You have my word.

Words have power: that must count for something.

Love is perfect

Love is tricky. In love, out of love, broken love, lost love, damaged love, rekindled love. There’s probably nothing that can’t be done with love – by that I mean there is probably no shape that love hasn’t been bent into yet. It fascinates me too, how much emphasis is put on that moment in a relationship where “I love you” is first said. Time stands still, lovers feel like they can move mountains, sometimes things get thrown if it’s just not the right time (although mostly in movies.

When we truly understand Love though, not just love, we begin to understand why it’s such a big deal.

Occasionally I like to revisit 1 Corinthians 13. Yes, thanks for pointing out, it is probably the most over-quoted piece of Scripture when it comes to love. I like to write my own version of it applicable to the time in my life. I wrote one a few years ago and most of those things still ring true, and most of them still need desperate attention, but I felt challenged recently to right a version that fits my now. If they apply to you too, great; if not, simply journey with me.

The fact of the matter is this: Love never fails. The problem is that I fail. I am not perfect. Love is perfect. Not love, but Love. I’m arrogant, I shout, I get frustrated, I brag, I enjoy recounting moments where people have pissed me off because sometimes it just feels powerful to feel angry. Love is not about power, you see…

Love is patient. If you’ve made a mess of your life, it’ll take time to rebuild – don’t hate on yourself.

Love is kind. Do not talk badly about those who don’t know they’re hurting you.

Love does not envy. Remember that servant who was given one talent? It’s not about what others have.

Love does not boast. Are you OK with being invisible sometimes? Dish out some credit for a change.

Love is not proud. It’s not important that you’re always right. Get your oversized head, out of your stubborn ass.

Love is not rude. I would also like to add moody, grumpy, or inconsiderate to that. Don’t open your mouth when you’re experiencing any one of those states. It’s not necessary to say “fuck” when you’re fighting.

Love is not self-seeking. Buy someone a loaf of bread and some milk.

Love is not easily angered. Take a deep breath when you kick your toe, when you have the urge to punch someone in the face, when things don’t go exactly according to plan (*ahem* control freak).

Love keeps no record of wrongs. Let go of the people who have wronged you – God will do a much better job of dealing with them than you ever could.

Love does not delight in evil. You shouldn’t be excited when “they get what’s coming to them.” Jesus practised compassion.

Love rejoices with the truth. The truth hurts. The truth gets in there and cuts deep but the truth also allows you to walk away empty handed when you’ve dealt with it. Only lies give you things to carry.

Love always protects. The last word, or that under-handed under-your-breath comment is not necessary.

Love always trusts. “Don’t be stupid! In this day and age? You’ve got to be kidding me!” Well, I’m not. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of, obviously. But I’m not just talking about people. Trust for the future. Trust that that person will come through for you. Trust yourself.

Love always hopes. Lift up your head. You can only see your feet when you’re looking down, look ahead.

Love always perseveres. You’ve come this far, why give up now?

Love never fails.

The beast

At 23 ripe years of age, I have taken up the task of finally reading The Lord of The Flies. Appalling, I know. I was never forced to turn its pages at any stage of my schooling, but I figured it’s a classic that any self-respecting writer should have read.

Quite frankly, I don’t like the overly descriptive style as much as I’m aware of its important and role in the telling of the tale (a rather woeful one at that). I am fascinated, however, at the transformation from humanity to savagery. Blame it on survival, maybe they were literally going insane, but I’ve just painfully read through the detailed account of how Simon was killed! (I’m not at the end so don’t spoil it for me, more than death has). Granted they thought he was the beast…

That got me thinking though. Fact is, according to my own interpretation anyway, the beast represents anything that they are not familiar with, anything that makes them scared, anything they can’t control, anything that could do harm even if it can’t – but only we know that. It’s not so different from our lives presently. We fear all things we can’t control or see or understand – the unknown.

When we’re small we have monsters in the closet and under our beds, and they don’t go away just because we grow up. We don’t outgrow them, they simply go from monsters under our beds to monsters in our heads. Even more terrifying! So we chase and fight and even kill (metaphorically speaking) the beast and in turn end up doing those things to ourselves.

I don’t yet have a solution for this conundrum, maybe it comes at the end of the book, maybe I’ll only realise The Fix in another 23 years (although I hope not). I think a good start though, is realising that the monster we think is there, is actually not a monster. When we can see it in the light, we see it’s not so scary after all.

I’m not a mourning person

It’s the truth, you know?
I’m not a mourning person;
I am not yet dead.

Depression: The Zombie Apocalypse

I think zombie movies are ridiculous. Fight me if you will, but I’m sticking to my story. That’s not to say that they aren’t entertaining by any means, but they are ridiculous: a bunch of corpses chasing live people, and there’s usually some ridiculous twist where a human falls in love with one of them or something. See? Ridiculous.

Recently though, a revelation dawned on me (like the dead). Depression is much like a Zombie Apocalypse. (For the brain dead among us, “apocalypse” is a fancy word for a great disaster – a sudden and very bad event that causes much fear, loss and destruction. Simply put, zombies take over the world and kill everything.)

Just like the zombie disease, little by little, depression spreads and begins to infect every part of your life from the biggest thing to the seemingly insignificant things. The frenzy feeds itself – anything that still resembles some form of life is eventually sabotaged. Once everything is dead though, it all seems insignificant.

Flip that concept on its head and give me a little bit of space to say that I understand zombies. It’s true. There’s a great debate around why they “function” like they do (and by function I mean eating humans), but I have my own theory.

Zombies eat living things because it’s the only way to feel alive. Aside from needing to survive and procreate (Google it), they need to experience life. Obviously they aren’t satisfied for very long, because based on every zombie movie ever made they just keep eating and eating. The feeling of numbness and being dead inside (and outside) is so perpetually overwhelming that the consumption of something living is inevitable.

Depression.

I realise that depression doesn’t require the eating of humans, but in a metaphoric sense it requires consumption of something to feed itself. Parts of your life that still have life are devoured. It demonstrates itself in different ways for different people, but the cycle is always the same.

Anything to feel alive. It’s ridiculous, like zombie movies.

Fortunately, there is an antidote that works against zombie bites if administered quickly and efficiently enough, and fortunately the same applies for depression. I’m not saying there is a quick fix, or that there is any fail-proof fix at all, but…

I have seen dead flesh come alive again.

Don’t give up.

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