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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Appearance Shouldnt Be Everything

To most this title would be all too obvious. At a deeper level though, i think an insidious message tries to sneak in and wind its way inside our collective unconscious. Media advertising and other things try to make appearance everything. I have shared plenty about my lifelong struggle with fear. Talking about my fear and my struggle with it is not a huge thing for me it is fairly comfortable because im seeking to lay myself open and accept encouragement and exhortation. There is another issue though and it is tied in so much to appearance.

When I was in my last year of Bible College i began a counseling relationship with one of my professors. He was a very compassionate man and very insightful. After about a year of seeing hium, he told me something that really hit me when he said it. He said that for me my deepest struggle and hardest obstacle was not my fear of death but my fear of women and of romantic relationship. WOW!!!!! That surprised me at first but as i thought about it, began to make more and more sense. As a kid i was a cute kid justask my mom LOL i was a quintessential german wunderkind with blonde hair and blue/gray eyes. My hair was very curly though the kind of curly that made old ladies pinch my cheek and say *oh look at that beautiful curly hair* (im SERIOUS they REALLY DID!) I was cute and was muscular and thin although clumsy because i was tall and had flat feet which may have affected my run for some reason i waddles when i ran go figure!!

I have stated a few times the 2 worst years of my life 13 and 14 7th and 8th grade. I was at the age when you very first start to notice girls as someone to be attracted to, and i was plastered with acne. Almost all the girls at school or on my block and even any i just came across wherever i went seemed to me to just be repulsed by my acne and that is all they saw, I was a bit quiet and shy even before this happened but once i felt the rejection from my appearance it just intensified it that much more. i had a very immature ability to relate to girls due to this as far as any kind of romantic or relational attachment goes. i have always been able to be a very good friend. When i went to jr college i actually looked pretty decent and felt good appearancewise but even when i recieved attention or any kind of affectionate interest from girls inside i was just bewildered and didnt know what to do. i had a girl who got my phone mumber from the attendance sheet at our PE class lol and she actuallyasked me out wow too funny but it didnt last long.

The day I went to the Bible College i was planning on attending to get a tour and closer look at it, i went and had lunch while waiting for the afternoon session to begin. No one came up and talked to me, not one, i know that college students, even christians are not necessarily focused on just going up to strangers and talking. i just felt a lil rejected,and the demons from jr high roared again inside. I did not really date in Bible College oh i had a few here and there but again my mind was too filled with fear of rejection to just relax and show my true self. later on after Bible College i tried to use dating services but every one i met seemed to click. By this time i had become a lil overweight and it affected things im sure. My desire to have a gf has always been there but has been far exceeded by my insecurities and immaturity in relating at that level and thus the retreat into fantasy as a way to experince a kind of connection at a physical/romantic level.

I think my reason for posting this is because I still feel the pain inside from jr high even though it was all those years ago. I still feel so lacking in being able to be a man that will be able to attract a girl and form a lifelong partnership with. it is hard to write about for a few reasons. First i dont want to come across like Im seeking to be a victim and garner sympathy as well as not want men to read and think 8what a weak chump* or for women to read and think red flag danger danger will robinson. I am so thankful for all who come here and comment especially for those who i have gotten to know and form a friendship with as well as those with whom there is a form of connection . I praise God for all of you and for your own sharings i see on your pages or in your comments. I just felt challenged inside and to share this that really is the deepest of my fears. My counselor told me he hoped i would get married one day by a women who would be able to see past the insecure lil boy to the man wanting to shine out and be an aggressive woamn who would help me make the move i needed to. Well......... time will tell!!!

A side note thank you soooooooooooooo very much to all who have read and commented on my moms post!!!! She appreciates it so deeply and she will share her other parts of her story as she feels led. i told her no rush lol and i am so hapopy to be able to have her share on here. Maybe my sister might drop in as well might give her a lil nudge lol Hope all have a wonderful weekend thanks for the prayers and encouragement!!


At 7:14 AM, Blogger Awareness said...

Hi Robert.

I see NO "victim" or "weak chump" here!! What I see, and read is a story about a brave man who has the strength and conviction to continue to figure it out. Good on ya!

It's all we can do........continue to learn through our choices and our life experiences and then make the decisions with the help of our Higher Power that will help us on our journey.

take care. Enjoy your weekend!

At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Mom said...

