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Wanting More

September 22, 2014

In case you haven’t gathered from any of  my other blog posts, I am a big … fan? admirer? supporter? … of Tullian Tchividjian. On his blog every Monday morning he recommends a song, calling it ‘Monday Morning Music.’  Last Monday’s song was something that I enjoyed but also that I think my brother would like.  Both Tullian and my brother live in South Florida.  That part of the country is it’s on entity.  I await the day that they file for independence from the rest of the country.

As a writer, sometimes artist, and general observer of human behavior, I often like to read lyrics and listen to songs for their literary value. This is not a novel idea.  I’ve commented on a pop song or two in the past.  And in listening to so many pop songs in the last several weeks, I can’t help but continue to see how they point back to something bigger and recognize the hurt and brokenness in the world (in explaining that Young Life leaders need to be culturally relevant in club talks and campaigner lessons, Cliff Wright was one of the first people to point this out to me).

When I first heard Mary Lambert’s “Secrets,” I wasn’t sure whether to congratulate her on being brave and honest or to console her for thinking that there isn’t something more for her. There’s an apathetic notion in her realization though, because she doesn’t “care if the world knows her secrets anymore,” implying that the hurt and suffering she’s held onto is insignificant and that she’s moving on.

What really sparked this post though is a track on Maroon 5’s new album V.  “Unkiss Me,” initially struck me when I was scrolling through new releases on Spotify.  What does that even mean?  I though as I double-clicked to listen.  Unkiss me? How can you unkiss someone?  Is that even a word?  I guess Adam Levine and Maroon 5 have made it a word.  On it’s most basic level the song describes a love gone bad, and the desire to have all memories from the love erased and taken away. Listening to Adem Levine’s sultry voice describing something so painful that he would ask the other individual to ‘unkiss him,’ brings back my own memories of relationships (friendships, romantic trysts, etc) where when things ended, and ended badly, I wanted to have it wiped from my brain, much like the memory eraser in Men in Black.  But after contemplating all the memories and emotions, I don’t want to be ‘unkissed.’  I have the power to look at the kisses (metaphorical and literal) that are in my past and determine whether I will let them permeate my memory not just as a good or bad, but as something to learn from: learn how to (and how not) love people. And not only that choice, but the option of seeing everything as an experience that will help me realize why I do chose to love the people around me.

My mom was in town last weekend for my wedding shower, and I’m embarrassed and glad to say that it was a much better visit than I expected.  But at times my mother does make biting comments on my choices that are judgmental and unwarranted.  I have more life experience that she realizes, and so behind the curtain of what I have let her see of my life, in her mind I have not had enough experience to have already picked a husband, because I “haven’t dated enough people,” and I “don’t know enough,” to have already picked a husband.  In that same conversation she brought up an old relationship of mine, stating, “I didn’t think he was right for you, but I don’t know what happened between you two.”  “Well, he lied to me about a lot of things; namely he lied about loving me.”  I retorted.  “Oh, well that’s weird.”  My mom didn’t know what to say.

I love my mother, and I know she loves me a lot, but often her love doesn’t come out right.  I’m not a mother yet, but I can only imagine how hard it will be, and how it will probably be the biggest challenge I will face.  My relationship with my mother has made me see how obvious it is that no one can love us more perfectly and wholly than God because as human beings we mess up every single relationship at some point or another, even the ones we choose (husband, wife, work, friend, etc).  But if I raise successful children, (my definition of this is based on how my brother and I are both functioning members of society – job, school, friends, relational skills, etc) the way my parents have raised successful children, the first thing I will recognize is that their choices are exactly that: THEIRS.  As much as I would want to spare them the pain and hurt that I have felt, I know that they will experience it in their own way.

The words in “Unkiss Me” mimic experiences we have all had.  Who hasn’t been jilted by someone?  But what I would add is this: the choices we make, the words we chose to say to people, and our actions speak to who we are at the end of the day. Don’t ‘lie to your heart,’ let alone someone else’s.  Take ownership of what you have decided to put yourself through. (That’s something I’ve been working on, and it’s a daily process.)  And you know what?

Want more for people than they want for themselves.

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