more partners the ability to bond and connect after sex begins to diminish, therefore, creating a cycle in the person's life that causes them to establish a pattern of using people for self-stimulation, but finding it's never enough. This can end up creating sex addicts , habitual cheaters or serial daters where this feeling becomes like a drug to them, but just like the addict they seem to need more and more at higher levels of stimulation in order to get the same high.
And what at first seemed like pleasure they now find themselves slaves to a cruel master of loneliness where they can no longer form intimate connections with other people's souls.
No matter what image our culture tries to sell us of free, unhibited sex the truth of the matter is we cannot escape the laws of nature that were created by God for relationships, and when we operate outside of these boundaries there are consquences, and we are seeing those today in our society.
Sex without committmen leaves us all with voids - voids of committment and true love, something we all innately desire.
I was watching a program the other day about a man who spent time in isolation in an Iranian prison that really solidified to me the power of human connection and how no matter what we do or where we go we cannot escape this divine design.
He was an American who had spent two years in prison in Iran, of which part of the imprisonment was spent in isolation. He said the isolation was the worst part. It was so bad that he said he sometimes would wish for an Iranian soldier to take him out and interrogate him just to have the human interaction. Some people say isolation is the worst form of punishment for a human being.
The fact that this man desired to be interoggated by an Iranian soldier over being alone in a cell really opened my eyes to see how women can stay in an abusive relationship. Even though she knows it's harmful, she rationalizes it by saying, I know this isn't a good touch, but at least someone is touching me. At least someone is here to interact with me.
The same can be said for gangs. Many of the men who join gangs didn't have anyone in their family who was ever there for them. They felt alone and so they joined a gang in order to have a "family." It might have been dysfunctional and at times caused them pain and caused others pain, but they rationalized in their mind it was better to have someone in their corner than no one.
The bottom line is we were made for love - to love and be loved. The unfortunate part is we can't control who loves us. We can do things that we think will make us more lovable. We can workout. We can get plastic surgery. We can buy a big house in a prominent neighborhood. We can drive an expensive car. We can climb the corporate ladder. We can achieve fame and aquire accolades; and while none of these are bad in and of themselves and can be great goals or dreams to achieve, in the end these things are not the essence of who we are.
What makes us laugh? What makes us cry? What are our fears, our dreams, our passions? What gets us excited in life? What are our beliefs? Who lives inside our spirit? This is what makes us who we are. This is the person, without the masks of success, that we want somebody to love; and when we can't find someone to know that person and love that person it leaves us with a void. It causes our soul to cry out - I just want to be loved.
But, the fortunate part is we can control who we love and where we give it. So even though you may have a deficit in your life of receiving real love, don't let other people's deficits create deeper holes in your own soul by keeping your love on lock and key. I'm not saying to dive head first into a relationship doling out your heart and giving your love to a Class A jerk of a man or woman, but you can find places to give your love where love will be reciprocated through appreciation and personal growth in other people's lives.
Volunteer your time to tutor a kid in the projects. Go visit men and women in prison. Become a foster parent. Adopt a child. Help a homeless person get a job. Pay for someone's coffee one morning. If you get your focus off of your own love deficit you'll begin to see there's a sea of people around you every day with their own love deficits. They may not be as strong, or smart, or disciplined as you to see that the more they hold their love down on lock and key the greater that love hole grows, but maybe, just maybe your act of kindness and display of love will be the key to unlock it.
There's so many people out there who just want to be loved...why don't you go be one of them.