Is it easy to not hurt someone or not get hurt by someone? The problem is, we as individuals like to believe that if we have a good day, the hurt we caused or was caused to us has the potential to wane away. “Time is the ultimate healer” is a farcical statement. And the reason why I say that, is because, it is at the core of who we are which decides whether we wish to hold onto a pain, an anger, a hurtful situation, guilt or shame. When we claim time to be the best healer, what we are necessarily saying is that we wish to hold onto this pain because in some shape or form, we believe it is necessary for us to ‘process’ it. Unfortunately, the fear of processing it, drives us away from actually processing it, accepting it for what it is and move on ( we never truly move on, in fact, when it comes back to us, we accept it and process it again. )
I remember a month back, I had asked a person to ‘let it go!’ as if it is an easy feat. Today I languish in letting the situation, the emotions I feel for the person, the pain I might have caused them, the guilt and the shame that comes along with it to “go away”. However there is a basic understanding that I have, that is time cannot heal, there has to be action and not a choice made to sever the pain or what is holding us back. However, most of us do not act, we only choose and there lies the conundrum.
Interestingly, a choice in itself signifies a conflict, a dissonance. And why is there a dissonance at all, why are we holding onto anything, and yet want to let it go. What is it that we are holding onto? Why is there a dissonance? What we want to do is to let it go, but we are not! These are questions that we need to confront. We need to be able to address these so that we can find the courage to end it once and for all.
‘TIME CANNOT HEAL’. And whoever says it, is a liar. Time only puts a distance between us and the situation, basically escaping, again. Which never helps. Instead we write these blogs, these Instagram posts, these letters, invest in futile things to escape never really confronting the situation at hand.
In my case, the innate fear I had was that I will never be able to hear back from this person. The fact that I loved them and I hurt them at the same time gave me – hurt, grief, guilt, shame and anger as emotions which no one wants to feel, but if you do not feel them, you cannot be human. The fact that people can say phrases like “choosing our attitude, even though the situation is grim” is a noble idea, but in the end, we are feeling the emotion. And when the situation is not grim, and our attitude has helped another person, we come back to our insecurity because we need to confront it after all. And unless we do, we can never feel whole again.
So going back to the fear – “I might never see this person”. The only way to confront this fear is that we need to accept, “There is a chance I will never see this person and I am accepting it to be a permanent possibility”. The second fear that haunts me is one of “not being able to love the person if i let the situation at hand go”. The only way to confront this situation is to accept that “love has nothing to do with being together, it has nothing to do with reciprocation, it has nothing to do with expectations”. And unless we feel the words we just wrote to the core, we cannot accept it.
So what brings a dissonance here, for years, movies, previous relationships, books, other people have hammered in the conditioning into us that love NEEDS to be reciprocated, love needs to make you feel secure. “You need a companion to stay happy”. Yesterday, I asked my Grandmother, what the purpose of life is? And her response to that was, “At your age, you still need to get married, have children and have grandchildren. These responsibilities are the purpose of life”. To which my answer was ” What is the purpose of getting married? Its a security in itself. It is something that has the potential of reassuring us, but that evidently means that every human being till now, who has faith in the material world finds themselves inadequate. And to satiate this inadequacy, they will need to find some person who can make them feel adequate. That being said, if “love” is as diluted as to reducing it down to finding security and adequacy, are we not saying we are the most selfish human beings, getting married to feel secure, getting into relationships to feel adequate and not truly looking at our partners over and above the prism of security?
Certainly, when I was in the relationship with the person I claimed to be in love with, I would have to summarize by saying, It was not love, because deep down inside I feel the only thing I did was find security in them (that does not mean I was not offering anything in return, but what I was, was just security which I do not feel made them feel adequate and hence them choosing to leave me).
The want to feel adequate. As if their choice (again the dissonance, whether to stay or go) did not matter, as if their want to feel free, did not matter to me. That alone should convince us that we never truly were in love with them. That in itself is a tremendous claim to make. Because now that I have thought about it, gained more knowledge, gone into the center of my being, I feel nothing as selfish can be called ‘love’.
I can NOW claim to be in love with them. Because I truly want the best for them. That they stay happy. That they find the happiness. That they can smile everyday. That they do not have to love me in return. That they do not need to show me any respect for me to be in love with them. That they never need to talk to me for me to be in love with them. And that even if they find someone else, someone they can claim to be their partner, it will not incite jealousy, hate and spitefulness within me, because in the end it just feels to be the ONLY definition of love. The action, and not the choice, the action to care for a person even from a vast distance.
Now let us come back to feeling hurt and hurting others. It is always memory which brings emotions onto the surface which our conditioned mind tries to not confront, dismissing them as something which is fake, does not help, is a pain, is hurtful which is us trying to escape from truly confronting it no matter how many times it comes back to us. Unless we confront it we can never be acceptive of it.
Let me give you another example. When I was in school, I was often bullied to the point that, being chubby meant, what 16 year old boys could not do to 16 year old girls, they did to me along with them feeling ‘in power’. Who knows if the same guys who took “pleasure” in doing what they did, were not facing a similar feat somewhere else. Who knows if it was not pleasure at all, maybe it was a cycle of violence instigated on them which they passed onto me. That being said, I had carried this pain, not really confronting it for a while. And certainly this pain does not stay in the raw form it comes to us – It leaves us feeling inadequate, unappreciative of ourselves (the psychological) and unsatisfied with our bodies, unsatisfied with how we look, unsatisfied with the positive attention we receive, because back then what we received was only felt to be negative attention, getting beaten on and manhandled every day for three years straight. That being said, craving for sympathy from others, attention from others is the only way we can make ourselves feel adequate.
If a personal example does not work for you, think of a person buying a car – a Ferrari. Why do people buy an I-Phone, Why do people buy anything conspicuous in nature, because it makes them feel ‘above’ others. And that alone should answer why people are so inadequate. And when they show it to others, the people seeing what they do not have, makes them feel inadequate. So what at all, in finality can make people feel adequate after all.
The question to ask is will that Ferrari, that I-phone, that conspicuous product make them feel adequate forever? Will your wife, your husband, your kids, your grand kids, your dogs give you the adequacy you need. Human adequacy in itself is the most selfish desire that pushes all of us into investing in other people and things to feel secure, adequate and we have the gaul to call that love. As soon as we want anything reciprocated, we are losing the plot. That alone is a signal of us lying to ourselves and calling it love. As soon as we stop thinking about the self, as soon as we start calling a spade a spade, is when we ‘act’, be honest and stop choosing to do something. When you choose, you have a dissonance. It is necessary to go straight into the dissonance and ask ourselves, is it really worth it? Or do we really need to act and love and not find reciprocation (security) and adequacy.
So the next time you fall in love with someone or something. Ask yourself if you want this feeling to be reciprocated, if you are indifferent if that person or thing wishes to leave you, because that will tell you, if you are feeling inadequate. And if you are doing what you are doing to make you feel adequate, you are after all fooling yourself into thinking that you can be secure.