Thursday, May 22, 2008

Read This if You Don’t Believe Good is Out There

You are crestfallen, quite a bit jaded and probably plenty angry.

You might even have a wall — or fourteen — built around your heart, which is feeling about the size of a pea these days.

You’re tired of crying, tired of trying, tired of lying (to yourself) and tired of dying (on the inside).

Tired of believing that man is out there. You know that man. The one they write about in novels. The one you see painted on the screen kissing Gwyneth Paltrow. The one who brings flowers, keeps his promises, doesn’t lie and really wants you. REALLY wants you. Not “I’m only pretending I think you’re a great person so I can get you in bed” kind of want you, but “I like the way you eat your oatmeal and when you hiccup after you laugh it makes me want to cradle you in my arms” want you.

He wants to support your dreams, meet your family and give you backrubs. You know, THAT man. The one you know for certain is fake. The one you don’t believe lives in any postal code outside of Narnia.

If you’re reading this far, it means you’ve been lured in by my catchy headline and don’t believe for one moment that this guy exists.

What if I told you he did?

What would you do if I promised he was real and that maybe (just maybe) one day you might find him?

I’m not willing to offer you a money-back guarantee if you don’t find him, but I’m willing to offer you a faith-back guarantee. I guarantee that the sheer act of believing will give you back all the faith that’s been trampled on, strangled out of you or completely erased from your mind. What’s the worst that could happen? You remain happy for years because you’re dreaming about something that might actually come true?

Okay, now that I’ve got you believing, you want proof that I have seen this man of which I speak. And you’d prefer that he be sitting next to me right now so that you know for sure he doesn’t leave.

I can’t do that. He’s not here. But I have seen him. I have touched him. I have loved him. I promise he exists.

He is the man who asked me eight times to marry him. The man whose heart I broke when eight times I changed the subject. He is the man who never cheated on me, cried when he realized he wasn’t “the one,” and spent countless hours holding my hand when I was sick. He loved my family. He loved my cats (even though he hates cats). He loved me. I just didn’t love him…enough.

There’s also The Electrician, who remembers every detail about my life and can repeat back every word I say to him, even when I have already forgotten. He says he cherishes my intellect and rubs my feet when I’ve come off a long shift at the pastry shop. He washes his hands a lot because he knows I’m a germ freak. And yes, he loves me in my grandpa’s baggy pj’s.

So while that guy has yet to play a starring role in any of my happy endings, he has played several supporting roles in my life, and still shows up from time to time in the form of someone like the Bike Racer, who once held me for hours when I was sad, infusing my heart with his gentle kindness, to remind me he exists. It's not like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. That guy is real.

Sometimes he will show up when you are completely unprepared, so he goes away. Other times, he will stand at your door until you let him in. Just be prepared for what lies on the other side. All you have to change is your thinking.

Finding good is one thing. Being ready for it is something else entirely.

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