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On The Inside

A recent evening found us eating supper at the Sonic drive-in.  One of their current promotional signs read "It's what's on the inside that counts!"  I smiled and pointed it out to Papa Bear. You see, that expression holds special meaning for us. It's one of the things that he had written in his profile at the online personals site where we met, and it was the thing that made his ad stand out from all the others.  Most guys were looking for someone trim, athletic, energetic, and at least ten years younger than themselves.  That always made me laugh - these old geezers looking to hook up with hot young babes and thinking this was going to lead to "happy ever after." Needless to say, I didn't meet those qualifications.

Papa Bear was wiser.  Married for a total of twenty-six years and twice widowed, he knew that finding a good match with a loving heart was far more desirable in the long run than marrying a magazine centerfold.  Thank God he knew that and was willing to take a chance on getting to know ME, the person on the inside!  We exchanged hours and hours of phone conversations in the weeks before we actually met, though we had also exchanged photos and both decided that the outside image was pretty good too! :-)  By the time we actually planned our first meeting we knew far more about each other than many couples who have dated for months. In those conversations we had talked about the real stuff of life at length, not how great the movie was or if the steak was too well done. Obviously, passion also grew from those late night phone calls, but it was different and deeper than the instant hook-up mentality of many of today's encounters. It was worth waiting for!

Getting to know the real person on the inside is also one of the things I love about blogging.  Bloggers often reveal far more about themselves in their posts, and about the way they think and feel, than they do with acquaintances in real life.  I think most of us are more open, honest, and direct when we write.  There is a measure an anonymity that makes it safer to be ourselves... we don't have to see our fellow bloggers in the break room, or at school or church tomorrow.  There is also a tremendous amount of encouragement and support to be found in the blogsphere. So many times I've had folks reach out to me when I was hurt or struggling, and I've seen the same done for many others.  Here we aren't so afraid to let our emotions show, and the response can be amazing! 

As bloggers, we also discover that there actually are people who think and feel like we do, when we once believed that we were aliens, dropped on the planet by mistake, and misunderstood by everyone. Some wonderful friendships have developed through blogging, and some folks have even taken it to another level by visiting on the phone, and actually meeting up in person.  Should you ever have the opportunity to do that, I urge you.. DO!  I've had the blessing of meeting a couple of my blog friends in person now, and I wasn't a bit surprised to discover that they were just as awesome in real life as they appeared to be in the posts they wrote! They may sound or look a bit different than we have imagined, but we already know them fairly well because we've had the opportunity to see what's on the inside, and a truly beautiful person shines from the inside out. I so look forward to meeting more of you as the months and years go on!
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This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are inside and follow.
If you enjoy writing, come and join us!
Two Shoes Tuesday

20 comments:

  1. What a lovely thought today, and so happy for you and Papa Bear! I met my husband through a good friend, just out of a bad marriage. He was like a dream come true, and we also talked about being friends before we were lovers. I'm still with my "best friend" after almost 30 years!

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    1. I smiled as I read this Linda. It sounds like you found your Prince Charming in the end, just as I have! I would love to think we might have 30 years to together, but we make certain to treasure every moment we share, so that there will always be good memories to sustain us. Being very best friends it indeed what makes it wonderful. Blessings to both of you!

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  2. You and Papa Bear are truly such a neat couple. That sentiment is so true - I believe that our truest selves are within, and these outer shells are just that - they do not represent us as we really are deep down.

    My hope is to one day get to connect up with you! One of these days! It will either be when I am out that way seeking a large patch of sky to see the stars or you are this way seeking trees! :)

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    1. Thank you Carrie, it is clear to us that we were meant to be together for this stage of our lives. I have always felt that my shell doesn't begin to do me justice, it is such a poor representation of all the vibrant colors and thoughts contained therein! One of the best quotes I've read lately was a reminder that we are not bodies that have a spirit, but more accurately we are spirits that have a body... at least for the time being! :-)

      I have every hope and reason to believe that we will cross paths one day and sit down for a long, long conversation... be it underneath the starry sky or a canopy of green trees. XOXO

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  3. What a perfect post! I love the way you think.

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    1. Thank you Brenda, I am always surprised at how an idea for a post will pop into my mind and just kind of come together. I love meeting friends like you here, where we give each other room to express both our individuality and the many thoughts we have in common!

