Love: Because I Got to Have Faith, Faith, Faith

Love is a funny thing. What an understatement! I have spent a lot of time thinking about love recently with the recent turbulent state of my love life. I have always dated wonderful girls. The last couple girlfriends have been an A-list fashion stylist, a woman who runs cancer research trials internationally, the NY Times Teacher of the Year, and a leading HIV researcher and published author. One might conclude I have been doing well. In some ways I have.

But as I look back, almost definitively there was a point where I decided that they weren’t the one. I had lost faith in the viability of the relationship. For one, it was a ridiculous public display when she misheard me. For another it was long distance. For another, it was a hormone induced fit that I hoped was atypical, but lasted far too long. For another, it was an insatiable insecurity.

Now you might think that I ended the relationship there. But I never was that smart or that ready to part. I thought I was “giving it a chance”. Instead, I was slowly pulling away, even joking near the end of the “Trevor soft landing approach”. (Full disclosure: the last one was crash and burn). Because I had lost faith in the person and in the proverbial “us,” I had started looking for faults. And we all have them. God knows I am difficult to deal with. But each fault became a way to reinforce the conclusion that I had already come to. And even worse, as I pull away, they typically turn it on. The adage is very true: “We run away from that which chases us, and chase that which runs away from us.” The more they would chase, the more I would pull away. The more guilty I would feel as they got more caught up and I got less. The less I enjoyed their company. The more I would pull away. The more they would chase ...

They say that relationships take work, constant care and feeding. Perhaps if I had more faith in the possibility of a positive end state (how romantic are those sterile words?) I would have made greater efforts. Perhaps if I had a better outlook, I would have overlooked the trivial things that really didn’t matter. And perhaps, I would have stayed or fallen in love.

Faith in its own way becomes a foregone conclusion. It is well documented the way people distort facts to support pre-existing beliefs. Is finding the “one” about admitting that I could settle down and live the rest of my life with someone? Is it about admitting that I could care enough about someone whom I couldn’t spend the rest of my life without? That’s my brother’s definition of love. I would like to say I truly believe in it. I am witnessing it this weekend as I perform a wedding for two of my friends. But maybe my biggest obstacle is my perceived fierce independence and invulnerability, which manifests itself not surprisingly as invulnerability through fierce independence. I create that barrier.

One of these girls recently mentioned to me that the only obstacles in a relationship are the ones we make. It’s the ones we choose to believe in. Faith can be a choice. Sometimes a blind choice. But those choices may close, or just as easily, open you up to love.

Now if faith only came that easy …

Finding a Balance and Finding Faith

There’s little secret that I have recently been struggling with my work-life balance. Hence the absence of the blog for the past couple months. It’s gone a bit too far. I understand that. But I had faith in what I was doing, about how I could help my company, and what I could learn in an exciting opportunity. And I look back with joy and regret. ‘

My brother and I were talking about happiness in a fishing boat on a beautiful day this spring. And he mentioned that the joy and fulfillment of one’s life rests on several pillars: work, love, friends and family, community, and god. He pointed out that I was lacking several key pillars. But the one that most eluded me was god. And my struggle there has always been with faith.

Faith. It can lead to good and evil. It can lead and mislead. What is faith? Well an online dictionary gives us two important distinctions:
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence

The more interesting definition is the latter, when faith lacks evidence or logic. But of course it is a sliding scale. How much evidence is definitive evidence? When does a logical conclusion turn into an educated guess into faith and then blind faith itself? The next week or two, I want to examine faith. It turns out that all the pillars depend on it and that sometimes faith in something wrong turns out to be right.

And even this man who resists faith has begun to discover that faith appears in some of the oddest of places. Perhaps I am a more than a man of the cloth, but a man of faith too… Are you?