I believe compassion is an innate quality, almost a survival mechanism, as is lust.
I believe love is a choice, a decision. I can choose to become infatuated with .
I see humans covering their natural instincts in protective or fabricated layers.
Perhaps the outer layer is that which pertains to daily
activity....the boring ho hum thought.
The next would be contrived and
conditioned emotions. A little deeper might be more spontaneous
emotion. Right before the core is some of our basic instincts and
innate qualities. And the core is a mystery.
I think this core is what religious types and philosophers go on about....some call it spirit, come call it truth. Some want to believe in some unifying energy or force and call it love.
But is it real or is it all just made up? Maybe we are just the external layers....that which we see, the day to day stuff. Why do we quest for this deep internal force? Why do we feel there is more, and in the absence of any proof theorize and make stuff up?
Can we live honestly and perhaps a more content life, without this speculation?
Why do we need the construct of "love"?
The outer self that we display to others is probably our most common defense.
As the layers deepen , we become vulnerable and fear may rise . So we keep that layer protected .
As for the core , our inner being , maybe some of us continue to fear what may be exposed ? Or some of us may be liberated in releasing that inner core through art, writing, painting .... the creative , chaotic self. I also think our inner being changes , hell , it has to change , doesn't it ? as we encounter/adapt...experience our life ???
Love .... each of us have our own definition ... do we need to love ourselves before we can love others ? Can we accept not being loved in return ?
Sexual desire is still different from love . I mean if I feel sexual desire for hm Jeniffer Lopez perhaps but no way do I love her. She just curls my toes.
There is still an initial love between most men and women who partner hopefully for life although' that gets rarer.
If you are lucky that love becomes a comfortable give and take friendship as you go Through the vicissitudes of raising kids and you can still turn to each other for comfort and the mutual enjoyment of love-making.
If you are not lucky you begin to dislike each other and if all else fails it is better to divorce.
Although divorce however well considered is extremely traumatic for everyone and it does not just involve two people but affects the whole extended family.
I have a sneaky feeling that romantic love is driven by the genes .I think I understand the difference between what people refer to as love and lust in a relationship.....but I am still doubting that "love" is anything but made up to civilize our lust and an intellectual extension of our compassion, and a general survival instinct....which in my mind is selfishly motivated, motivated by something other than rational.
We will have no agreement here on such a subjective term. I can only try to communicate my position. If I didn't disagree with people, I would have no one to engage and that would stifle my perception It makes an abrasive personality
Compassion is innate and love is the mental clutter in my mind.
What emotions do you feel are innate then? Are they instincts or creations of the mind? Why is hate not as equally important as love since they are opposites? Why do we not accept it as easily?
I am having trouble finding an opposite of compassion? Apathy? Sadism?
But I do think even compassion is self motivated. It hurts to see someone else hurt, so to get rid of my pain, I alleviate your pain. I am helping myself at the same time, and though it looks like I put you first, in reality, it is my own discomfort that caused me to react to begin with.
I think this is the thing that religion of love seem to miss and why we get so many self righteous do goodies preaching love. They don't see the selfishness of their love and compassion.
Then you wind up with my first blog. Even out of love.
You can bring all emotion down to self interest ,I imagine. But then the self has to at least be a feeling person to interact. I think the opposite of compassion may be uncaring.
How can people who practice what they preach i.e. compassion and love be described as selfish?
Everything we do comes down to self-interest.Maybe.... Even love. We do that when and because it feels good to us.
I have to admit the desire of the genes to lust is probably what brings couples together underneath any other sweet suggestions.
Romantic love was perfected by the Victorians although' possibly started earlier . It satisfied ever young woman's wish to be yearned for or even maybe fought over. And appealed to some men especially if it involved a bit of a battle with the reward of a dewy-eyed maid afterward. Guess both sexes are to blame. But I lived in a daze of romance as a teenager. Boundaries were still being defined and the great women of my youth suffered for it.
I don't think it makes a lot of sense to boil everything down to self interest, though.
We are selves, we will act as selves. When you feel compassion (to suffer with) and want to help another, that could be considered self interest because you can't help acting out of that kind of motivation, but its not the same as self interest in terms of the person who ignores the suffering of others and always puts him or herself first.
