Our ability to feel emotions can be seen as a way in which we receive feedback from the interaction with the world around us. This ability is best seen as a spectrum, going from completely numbness to extremely intense emotions. Most of us find ourselves somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, enjoying our experiences without being overwhelmed by them.
Sometimes we happen to find ourselves closer to one of the edges of the spectrum. Sometimes we realize that we lack any reaction to certain experiences, and we feel like robots. Sometimes we hate ourselves for reacting too much to what seems minor situations. We should first acknowledge the way we are and stop fighting against ourselves. Then, as we explore the complexity of our world, we realize that, whichever position we have on this spectrum of emotional sensibility, there are aspects of our lives that are destroyed by this and others that are greatly enhanced. We should not see our emotional sensibility, or lack of it, as a disability that prevents us from being part of the world. It is better to see it as a direction that is recommended for our lives. It becomes our duty to learn how to follow this direction.
In time, as we discover how to use our uniqueness in useful and beautiful ways, we start to enjoy ourselves more and more. Naturally, as we keep growing, we become more balanced and our position on the spectrum changes, we get closer to the middle. But that should not be our only goal. We should try to learn as much as possible about the advantages and shortcomings of our uniqueness and how to make good use of it. We should not avoid certain situations that make us uncomfortable, but instead, we should seek them intentionally in order to discover more about ourselves. In fact, this might be the only way in which we can grow.
It is very important to not judge ourselves or other people for the mistakes that are due to our uniqueness. Our lives can be harsh enough before we learn to use our ability or find the right environment that allows us to use it. This is especially true for children. Unfortunately, our current society does not give us much flexibility in this regard. Sometimes, if we cannot find the right environment for ourselves, we might need to create one ourselves. This can be both scary and exciting. If we succeed, we will feel it was worth the effort. If we fail, we will discover more about ourselves and our uniqueness. We should learn how to talk more openly about our emotional sensibility, or lack of it. The more we hide from it, the more we hide from ourselves.
Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.
It seems that nowadays we have an abundance of options in all areas of life. And with all these options comes a lot of choices that we have to make. It seems that we have an abundance of options, but we lack a point of reference from which to make the right choices. In some areas it’s even harder when the social recommended choice is obsolete and does not satisfy our needs. Today, this seems to be the case for love relationships or life partners.
It is hard to choose the right life partners when our lives change so often and sometimes quite drastically. Our life partners would have to change with us if they are to remain in our lives at the same level of connection. It is not easy to find someone who will change in the same way as we do, especially when we don’t know how we ourselves are going to change.
Nowadays, we can find many resources online about how to find the perfect partner for ourselves based on preferences, personalities, life goals and so on. But as always, just knowing the theory is not enough when we actually try this in practice. It seems that what is required is to use the same trial and error approach to relationships that we use in other areas of life. This becomes very difficult if our society does not encourage this approach due to a lack of understanding of life’s complexity. Our first choice needs to be to find a person who has the same trial and error approach, so that our expectations are realistic.
What can we do if we already have a partner, but our expectations are not matching ? Should we end our relationship or try to fix it ? The solution to such an issue has to come from both parts. To truly have a love relationship, we must first have the same definition of what our relationship actually is. If our definitions and expectations conflict with each other, our love is questionable. It is important that we acknowledge that breaking the relationship is not always the best solution. It depends very much on our circumstances. Our decisions have to take into consideration all aspects of our lives and not just our present feeling.
In the end, we need to remember or realize that our control over our situation is limited. We cannot separate ourselves from our environment. Our lives is a continuous interaction between our choices and all the other choices that happen around us. And we should not judge ourselves for making choices that seem wrong sometimes. Never before have our lives been this complex in the matter of options we have and choices we must make.
I learnt to stop fantasising about the perfect job or the perfect relationship because that can actually be an excuse for not living.
We live in a world full of both beautiful things and awful ones and our lives seem to collect experiences from both sides. For some of us, the beautiful things are more abundant, while for others is the opposite. More often than not, our lives seem to intersect with other lives that have a different collection of experiences. And sometimes those intersections become strong relationships, of many kinds.
