My generation was brought up on three TV channels and watching Top of the Pops on a Thursday. There were many songs about romantic love and many movies about romantic love. The aim in life was to get a job, get married have kids and live happily ever after. It seemed that we needed to identify the right potential partner and go and some-how make it happen. But the information we received from our Hollywood heroes was that the road was full of many pitfalls.
Romantic love can be glorious, there is two of you and no one else. The feeling is that you have found happiness and will never leave you. But when it goes wrong you can end up with the following symptoms. Can’t eat, can’t sleep, jealous, obsessive, can’t concentrate and out of touch with reality. It has the look of what people call mental illness. When we look out on the world and see the evidence of love life, it does seem to go wrong more often than not. Some people stay in love forever, and they appear to have happy lives holding hands in marital bliss. I don’t mean to knock that and if you find that good for you. But I think our society has lost some perspective and may have been sold a Bill of Goods.
People may base their long term sexual relationships on a number of things. Romantic love, children, sex, money, companionship or work. I think all of these factors have a part to play. But the main reason is for mutual advantage. In my Grandparents day, marriage would have been commenced early and be for life. I believe that romantic love is a state that facilitates bonding between couples and can hold them together. It might be that people in their early twenties who have not fully developed personally, who have little or no sexual experience and have not found independence, can find these things together as they grow older. This bonding will also stand them in good stead when they have babies. There is not much romance going on when that happens.
Romantic love is a feeling and it generally does not last. It may not even be based on truth. It can be a bit out of touch with reality, a fantasy and quite frankly addictive. Do not get me wrong, although I am being rather cynical, I do think it has its place, but it is not the sole reason to live or the main basis of a relationship. Living through another human being and being dependent on another human being can only lead to disappointment in 95% of cases I would say.
Self-actualisation, independence, personal development and reaching your potential in life are what is important to me. Seeking after happiness seems to me personally to be rather shallow. Happiness is a light, frivolous and transient emotion, it does not bring lasting fulfilment. Contentment is a better emotion, personal achievement has greater potential for long term well-being. And above all relationships based on mutual support and respect, to promote self-acceptance and improvement.
True personal development, through self-actualisation, usually leads to confidence and assertiveness and in most cases, turns to a desire to help others find the same.
To stay the same and seek short term happiness is an individual’s choice, but for me it is better to move on and improve. Unfortunately, there are those that are demanding, controlling, obsessive and possessive and they can spoil your life. It seems tragic that in England at the moment there is so much pandering to weakness. People get offended by things that are progressively more and more minor. Rules become more and more petty. Standards of acceptable behaviour and emotions are more and more narrowly defined, if defined at all.
Yet there is an ever-growing problem of mental illness in this country, especially for the young. There is a chasm between college and the workplace where young people are ill equipped to deal with the emotional stress and challenge that they have not been prepared for. There is a lack of ambition for personal development and achievement, or to change the world and help it become a better place. There is a lack of compassion for others. Young people have told me that at college they were taught that there are so many problems in the world that you need to make lots of money to protect yourselves from them. Not much good if the world banking system collapses.
It is very sad that this negative and defensive attitude has developed where anything that people don’t like is made to go away. Either by legislation or social control. Political correctness is meant to stop wars, conflict and racism, but it is censorship and does nothing to deal with the root causes. It’s just sad really.
You may choose to give up, protect yourself and push all the bad things away. But do not force me to do the same. Life is a challenge and training yourself emotionally and spiritually is hard, but the more you train the better you get and the more you achieve. Surrender is not a concept that I can grasp, deciding to surrender on my behalf is a betrayal and there is nothing worse than that for me.
Nelson Mandela spent many hard years in prison. He never gave up and his own personal struggle, adherence to his principles and self-sacrifice made him the man he was. On accepting the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa he was alleged to quote Marianne Williamson, unfortunately it was not true, but still a great quote;
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
It is your life and you should live it as you should, but if you want something from me you need to ask. Do not restrict my life because you cannot handle me. Men expect women to stay the same and they change, women expect man to change and they stay the same.
The only person who knows us and how we work is ourselves. If we have tasks to do in life then who else is going to make the plan. If people are forced to be restricted in their lives and their behaviour, then that is a lack of respect and done without consent.
If you wish to moderate someone’s behaviour, consider the effect your actions have on them. Emotions happen when people interact, if you are unaware of the positive and negative affects you have on people, you are not really getting close to proper relationships.
People can change somethings and not others. Generally they improve on what they have. It is their own personal growth. In a relationship a partner could discuss the matter. Not only do we need to accept ourselves as we are, we need to allow everybody else to do the same. Personal change is personal and if you are trying to change someone’s personality not their behaviour that is a very bad thing.