People make sacrifices for others all the time--that's not being self interested, it's being other interested. And yes, its because the well being of those others is tied up with ones own well being, but what's wrong with that? It means you care about something besides yourself. I wouldn't want someone helping me out of some stiff Kantian sense of duty.
Language is useful as long as it is making a distinction--marking a boundary. If you cut it loose from meaningful relationships or contexts, it loses all meaning .... you wind up with any number of things people don't understand.
We have to call our relationships with our children something. Love seems as good a term as any. The bad part is that word's other associations which may not fit. But then, do we love anything or do we just do what we do and label it love. Is there a difference? Do we romanticize a feeling or do we manufacture a label?
I've never considered myself one of those 'nesting people'. Which some people seem to find offensive.
Probably like most families, I wondered if I was doing things right, when I was dealing with children. I used to sometimes compare other families with their children, watching their actions and hearing them talk about their children and I felt like I was abnormal.
My families children weren't my world and I remember the reactions I got when I tried to explain that. It was suggested that I didn't love them. That I was selfish. That I must have had repressed childhood trauma and all sorts of other things.
The reactions were so vehement that I wondered if those people really didn't like the specific role they had taken on and they resented me for not taking it on too?
That's what it seemed like. Being sterile, with no children of my own.... I mean, why would people react so strongly to how I personally felt about my families children, unless I was actually abusing them in some way or seriously depriving them of some vital necessity?
Why should the anger and misunderstanding of a few be responsible for an entire generations isolation from their own ? When does anger become more important than a family getting to know one another? When most of them haven't seen each other in years?
I'd take a bullet for any of my families children and if anything happened to them, I would be devastated. I'm proud of their accomplishments. I anticipate being friends with them for many years .
Some need to shake off the dirt others have piled on top of them.
Love is such an ambiguous label. All it really means is that we have strong feelings, but it doesn't do much to define the feelings themselves.
Sometimes those strong feelings aren't even necessarily healthy ones. What we feel for our children is largely based on instinct, I think. Some families are missing that instinct.
There is a bonding or attachment that guides or is at the base of how we feel about our children, that isn't really there for anyone else in our lives. It seems to almost consume some families to the point of near obsession.
There is a huge warehouse full of "SHOULD", given to us by society and some people just seem to buy alot more of those 'shoulds' than I ever did.
I feel compassion and empathy for children. I like them. I feel a strong attachment or bond. I feel pride in their accomplishments. There is a little bit of a sense of ownership and I feel protective. I feel affection, which is kind of a sweet, warm feeling and I feel positive obligation, which means that I want to do things for them, rather than feeling like I should buy my way out.. I would say that all those things add up to love, except that love doesn't always include all those things or sometimes it includes more.
Often love has a heavy degree of need and I think that might be part of what I'm missing . But I never saw that a bad thing. I never felt an overwhelming need for them to need me. Their need for me never defined me , in some way like it seems to the more 'dedicated' families.
Sadly, some thought it more important that I wear a label in isolation , than to be involved or included in events that occur in the children's life.
Family I think is a choice, the only difference between 'blood' and 'water'; People choose other individuals to change their family blood, enviorment , experiences and who to love
When one chooses to tell others , .. if a birthday or event is occurring.... It would be nice if I were not held responsible by the children for what I do not know or control , but it happens.
I go into more detail about labels and living apart in my blog ,' I am more than words'.
I quietly celebrate every time I could get information about each step they made towards independence, for them and for myself at a distance . I have an other hand full graduating this year , again . As they learned to do each thing for themselves. I wasn't informed about when they started school or graduated, left home or got in trouble.
I don't think I can describe the pride one feels when a young adult walks up with an open hand and an independent heart . After 'shaking off' some 'dirt'.
I never felt that 'empty nester' thing that I've read about. I really enjoy children and I enjoyed it when they leave too.
Now that most are adults, we talk on the phone and we spend some time together. It's good when we do, but fine if we don't. I know families who feel neglected if their children don't spend enough time with them, but children should have a happy independent life that is centered around what an individuals choice of family.
Most of the 'nesting' instincts that I had were replaced with something that seems more like a loving friendship.I'm content to let them have their own lives and leave all the meddling behind. I'm not sure it's really normal, but it works for now .
I do love the all the people in my life , even those I need to get to know better. Peace