If we happen to experience happiness but our partner experiences sadness, we experience sadness as well. Most often, we stop experiencing happiness at that point. It seems that the experience of sadness gets priority. If we care about our partner, then we feel it is our duty to offer help, material or emotional. That feeling of duty symbolizes our relationship. And we expect our partner to feel grateful for our help.
Sometimes, our experiences are beyond our control. Sometimes, they take control of us and we feel unable to change them. And sometimes we are just watching the experience of our partner, unable to do anything. We have to acknowledge that all these options are possible and one day we might find ourselves in any of the situations. We might not be able to change a sad experience, but we should not blame ourselves and create even more sad experiences. We should try to navigate our lives in a way that minimizes the sadness created to our partners or to ourselves.
Prevention is the desired solution. But once we find ourselves in a sad situation, we should acknowledge that whatever action we take, it might not be a happy one. And that is ok.
More than preventing or avoiding the sad experiences, we should avoid becoming obsessed with controlling our lives in the first place. Once we acknowledge that our control is limited, we can then focus our energy on what we can do to improve our lives or the lives of our partners, while keeping in mind that we are doing it out of love, not out of duty or shame.
We can see our relationships as a symbol of love instead of a symbol of duty. We can also acknowledge the limitation of the love and the support we can offer. Once we do that, we have more time and energy to find more satisfying ways of expressing love according to who we are.
We deem those happy who from the experience of life have learnt to bear its ills without being overcome by them.
Throughout time, humans have tried to organize themselves in various ways in order to survive and prosper. One of those ways, and probably the most important one, has been the family.
The idea of family serves several purposes:
– it creates a safe place in which children can grow;
– it acts as an organized structure in which emotions can be expressed freely;
– it makes surviving and living easier for individuals;
– it acts as a center of gravity for people’s desires and hopes;
In order to accomplish its benefits, the family, as a social construct, must impose certain limitations, such as:
– a problem that arises inside must first be addressed inside (only when no solution was found, external help is accepted);
– there has to be a certain degree of similarity between its members (expressed in many forms);
– internal aspects must receive greater importance and urgency than external aspects;
The benefits and limitations of the family interact with each other in various and complex ways. Sometimes it leads to great pleasure and satisfaction, while sometimes it creates intense traumas or emotional pain. We need to consider both scenarios when talking about this topic, both are as important. Sometimes it can be hard to see both aspects, especially when we didn’t experience one of them directly ourselves. But I think all of us have been, at one point or another, on both sides of a family, inside and outside, and we were able to at least observe this social construct from both points of view. I think all of us have seen both some positive and some negative aspects of it, either from inside or from outside.
So the question becomes: what should we do about this ?
We, as a society, should start by asking this exact question: what should we do about this ?
Are we satisfied with the current state of the family, this social construct ? If not, in which ways should we change it ?
This question needs to be asked not by individuals, but by the whole society. The individual can only start the discussion. If we are to make any significant change to this social construct, we must have this discussion, as a whole.
There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
We, as human beings, seem to have an innate desire to create groups with those who have similar interests as us. Sometimes the need is strategic (like politics), sometimes it is psychological (like friendships), sometimes it is physical (like sexual partners), sometimes it is spiritual (like churches). Sometimes it is not a need as in lacking something, but a desire to create a better future.
We can accomplish this need or desire in basically two ways: we either create our own groups (regardless of how small or big) or we join other existing groups. If we start a new group, we can decide how we want that group to be like. If we join an existing group, we have to integrate ourselves according to its structure, which will determine what we can and cannot do. If we want to join a group, we have to first accept its limitations, at least in the beginning. Within any group, there will always be things we like and things we don’t like or wish to improve or change. It is important to choose the groups we join in such a way that their strengths align with our strengths and their weaknesses do not bother us too much.
