I've been slacking on writing, I know. But here's your update: I got a hedgehog. And he's teaching me...
I know it sounds really weird. How much can one actually learn from a hedgehog? They have quills, poop a lot, and generally aren't the most social of pets. I named him Ahijah (after the Prophet Ahijah the Shilonite from the Bible) but since autocorrect on my phone keeps changing it to Shikar it has become an understanding in our house that he goes by both names. Ahijah Shikar. Word.
Ahijah has opened my eyes in the past few weeks as I've been discussing the concept of love with some of my closest friends. Let me just go ahead and get this out in the open: I don't understand love. I don't understand God's love, I don't understand love in marriage, nor do I understand love in friendships. Not to say that I don't love because I'll be the first person to tell you I basically love everyone. I just want a definition of love. What is love? How do you show it and know that the person you're showing it to will understand?
My parents weren't really affectionate towards each other when they were married. Most of the friends I grew up with have fallen off the radar. The one guy that I gave up everything for chose an addiction over me. So with no clear concept of love how am I supposed to understand that this Creator I've never met really loves me? I know people love me, but I don't see it. Please don't misunderstand this as me being ungrateful I'm just saying that I'm that kid that doesn't recognize when someone truly cares because I've never really had a good example.
Ahijah Shikar is a lot like me. I love this cute little creature with a dark hidden face, weird feet, and quills. To show him love I care for him, feed him, shelter him, bathe him, talk to him, sing to him, and buy him toys. But I have to wear a glove to pick him up because he's scared of me. Hedgehogs curl into a ball when they're scared so that their quills will stand upright and poke whatever is bothering them. No matter how much I care for him, he still gets scared every time I pick him up. He doesn't mean to hurt me, he's just protecting himself.
I don't mean to hurt the people that care about me. I'm just protecting myself. When anyone comes around my wall is up. I'm scared of being hurt so I question intentions, push to see how much it will take before someone walks away, and prepare myself for the worst case scenario. It has happened so many times in the past, so why wouldn't it happen now? Changing this thought process is one of the more difficult tasks in my life.
Tony Gaskins and Urban D gave a great talk last week on love. Love is to nurture, provide, protect, and cherish. Now this, I can understand. But it will still take time to be able to recognize when this is happening. It will also take time to break down the beliefs the world has put into my head of what love is. Love is not the same as lust. They're two opposite beings that are commonly confused. Today's society tells girls to sleep with guys they barely know for validation and that hopefully, one day, they'll get a ring out of the deal. More often than not they get an STD, a baby, or a broken heart.
Ladies, know your worth. Guys, man up and stop acting like grown boys. God put us on this earth to build each other up not tear each other down. Pleasure only brings pain in the long run so stop running to lust because you're hurting that person AND yourself. And stop depending on people who don't really care about you and are just using you to fulfill their "wants".
PS-I would definitely recommend that everyone follow Tony Gaskins on Twitter. He keeps it real, honest, and understandable for guys and girls.
If they can't be there in the down time then they shouldn't be there in the high times. -Tony Gaskins