So, what if the end of the Mayan Calendar—apparently set for December 2012—is correct? How shall we live until then? I’m not suggesting we cash out and spend like crazy—that could be a monetary mess if we keep on living. I am suggesting we cash out on the current economy of our interpersonal interactions. Personally I think we spend too much on making sure we’re not vulnerable and not so much on making sure we’ve got honesty.
Work relationships can be bad enough in the arena of protection and avoidance of vulnerability. It can seem like a vicious work-relationship world out there with crowds waiting to feast—however “nobly” and “humbly”—upon the carcass of the “fallen.” However, love relationships can be even worse. Look at the incredibly high divorce rate or all the trouble within families. The adage that we hurt the ones we love is not, unfortunately, an empty phrase.
I’m going with love relationships here, based on the premise that if we can get those to fly, other relationships will follow suit. Here’s the not-so-new idea: If you love, say so, be so, do so. If not, then don’t make crap up. If no one loves you (how likely is that since we all have parents—or dogs at least?), then take a look in the reflective devices strewn around the house. Yes, there is the Galileo Syndrome when everyone else is wrong, but if you’re loveless, probability scales dictate the likely problem is you. However, the scenario that one is unloved is an outlier. In all likelihood, the problem is not being loveless, the problem is some kind of non-functional delusion on someone’s part—namely that protection is more important than the vulnerability that love forces all of us to face.
Okay, let’s say you let someone know you love them and they are repulsed. Learning curve!: a) How did you get that delusional and b) why would either the delusion or the repulsion mean you’re going to melt? You screwed up, that’s all. Get over it. But think about what it would mean if you didn’t say anything. That’s not something so easy to get over, especially if you’re really not so delusional!
We’re crazy because we spend enormous amounts of energy trying to look good rather than practicing getting life—and love—correct. Looking good is good. For sure I like good looking. But avoiding the potential of being foolish is a foolish way to look good.
I’m not saying to rush things—personally I’m incredibly slow when it comes to love, either getting in or getting out. I’m saying that if you love make it clear. Being all dodgy about it outwardly while feeling love subjectively is like trying to convince others there’s an invisible dragon around—there’s nothing to wrap our hearts and minds around (Carl Sagan’s explanation of falsifiability—as in what’s the difference between no dragon and a dragon that can’t be seen, heard, touched, tasted, or smelled—even with technological advancements?).
Okay, what about fear of relationships—they can hurt for sure? I’m not saying fear isn’t useful—it very much is. The central role of fear is about checking to make sure there’s a good reason for fear, not avoiding checking anymore because one isn’t sure.
A false positive is when someone thinks they’re correct when they’re not. A false negative is when someone thinks they’re wrong and they’re actually correct. If you think there’s the equivalent of a lion in the tall grass and you’re incorrect, you’ve merely made a mistake (false positive). If there’s the equivalent of a lion in the tall grass and you don’t believe it, you can die (false negative). In other words, it’s a lot more survivable to be a fool because you’re wrong than to be a fool because you didn’t want to be a fool. The trick of attention about being a fool is to do so with dignity and learning. Yep, one may have to look out for the fool-vultures afoot—those who live off of other’s mistakes. But if we love and we allow mistakes, we might notice that foolishness is transitory, love isn’t.
Relationships are all we have. True marriages require more than one person, which is why marriage is special. But there are other love-relationships besides marriage. And then there are other relationships besides that—as in civility. However, I still think love is involved at every level, one way or the other. Let’s let love lead, which doesn’t mean we go gaga and give up captaining and navigating, it means we’ve shifted the point of captaining and navigating. I think that will be a boatload more fun, another thing all of us can use for all the New Years to come.