As in the life of many strong and influential men, there is always an even stronger woman. She is either his inspiration, his influence, or his strength. Occasionally, a man is fortunate enough to have a woman who posses more than one of these qualities. And if this woman is blessed enough to have all three qualities, she is certain to be a driving force in his life.
A gentleman shouldn’t kiss and tell. But this story is not like that at all. This story is about three women who either inspired, influenced, or stregthened me.
I am a strong man who’s worth can not be determined by spirit nor flesh, but by mortal reflection and a desire to be a better man. Each day I pray that the Lord bless me with the light of His love. I pray too that He lead me down the right path. I pray for Love.
My prayers have been heard. And on many occasions my heart was open to accept His blessings. Despite my willingness to receive those blessings, I could not find my own way. I needed a Devine intervention. I could not hear His voice, but I could see His signs. And so he gave me hope.
The first woman had a strange beauty. Her heart was big. She was smart, but foolish. She was kind. Her short, thin hair exposed her tan complexion, but her modest features faded against her brilliant personality. Her name was Hope. She inspired my career choices. We worked in a similar field, and I hoped that I could one day have as positive an impact on others as she had modeled for me. She was my best friend.
Hope was married when we met. She’d married young, and her playfulness was something her husband adored. He too was kind, and we became good friends. I respected them both and hoped that I would one day find a love like theirs. Until one day she confided that she had another lover. I was crushed. I cared as much for her husband as I did for her, and I could only imagine the pain he’d feel if he knew of her infidelity.
I guessed she sensed my pain because she quickly rationalized her actions by revealing that her husband had also been unfaithful. This new information only sullied my opinion of their relationship more. And although my disappointment was personal, I didn’t allow it to diminish the friendship that I had with either of them.
When my own marriage had failed years later, Hope whispered that she had seen the signs long before. Apparently her experiences left her no faith that my marriage would be any better than hers. After that our friendship faded. I’d lost hope. And I lost Hope.
Nearly seven years later, I met Faith. She was alluring. Short yet buxom, I could not ignore her influence over me. Like a siren, she called. And I came. She asked me if I had a girlfriend. I told her that I was divorced. But that was not what she had asked. She gave me her number, and told me to call her when I had an answer to her question. It was riddling to me. Not long after, we were intwined. My head was spinning. But with a name like hers, how could I go wrong. Right?
Faith was an interesting woman. Direct and assertive, she assured me that we’d be engaged in within months. I did not object, but I was weary of her confidence. I’d later learned that she’d unsuccessful applied this very technique with other men.
Faith was influential. She had many friends–most as pompous as she. Introducing me to the important ones, she planned a new career path for me. Where I would work, where we would live, and how soon we’d conceive. She was certain that I would accept. Imagine her surprise when I walked away. She had more faith than I.
Faith and I had a few romantic trists since my departure, but they all ended with an argument about commitment. Her claim that she was more committed to me said nothing for her relationship with her “on-again/off-again” fiancé. Our last communication with one another ended with me asking her how she defined “loyalty”. She replied, “it depends…”
I’ll never speak to Faith again.
I learned to love again. This time, perhaps, it would be for the first time. True love. My most recent love affair was with someone to whom I would not make love. Ah yes! This was a unique relationship where abstinence was key. A lost virtue.
Her name was Greek for Love. She was amazing. From the first time I met her, I had a feeling that THIS could be love. She was Love! Her alabaster skin was tanned by the numerous freckles with which God adorned her. She was like no other. In my mind, because I was ready to receive it, she was the epitome of God’s love.
Love asks nothing of us. She asked nothing of me. For this feeling, I would offer her the world. No expectations. No demands. Chasted, she gave me no anxiety that another might take my place. But what my heart wanted, my mind projected.
It’s still too soon to know if the outcome would have been different had my mind not gotten in the way. For it was with Love, that I had given more of my heart than ever before. She deserved far more than I could give.
There was a limit however. I was unclear of what was happening. We made a plan together–a plan we both could follow. But a rational plan with irrational people can be disastrous. Love can not be planned! Love just happens. But in this case, Love–well she just didn’t budge. Love is patient. Love is kind.
Love! She waited! She waited 40 years! She waited for me. She claimed she’d wait forever, even before wedding vows. Specifically FOR those wedding vows. Love–she continues to wait. Love gave me strength. And it took every ounce of strength to be in Love. I didn’t have enough. Alas, I walked away from Love.
I’ve been blessed. I could expect no more than I’ve already experienced. Some men never come close. I convince myself daily that I’m allowed to have amazing experiences for a reason. One day all of this experience will bring me to a pinnacle–a place where I will use what I’ve learned to overcome a huge challenge. There is victory on the other side of a battle…I hope.
I got to see what Hope looks like, but witness her disappointment. I had Faith. She was alluring, but I lost her. It makes me wonder if I ever truly had her. Ah, but Love… Exciting and new! Love is exciting and new for everyone, but she is unlike Hope and Faith. Love is both. Love is neither. Love is…