Authenticity ≠ Reality

I was having a discussion with a friend of mine about a guy who thinks that he really likes her (told her that he loves her) after only a couple of months of dating. My friend wasn’t feeling the same amount of sentiment, shall we say, but instead of turning and

flower

running away, she decided to help this overly eager guy delve into why he might be feeling these feelings so early on, when in reality she hadn’t felt that they knew each other all that well, or at least not enough to express the “L” word.

I think people want to be true and honest and say what they’re feeling, to be able to be comfortable enough with someone to say how they truly feel. But we all know that LOVE is confusing, and for God’s sake, WHY on earth aren’t there more words to express what KIND OF LOVE WE MEAN?! I love my mum. I love my lover. I love my cat. I love the sunset. I love hot fudge sundays.

These are not the same types of love and we all know that. Do human beings ENJOY being completely confused, because certainly WE MADE THIS LIMITED LANGUAGE!! Why can’t we add to it? I’m no linguist, but I think a few other languages might incorporate different types of love into their vocabulary, which is a highly intelligent thing to do, in my opinion.

OK, OK, enough of my ranting.

My point is that us homo sapiens get confused about the meaning of love all the time, and we should know the confusion that exists between love and lust and desire and admiration by the time we’re say, over 25, and that saying words like “love” can be dangerous, could give false hope, because we can’t possibly know what we’re really feeling until enough time has passed to get to know someone and allow our brains to sort everything out.

But then the importance of those three little words builds. We place SO MUCH value on them because we know if someone (who we trust) says it, then they must either a) mean it (holy shit!) or b) be somewhat delusional. And if we don’t trust them, we sum it up as a lie or manipulation, which is besides the point.

In the case of my friend and her L-word guy, it’s certain that he’s not being manipulative or using the word lightly…rather, it’s the way he really does feel. But the way we feel isn’t always reality. So how do we know when to be true and honest to ourselves and fellow human beings if we are told that we shouldn’t always express how we feel, no matter how potently we “feel” it? I think the answer has to do with being self-aware and knowing our intentions, our past mistakes, and our “issues” well enough to make a coherent decision and say to ourselves, “Do we really love this person, or is it something else I’m feeling?”

They talk a lot about being “self-aware” in yoga practice. “They” say that by doing yoga a connection from what goes on with the mind to what happens with the body is established, so that as we reach higher levels, we are acting in accord with our True Self. Supposedly, this True Self does the Right Thing and doesn’t keep making the same stupid mistakes over and over again, as so often we find ourselves, looped in circles and wondering why we can’t find an exit.

Relationships are very touchy. Say the wrong thing, just once, and it could burn the relationship forever, especially if what was said isn’t addressed and remediated. Too often this notion of “love” is idealized and we think that when we find the right person we don’t have to think about any of the right things to do or say, because that person “loves” us and will accept us, no matter what. Not true. And not fair to one we expect to love us no matter what.

I think some people are born with more self-awareness than others. And some people really need to get in tune. It requires having a clear head, not one fogged up with alcohol or drugs or caffeine, sugar, nicotine, and other unhealthy habits. I think deep breaths help. What else has made you more self-aware or where do you think it stems from? What makes you more in-tune with yourself (or not)? And do you see the benefit of trying to become more self-aware or do you think self-awareness is a load of hippie crap?

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