Hey Bob,

I felt compelled to respond to this one, as your Mom. Much as I hate to admit it, I'm sure your counselor was right. Having worked for over 25 years as a mental health nurse, I am very much aware that the group therapy sessions most widely participated in are those held on MOTHER'S DAY! lol. Got to take some responsibility for that fear of women, don't I? I know you are working on this issue, and are taking your own responsibility now. Really, everyone... He is not into blaming me or anyone else, just trying to make things better for himself with the help of God. Bob, you DO worry too much about appearance, I think, but you focus on things like being overweight. Most women who are not shallow see beyond such things to the person underneath, and value such things as personality, honesty, sense of humor, etc. That is why you do so well with this blog, people get to see the real you and find a person they really like without ever even knowing what you look like. When it comes to appearance, I think that neatness, cleanliness and good grooming are the most important things that women look at, because that indicates how a person feels about taking care of himself.

Your friends are right... you are very real in this forum. Keep it up, and I think one of these days you will have a great outcome. Just know that I am there for you and support you, even if I did screw you up when you were younger (haha). Love ya,

At 1:41 PM, Blogger karen said...

Thank you for sharing this, Robert. My youngest son suffers from severe (in his eyes and ours) acne. The doctors call it "moderate." Nothing has worked so far, including prayer.
I might add, the stuff that we, as parents, have had to endure from others...as if we haven't tried or done anything for him.

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Shaz said...

This breaks my heart. I know all to well how cruel kids can be. Its funny because I was the opposite, sort of but as an adult I can look back and analyse honestly how it went wrong. I was quite preety (now I see it then I didnt) slender and no lack of attention from boys all though I didnt see it as I was a tom boy. I played foot ball and all sports and I was good at it and very competeive I was different from the other girls.I didnt understand the jealousy from the girls because the boys, they were my mates. Girls didnt get me and they didnt like that I had such good guy friends (still do) They used to exclude me because I wasn't girly enough and they didn't like that I hung out with the guys.
I didnt feel pretty until I met Ben when I turned 31 I thought any attention I had was just to use me and spit me out so I kept my distance and my facade of being confident way up.
Ben was very insecure and a little overweight all his life. But his big green eyes were so soulfull and to me he was the most amazing man on earth.
He has had 2 girlfriends,1 wife and wife who made him feel worse about himself.
I was stunned at how insecure he was. He covered it by making jokes but I knew and worked really hard to show him how great and beautiful he really was. Your counsellor is right it only takes a forthright woman to see your potential and deep into your pure heart to let you shine and be who you were meant to be with out your fear. Bens mum strangely thanked me for helping Ben overcome a lot of his fears to me, all I did was fall in love with him and show him how important he was to me.
Robert I totally believe God made this happen we are a God incident. His plan will present its self he took his time with us. LOL
One day it will happen and you will remeber this comment and smile.
When that day comes I cant wait to say I told ou so.........
Bless you dear friend

At 7:57 PM, Blogger Gary Means said...

I can relate to so much of what you have shared. Because of my appearance and my social ineptitude I grew up being called "retard". I know very well the pain of childhood and adolescent rejection. And when I was in my 20s I made an attempt to check out of life early.

I finally found a wonderful woman who was willing to marry me. Perhaps God had pity on me. But even on our wedding day, I got slammed. I was in the reception line smiling and shaking hands, when one of the managers at work was next. He leaned forward and said, "I didn't think anyone would ever want to marry YOU." Then the axxhole looked me in the eye, smiling, and moved on.

I am no stranger to the feeling unworthiness, or of being unlovable from a superficial standpoint. Even though I have a loving family, I still struggle with the feeling of being unattractive (even before my current obesity), and of being a nerd, geek, or whatever you term you want to use. I have never ever felt that I fit in. And there are still very few relationships where I do.

There have been women who have told me that I am amazing because of my creative abilities or because of my spiritual insights. But still I have always felt "less than" or "not enough". In some ways their comments made me feel even worse. I'm not quite sure why. Perhaps because their comments felt so good, and I knew that such admiration was fleeting and ultimately inconsequential. Words of praise from these attractive women felt good for the moment, but because of my immaturity/brokenness, it only made me want more.

Well, I've rambled on quite a while again. Time to go.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Barbara (aka Layla) said...

Robert, lonliness and lack of a relationship is a tough one. I believe there is a woman out there for you. You may have to go looking. Its risky but will be worth it if you meet the right one.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Barbara (aka Layla) said...

PS of course appearance should NOT be everything, but it is a huge factor if we want to admit it or not. I wish it weren't. I wish men could see past my extra weight...thankfully I have a pretty face and some actually accept the body that goes with it. But if I had neither, I am sure I would be completely invisible.

I hate it that looks matter, but they do. I hate it that a good looking man/woman that is not a very nice person has tons more opportunities to meet people than a kind hearted person that may not be all that hot. But its a fact.


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