What's Scarier Than Being Alone?

Ok, here's one of those thoughts that's rattled around loose in my head for a few weeks. What's scarier than living alone for the rest of your life? For some people, oddly enough, it's finding someone to live the rest of their lives with. Why do I say that? For some people the idea of really having to expose who they really are in order to be with the person they were meant to be with outweighs the easier road of just remaining alone. I don't necessarily see it as a good or bad thing, but rather a choice. What I think isn't good is to choose to be with someone but then choose not to open yourself up to them. It probably happens more often than not in relationships, marriages and even with God, while the consequences more than likely aren't going to be happy ones.

So what prompted this? Initially, it formed as I reflected on past relationships and then a little more as I discussed it with my sister, Ness a few weeks ago. Then this weekend I was reading a bio on my favorite painter (see earlier post) Jack Vetrianno. He had been married once, but it didn't work and after such he pretty much all but shut out the idea of intimate relationships choosing instead to devote himself to painting. There are a number of things that I share in common with Vetrianno's outlook, background and interests, but that concept just struck me as odd especially given the subject matter of his works. They are all about people and relationships (I attached a few more including one of his most famous).

As I thought about it more it occurred to me that for guys this concept gets pushed to an extent in our culture as "what a real man should be." Case in point - the last James Bond film. Critics loved it for its gritty realness. The new Bond was no longer the unfeeling agent of old that saw people - especially women - as a means to an end. In fact, the underlying premise behind this Bond was to actually show how he became so closed off in his ability to expose his inner feelings. If you think about it for a few minutes you can probably rattle off a dozen movies, TV shows, magazine adds, etc that attempt to portray men as loners that do not let their feelings become their weakness (or if they do it becomes the pinch for the plot).

Honestly, it's an easy trap to fall in. These are the characters and images I identify with, but at the same time I have hurt or been hurt for closing off when I shouldn't have. The trick, I suppose is to find balance in the dichotomy between strength and weakness as they both exist at the same time.

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