Who told you that success is that first kiss? That sweet moment that leads to the beginning of a fantastic relationship. The passion between two people is part of God’s plan for us here upon the earth, so what was wrong with kisses? My playground of past love had consisted of some really good ones. I wanted to give and receive love so desperately that kisses became my means unto a happy ending. They worked well, sometimes too well, you see– it becomes hard to talk about dreams when lips are busy kissing.
Though I had offered my teenagers an incentive of $300 each to get through high school without kissing anyone, I was still on the edge of hypocrisy. I was trying to teach them the lesson that kisses should be worth something. I wanted them to avoid kissing anyone who wasn’t of value to them. But how do you value someone enough for a kiss? Surely $300 is a monetary void to a heart full of passion seeking confirmation of mutual affection.
Is it possible to capture someones heart without using your lips? Why would I bother with that high (and somewhat boring sounding) road when kissing had been refined into an art. What would I do with my valuable kisses? Well, I could start a kissing booth for charity. That would solve part of the problem. But this post isn’t just about good lips hidden away or gone to waste.
My virtuous heart was in for a complete re-structure. I had sincerely planned to not kiss a man unless I had determined him to be someone I could spend a life-time adoring. I wanted to avoid the pain that comes through realizing that two lives aren’t able to become one even if the kissing is fabulous. I had no idea how to progress in virtue as a way of life, rather than just a means of saving myself for someone special. So what about progressing without anything physical? Have you had the opportunity for a relationship that, for one reason or another, would be without physical affection? If you would have asked me for something like that a year ago, I would have thought you we’re not that into me and a potential waste of my time. Honestly, I would have thought you were a jerk if you wanted my attention while restricting my kisses. Yes, a platonic jerk.
Wait, do I really know what the word platonic means? Is it a term for someone unkind, restrictive or who would bring me down? My web search caused quite a reality slap look in the mirror. The definition of platonic lead me to the term platonic love. (As my creative effort is provided through my reaction to it), I’ll allow Wikipedia to explain it:
Platonic love is a type of love that is chaste and non-sexual. The term is named after Plato , who philosophized about the nature of love. Platonic love in this original sense of the term is examined in Plato’s dialogue the Symposium, which has as its topic the subject of love or Eros generally. It explains the possibilities of how the feeling of love began and how it has evolved—both sexually and non-sexually. Of particular importance is the speech of Socrates, relating the ideas attributed to the prophetess Diotima , which present love as a means of ascent to contemplation of the divine. For Diotima, and for Plato generally, the most correct use of love of other human beings is to direct one’s mind to love of divinity. In short, with genuine platonic love, the beautiful or lovely other person inspires the mind and the soul and directs one’s attention to spiritual things.”
I was shocked. This should have felt good to read, but instead it brought a heaviness to my soul. I’ve defined love for you and me in this blog as the treasured feeling of God’s love for someone else. The thought that love could be fully developed in this way was terrifying. Its possible that for me, a kiss meant it was okay to get to know my soul or to understand the beauty within me. Platonic love was truth that confirmed my morals, but it was an evident high road that seemed to push my desire for the affection I craved far below my sincere desires and expectations. It was truth, but it wasn’t fun. It left me feeling quite vulnerable.
There is nothing I desire more than to direct others to the love of God. I looked to Diotima to explain it further, “In her view, love is a means of ascent to contemplation of the Divine. For Diotima, the most correct use of love of other human beings is to direct one’s mind to love of Divinity. With genuine Platonic love, the beautiful or lovely other person inspires the mind and the soul and directs one’s attention to spiritual things. One proceeds from recognition of another’s beauty, to appreciation of Beauty as it exists apart from any individual, to consideration of Divinity, the source of Beauty, to love of Divinity.”
Recognize the one who captures your admiration for their beauty, their soul, their uniqueness with a gratitude to God for what a fantastic creation they are? Could I do that without kisses? Sure. The opportunities for platonic admiration I have experienced, has lead my heart down a more sincere appreciation, an opportunity to know more, to seek to penetrate hurt with love, to allow a word to touch me deeper than any lip service. The after-effects of a tender kiss are nothing compared to what this can do to the soul. And these moments don’t need to be divorced or broken up with. They exist as much as real treasure that once acquired is ones to keep.
When someone offers friendship, try something different this time. Accept it. Not as a challenge to tempt them into more, but as a gift. Maybe he’s not just being a jerk, and maybe you’ll learn things about someone that will bring you more gratitude for what God created together with what endurance through this life becomes. It can be quite fantastic, even in its imperfections. If that’s what they are also able to see and appreciate in you, then you have been given a precious gift.
Don’t be ashamed or attempt to discourage yourself for wanting to kiss this precious person. Who knows, after months of admiration and hours and hours at someones side your soul may be filled with warm waves of memories from time spent together, or you’ll get miles away before erupting with all regret that those precious lips were that close and all you did was admire them as they parted to share dreams and realities and discouragement and hope for the unknown days ahead. Who would regret that?