Some of the general aspects that all groups of people share would be:
– the number of members (it could vary from a few to hundreds or thousands, in which case the group is actually organized as having multiple sub-groups)
– the age differences (it could include people with same age, like in schools, or it could be open to anyone, from teenagers to old people)
– the requirements for joining (it could be free for anyone, or it could have a very strict criteria)
– the expected participation (it could be that members are expected to come to different meetings or to get involved in specific ways, or simply socialize online)
– the purpose of the group (in the end, the group must fulfill its purpose, even though its purpose might change with time)
When we want to join a group, we must ask ourselves what is that we need or want to accomplish and what kind of group would fit our own personality. Sometimes we might find out that the group we wanted to join is not a good fit for us, which is perfectly fine, we cannot join every group, nor should we do that. The groups we are part of should give us way more benefits than the requirements they impose on us, otherwise we should invest our energy in different places that are better suited for us.
No one can live without relationship. You may withdraw into the mountains, become a monk, a sannyasi, wander off into the desert by yourself, but you are related. You cannot escape from that absolute fact. You cannot exist in isolation.
This might sound pessimistic, but when it comes to love relationships, life proves itself to be complex, too complex for us to be able to come up with a set of rules or guidelines that will solve all the problems. We can try, and sometimes we will succeed in small aspects, but in the end, we have to accept it as it is. It is important to understand this, because otherwise, we will have all sorts of wrong expectations that will only create trouble.
There are many factors involved in relationships, one of the most important ones being communication. Currently, the world is struggling when it comes to dealing with how individuals should interact in order to create beautiful relationships. The old ways are no longer reliable. Everyone seems to be left to choose his/her own approach and hope for the best. The problem is that most people don’t know what to do, how to act, how to communicate their desire and intention. Not only this, but the whole idea of talking about how to build relationships is not always considered socially acceptable. So not only that we don’t know how to deal with this, but we are also afraid of searching for better solutions.
We don’t know how to express that we desire a relationship and we don’t know how to reject when such desires are expressed. We inevitably end up in conflict.
There is no simple answer to this whole problem, but there are improvements that can be made. Small improvements in the way we approach relationships can create big changes in our lives.
We first need to be aware of this whole problem and then be willing and interested in finding a solution. We need to first have the desire to solve this and to be willing to become vulnerable and put the effort into solving this. We need to be willing to discuss about this topic.
As individuals, there are small steps we can take in this direction:
– start talking about relationships as a general topic;
– stop criticizing people who talk about this, even if they fail;
– stop lying to ourselves and to others;
– stop building defenses and taboos;
– start practicing being more vulnerable.
In the end, we have to accept our situation and at the same time, hope for a better future.
But behavior in the human being is sometimes a defense, a way of concealing motives and thoughts, as language can be a way of hiding your thoughts and preventing communication.
When we value something, we tend to enhance our control over it, in one way or another. It can be our personal stuff or even the people close to us.
When we share the things we value, we want to make sure that the other person will take care of them according to our expectations. When the other person takes the initiative to use our things, we feel less comfortable, not because of the action itself, but due to the will of the other person, which lies outside of our direct control.
This does not mean we do not trust the other person, but simply that our need to have control is stronger than the trust. It is not because we value our things more than the other person, but simply because fear of loss is a very strong emotion to handle. Most of the time, this fear is outside of our control.
Now… will such a situation impact the trust we have in the other person ?
It depends on how well we manage the fear of loss, on how stressed we are and how strong the emotion is at that time. This is rarely about the other person. It is about ourselves and our emotional intelligence, which can be developed to reduce our reaction to such situations.
If we happen to actually be the other person in such a situation, what we could do is to make sure our friend is feeling fine and the emotional stress is handled. We can take the situation as a lesson for ourselves, in case we would be in that situation ourselves.
What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.
this image of me
in constant fear of itself
— stupid illusion
changing and changing again
— missing irony
questioning the whole
is this me or is this not
— hide and seek, the game
desires, ideals and more
— anything but none
what are the symbols
through which the seeing is done
— a silent question