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The personal blog of Frank Lesko. Award-winning writer. Non-profit entrepreneur. Activist. Religious professional. Foodie. Musician. All around curious soul and Renaissance man.

See also my professional blog: The Traveling Ecumenist.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Being Late for Love

My friend Michael once told me that people who are habitually late are rebelling. 5 minutes late for every meeting and always rolling into work trying to beat the clock. You can say that procrastinating on your assignments is the same phenomenon. Its an aversion to structure, a way to thumb your nose at the system--perhaps any system.

His idea hit me as having a lot of truth in it. I'd like to add another element to it: I think people who are habitually late are testing. They want to be loved and accepted 'even though.' They aren't ready to settle into society because they have unfinished business. They want to know that even though they are late, even though the assignment is past due, even though its stressing everyone else out and pushing the whole system to the brink, that they are still loved. Its a test.

Kinda like a teenager who is always testing those in charge--they push you away, but they really want you to bust through all their defenses and hold them close. I make this comparison not to mock or judge, just to explain. The only problem is that if you go through life looking for love this way, you may find yourself, indeed, too late for love.

6 comments:

  1. Too true. I teach and I see this all the time. It is noble and virtuous when someone can reach past all of the stuff, but it can be exhausting. I see so many of my students making life so hard through these emotional games they play.

    I am not sure how to get someone to be empathetic and to self-reflect, but it seems to be the greatest of skills.

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  2. Hmmmm... Ironically, I dealt with the consequences of my procrastination and perpetual lateness this past weekend... I left work later than I intended to meet up with my boyfriend to go down to Columbus where we were staying the night before our ride (TOSRV). Running late caused us to have to rush down to Columbus to get there before registration closed. Then, when I had plenty of time during the week to buy a video tape for my video camera (cuz we were taping parts of the ride for the memories), I chose to put it off, which meant when we got to our hotel, we had to hunt all over Columbus to find some place that sold the tapes, which, in turn, made it impossible for us to get a sit down dinner because by then it was too late...

    I felt bad because it really looked like I didnt care about doing the ride, when in fact I did. Why was I so lackadaisical about getting my stuff in gear for a trip I was very excited about? Why did I drag my feet all week and not prepare myself properly, causing my boyfriend to become frustrated with all the rushing (he, of course, is "always on time guy.").

    Was I rebelling on his perpetual promptness? Trying to assert my own personality against his, like some sort of quiet tug-of-war with him? Now I wonder...

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  3. Sometimes I wonder if its fear of success, as well.

    I don't know. All I know is that I want to clear out these blockades from authentic relationships, health, healing and success.

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  4. Btw, I dont think you're ever too late for love... When you decide to open yourself to it, you find it. It's when you're closed off that you always miss it. At least, that's been true in my life. I think it's always possible to find love.

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  5. Mars Girl - I don't totally disagree, but I think there is a little more complexity there. The old adage "God forgives, but time does not" does have a role. Though I do believe that there are always new possibilities, I still feel there can be missed opportunities that cannot be recovered.

    It makes me think of the writer of Hebrews who said, "Let us not be Godless, like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears."

    Though his life turned out ok in the end, THIS blessing could NOT be recovered.

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  6. Well, okay, you got me on a technicality. You do miss CERTAIN opportunities. But what I meant to say was that new ones are always happening so it's never too late to change to receive those.

    I try not to dwell in my life too much in the missed opportunities and the "one that got away." You cant get back time or the one person (or opportunity) you passed on in the past. Not very often, at least (sometimes an opportunity DOES pop back up that you missed, giving you a second chance with it, but that's rare).

    But the fact that Frank recognizes that he may have missed opportunities in the past means he's self-aware enough to maybe not miss out on future opportunities that arise. It's the person who does not realize that they're shutting themselves out and lives a whole life passing up all those opportunities that does not live life to its fullest.

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