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  4. I have found some amazing and deep friendships from the blogging community, most likely, because it is such an honest platform. My husband and I courted long-distance and I too believe our marriage is so healthy because we started off with deep conversations rather than a series of superficial "dates". Great post!

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    1. I totally agree, Emily, this is a wonderful way to meet real people who become real friends. I disagree with anyone who says online relationships can't be real. I treasure the conversations Papa Bear and I had initially, it was important to both of us that there was a common ground where we could meet and appreciate each other's experiences and views. I actually had a short list of critical topics to cover that could have sunk the relationship, but instead proved to substantiate my impression that I had finally met a man of substance, warmth and love! I am so excited by what I read at your blog today, I can't wait for more. This is going to be fun!

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  5. What a beautiful and sensitive post this is Josie. I try to surprise and experiment with my posts so please ignore them as a measure of me!

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    1. Thank you very kindly, Old Egg! You share a great variety of thoughts, sentiments, and posts, and I so enjoy that! There is no one right way to blog. Mine is a bit of a hodge-podge too! I think we can find a measure of the man behind the writing in your blog... he is intelligent, articulate, well grounded in history, passionate, and seasoned with experience and time!

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  6. Yes, it's nice to get to know people this way. Also, it's nice to meet people who are very different from you, and come to see some things from a new perspective, and stay friends even if you disagree.

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    1. I love meeting new bloggers Mimi, and I think you've made a great point... it's not only about the people we discover who think like us, but also the ones who see life differently and are able to share that in their writing and help us understand and respect their perspective as well as our own. I love the differences, and I love the similarities... it is so clear that we are all related!

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  7. I happened to read this quote yesterday:

    "People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within. "-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, psychiatrist and author (1926-2004)

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    1. What a wonderful quote, Romi, thank you for sharing it - perfect for this post! :-)

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  8. This is all so true, Josie. I am so glad you found Papa Bear at precisely the time in both your lives that was right. The Hub and I were the same - we actually crossed paths a couple of times before we actually met and I believe it's because that's the time that was right for us to finally do so.

    What you said about blogging is also so true. Although rather than say I reveal more here than to real-life friends, etc., I'd say I probably reveal more to myself here than anyone else! But I think that's why I started my blog to begin with - to figure myself out for this next phase of life.

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    1. Papa Bear and I agree, Lisa, that had we met earlier our relationship wouldn't have survived, we were both a lot more stubborn and tempermental when we were young! :-) As you get older you realize that very few things are worth fussin' and fightin' over, and home needs to be a refuge, a place of peace where you both love to be... together!

      I like your thoughts on revealing more to ourselves through blogging, that's very true! I have gone back to read posts I wrote more than seven years ago and I am amazed at what things of my inner core have stayed constant, and what things have dramatically changed. When I write, I am very real. I put it all out here, sometimes that even surprises me! Blogging has definitely helped me sort out what direction I want my life to go, and what is important. I'm glad it's working for you that way too!

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  9. A lovely account of how you met. Who we are on the inside is how we can unconditionally love. I'm so happy for you. I feel the same about blogging, too. So much more open and revealing that with acquaintances. I think that inside revelation is what writing is about, whether fictional or not.

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    1. Thank you Val! I agree, when we "see" people from the inside out there are always reasons to love them.

      I also agree that "the inside revelation is what writing is about", we put a great deal of our more obscure selves into our words, no what the purpose or content of our writing. Even when I am writing short story fiction, there are thoughts and messages that come straight from me. :-)

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  10. Beautiful. This needs to be read by everyone in a relationship or looking for one be they young or not so young.

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    1. Thank you for such kind words, Patricia! I think it is so important to get to know the inner person really well before entering a serious relationship. Sometimes we get so taken up with the fun of it, and the outside impressions, that we overlook some serious warning signs, that would tell us it is not the right person for our lives. I once believe that love could conquer all in a relationship, and that might be true if both partners viewed it with the same level of commitment, but more often than not one is left struggling in an attempt to draw the other closer. It is fun to have some things different from partner that compliment you, but it is so very important to have core values and beliefs that are very similar or it's going to be a struggle from start to finish and will likely end in disappointment, if not worse.

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)