Monday, July 11, 2011

Girrrrl, It Ain't About A Man.

I was talking with a friend today and she mentioned her desire for a companion in life. She then asked me if I'd ever lived alone; it took a minute for me to understand that what she was really asking was whether I had ever been in a cohabiting relationship that ended and was then forced to live alone.

It got me to thinking, just how fundamentally blessed I am that God has seen fit to keep me in a living situation where I have a roof over my head but do not have to share it with anyone, save my beautiful furry boys Shadow and Saxon. It's also interesting because this particular seminary friend, as it turns out, is feline: her animal totem is a mountain lion. As anyone who knows me will know, my animal totem is also a large feline... for many years it felt like he was a full-on black panther -- meaning, a highly melanistic specimen of Panthera onca jaguar -- but recently I have come to wonder if my totem is some form of mix that includes mountain lion as well, in the form of a mountain lion like my friend's animal totem Puma concolor.

But why do I mention this? Well, one thing that Puma concolor is widely known for is its reclusiveness. Mountain lions would just-as-soon be left alone, in solitude, and they prefer to live with as little contact with others of their species (not to mention other apex-level predators) as possible. Some research has documented mountain lions with habitat ranges on the order of several hundred square miles. Dear God in Heaven, if only there were that few people in the SF Bay Area... sigh...

Interestingly enough, though, my chat with my seminary buddy got me thinking: am I really happy in my life of solitude? I must say, somewhat reluctantly, that I basically am. Do I wish I had a husband? I guess I do, but here's the thing: when I consider the basic sense of wholeness and satisfaction that I feel when I wake up every morning and know that a man named Jesus loved me so much that he laid down His own life for me, it leaves me wondering: could a mortal man ever give me that much love? The answer is self-evident. After knowing this love, why would I even seek anything else?

I read the paragraph directly above and I think back to where my life was, for example, five years ago. Philip-2006 would read the words in the preceding paragraph and truly, honestly, think that Philip-2011 had gone absolutely, totally, certifiably psychotic. But, yet, it feels like I am more true to my spiritual essence now than at perhaps anytime in my life since 1996 when I had what I call my "Spiritual Awakening."

It's a curious life that I live. I sleep alone, in a bed that is easily big enough for me and my two cats (each of whom has his own kitty-bed on top of my bed) and like, yaknow, two other grown men (God bless those Swedes and their DUX Corporation's beds!). But, in the best of ironies, I simply no longer need anyone in the bed with me -- except those two stunningly beautiful cats who do not complicate my sleep cycles the way another person would. All my life I had been looking for something... for the great man, for the great job, for the great home. Never with an adequately grateful spirit giving thanks to God for where I was. [Yes, there's a Star Wars Yoda-quote implicit in this line of thinking!]

But, now, I feel... whole. Would I like a cuddle-bug? Sure. Do I want a husband to wake up with every day for the rest of my life? Sure. But, when I juxtapose the concept of such a mate with my life in Christ... well... I just can't imagine ever meeting a man in this life who would come close to giving me that level of satisfaction. Of joy. Of relief. Because, finally after all these years, I am not alone.

What more could a guy ask for?

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