144. how do you show a woman/a friend

I wrote a song once, it was called “How Do You Show A Woman She’s Beautiful.” No, really, I actually wrote a song with that title. I even entered it into a song-writing contest, although I didn’t win or place or even earn an honorable mention. The judges must’ve been deaf because it was a good song.

See, the song is about a guy who loves this girl. And this guy who loves this girl thinks she’s beautiful, but this girl doesn’t see herself that way and no matter what this guy says or does, he can’t change her mind – he can’t get her to see what he sees.

Look, this blog isn’t about this song. I want to talk about something else so stay with me, but first I’ll share the song, then I’ll talk about the thing I really want to get at.

“How Do You Show A Woman She’s Beautiful”

I see the envy in her eyes
and I can’t help but wonder why
she still can’t see
how beautiful she is to me

We turn the topic ’round again
but end up back where we began
she can’t return
the insecurities she’s learned

How do you show a woman
she’s beautiful when
she doesn’t believe it
tell me how do you show
her how she glows
How do you show a woman
she’s beautiful when
she doesn’t believe it
tell he how do you show
’cause she needs to know
she’s beautiful

I make her laugh to see her smile
and she feels better for a while
but we both know
there’s still a long way to go

But in the end all I have done
has been to show her she’s the one
I choose to love
and she’s the one I’m thinking of
when I say

How do you show a woman
she’s beautiful when
she doesn’t believe it
tell me how do you show
her how she glows
How do you show a woman
she’s beautiful when
she doesn’t believe it
tell me how do you show
because she needs to know
she’s beautiful
she’s so beautiful

Actually, writing it now, I can see why I didn’t win. Some of those lines are a bit too…too… too precious, too sentimental…but I still think it’s a good song.

Anyway, the reason I mention the song is because I was talking with a two really good friends of mine the other night, and it was one of those conversations among close friends where everyone lets their guard down, we peel the armor away and show where we’re bruised and bleeding. One of them talked about his insecurity. He talked about feeling normal and unremarkable. He talked about not knowing who he was and so not knowing how to act and so not knowing how to interact and all of that left him feeling misunderstood and confused and frustrated and alone.

And I understood where he was coming from because I had been there before. And a part of me still feels that way, just not as intensely and not as often. One of the things I remembered about being that way was how there was really nothing that anyone could say to make me feel any different, because how can anyone tell you who you are? The best they could do was to tell me what they thought about me, but I didn’t believe them because I can see myself from the inside – I see all the things that they don’t see (the things I hide or don’t know how or don’t want to share) and so of course I know better than they do and so what they’re saying holds no weight. I mean the bottom line is, no one can tell you who you are.

And that’s kind of where my friend is at – at that point where he’s trying to figure out who he is in a world where everyone else seems to have figured out who they are, or at the very least, everyone else knows themselves well enough to know how to behave and how to act around others.

As for myself, I think this guy is great. There are traits he has that I wish I had. For example, he doesn’t take shit from anybody – he’s not afraid to stand up for his rights when they’ve been trampled upon. He’s not afraid to let you know when you’ve pushed a few too many of his buttons a bit too hard.

And he’s good with words. I mean, I know I can sort of write, but I was an English major and I’ve studied writing, and I’ve read books about writing, and I took classes about writing even after I graduated. But this guy, he was an accounting major and he writes stuff that kills me. The song I shared above? That literally took me four or five years to finish, and I’m still tinkering with it because there are bits that I don’t like (I actually left out two verses because I just don’t like them anymore). This guy comes up with stuff in weeks that’s whole and finished and complete and it works and it’s good.

And I can point these things out to the guy, but that’s not the way he feels about himself. And I kind of feel like the guy in the song I shared above, because I want to show my friend what he has going for him, all the great things I see, but that does little to change how he sees himself because he’s not sure what he’s seeing and so how can he agree or disagree with what someone else says about him? And so how can I help him along because in the end, I can’t tell him who he is.

I don’t know. Some things can’t be helped, at least not right away. This guy is cool in lots of different ways and I’m pretty sure he’ll figure himself out eventually. I’m not so worried about him. In the end, once he learns to decipher the image he sees in the mirror, I know he’ll be content, satisfied, comfortable with what he’s come to understand.

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