Tory stole love…
Tory was a man of vision. He knew what he wanted and he did everything thing he could to get it. When he wanted a job, he learned the skills needed. He got to know the who and the how that would get him where he wanted to be. And once he was there, he made his efforts valuable. When he wanted fame, he learned to play the game. He worked the media, seeded stories, made the world want to know more about him. When he was ready for a family, he chose a woman who could bear him children without worry or demand too much of his attention. He built a house and called it his home. He filled it with busy children and nannies and tutors. He built a life and he lived the roles he wanted to play.
Still, he felt he wanted more. He had gotten everything he had envisioned, but he was unsettled. He was fond of his wife. She met his every expectation, but he felt empty when he looked at her. He felt he should love his children, but when they were noisy or sick, he found himself staying late at work or working from a closed room at home. He was a success. A pillar of the community. Everyone looked to him for answers and trusted that he would always be there. Yet, some days he found himself looking out the window, lost in empty thought. The world knew his name and he had friends where ever his face was seen. Even so, he grew tired of always having attention, but still feeling alone.
Tory had been a man of vision. He had achieved that vision… and now he was lost. He had worked hard for everything he had, and still he felt… empty. One day, he left his house for work, and never got there. Instead he found himself in a local park. He sat down on a bench beside a small lake. Alone, he watched the waves lap against the shore. He felt the sun burning his pale skin. He ignored his phone ringing inside his jacket pocket. He sat there. Doing nothing. Taking time. Stealing time…
Tory spent the whole morning and much of the afternoon sitting on that bench watching the waves. He let his mind wander. He thought about all the things he had done. And he listened for the first time to his heart. He laughed at himself. He thought perhaps he was having a mid-life crisis. Then as he sat, slowly a new realization came to him. The empty space inside, the void that never seemed to fill, whispered and told him what he really needed. He needed a little love. Self love… He needed to slow down and enjoy what he had… and he had a lot. He needed to stop filling himself with the busy work of goals and instead let the world fill him with wonder.
Eventually, he got up and went into his work place. It had not fallen apart without him. When he got home, he stopped and kissed his wife. He really looked at her for the first time in a long while and she welcomed him with a smile. He let his children run to him and he held them on his lap without setting them back down till they were ready to leave on their own. He put away the newspaper and turned off the TV and shut down the computer. When the house was quiet and all were in bed but him, he cleared off his home desk and left the work undone.
He went out into his back yard and looked up at the stars. He had never done that before. He had never given himself the time. Now, he wasn’t earning something, or working toward something… he wasn’t studying for a new goal. He was just being. He felt a little like a thief… he was stealing time and giving it to himself. And by stealing that time, he was stealing love… and giving it to himself.
He had been a rather selfish man all his life without really knowing it. Now, he was selfish again, but this time when he had stolen enough time and enough love to fill that void he had inside. When that empty space had been filled, he stole more time and self love, and shared it with those who mattered most. His whole life had been spent earning things… but he felt he had never earned love. Some how, it seemed right to allow himself to steal a little of it… after all… most people seemed perfectly happy to be giving it away… so he did too…
Steal a little time for yourself this week… steal a little love.
Image and words by Cicely Robin Laing © 2014