Men complain about their female exes, romantic interests, bosses, and co-workers being the b-word, manipulative, or impossible to please. Women complain about men being selfish, self-centered, and shallow.
If we want to stop repeating the madness and find movie-quality soulmates, partners, or heroes, here are the rules:
- Quit assessing people by their outward beauty or body type (when I meet a man whose primary measurement of a woman is how fit, pretty, or built she is, or a woman who obsesses about bald, overweight, or old, I know I am in the presence of the immature and lonely)
- Look at all people the same (don’t measure by what they are or do, $$, or possessions)
- Forgive everyone (bitter people are not attractive)
- Honor your suffering instead of complaining about it (the nicest people in the world are often those who have suffered most)
- Give generously (and forget about getting something back)
Everyone is looking for a way to distinguish themselves.
Everyone wants love.
We can deny it or hide it, but all of us crave connection and a way to contribute our gifts.
When I feel the lack of these things, I can choose to withdraw. I can choose to rage against those who seem to have what I lack. Or I can choose to make a difference for those who are also in need of connection and contribution.
These people are everywhere. They are my neighbors. They are my enemies or my competitors. They are the strangers I fear or the friends I have yet to meet.
If I remember this when my own plans (for who should love me, or who should value my gifts) crumble, I will thrive.
This absurd sentence was actually in my mind as I was rushing a goodbye at the airport. Although it was funny, I regretted my hurry later when I realized I hadn’t even turned around to acknowledge the person who was kindly seeing me off at the bottom of the two-story escalator.
As a parent, as a lover, as a friend, as a worker, I have rushed past delight to catch details, dinner, and ultimately, delusion too many times. The escalator would always be there, other things wouldn’t be.
Nostalgia should be enough to convince us that nothing is ever better than right here, right now.
I love this quote.
And, it is not just true for women. I love a man who is not trying to be macho, sexy, better than someone else, witty, charming, or any of the things they think may attract women or make them look good.
I much prefer a person comfortable enough in their own skin to see past their own self-absorption (as the Geico Gecko). It is that quality alone that allows someone to truly see and enjoy the other human beings around them.
Finding love…for those of us who have money, and for those of us who don’t…
“The only way to get love is to be lovable. It’s very irritating if you have a lot of money. You’d like to think you could write a check. “I’ll buy a million dollar’s worth of love.” But it doesn’t work that way. The more you give love away, the more you get.” – Warren Buffett
For rich and poor:
Be loveable. Give love. NO STRINGS ATTACHED. NO EXPECTATIONS. You won’t be disappointed.
Buffett quote reminder courtesy of: https://uldisblog.wordpress.com/aboutme/
The sense of danger must not disappear:
The way is certainly both short and steep.
However gradual It looks from here;
Look if you like, but you will have to leap.
This stanza from W.H. Auden’s poem is certainly about risky love, but the sentiment can be applied to a multitude of decisions in our lives that will take us off the beaten path, away from the mundane, and into a more adventurous, fulfilling life.
Unfortunately there are no shortcuts to becoming that person we admire.
We can’t kid ourselves forever. Living vicariously through movies, games, books, fantasy, or our children will never be enough.
Today, I wish that courage to leap for you and for me.
Chardin was not advocating recklessness: only courage.
I once appealed (whined) to someone, “I need you to love me. I can’t live without your love.”
“Then you have a problem,” he answered without hesitation.
Although his response felt abrupt and insensitive, he was so right.
Whether male or female,
are relationship essentials.
Ironically, it is only when we have these that we can truly have a strong love for someone else.
Without them…risk your mental health, succumb to jealousy, become co-dependent, be subject to abject loneliness, or have sporadic fits of fear or rejection.
What if there was gun that when I pointed it at someone and pulled the trigger, it made them more beautiful by completely showering them with genuine respect, appreciation, and delight?
What if that showering of genuine respect, appreciation, and delight not only made their beauty visible, but, also, was a weapon against aggression, frustration, and despair?
What if that gun could kill fear and replace it with trust?
What if that gun made real conversation possible?
What if I pointed that gun at myself first, and then at everyone with whom I needed a healthy relationship?
In my personal experience, I’ve found these things to be true:
- When I drop my “agenda” and simply be present with people, I love them more.
- When I remember that we are each hiding painful scars, I am more patient with people who do not act the way I think they should.
- When I refuse to judge a stage of another’s life as the finished product but rather as a work in progress, I am kinder.
- When I believe that my happiness is not dependent upon what someone else does or doesn’t do for me, I am more peaceful.
- When I don’t spend energy guarding my ego, love is easier.
- When I clear out the emotional clutter of drama, bitterness, anger, and hatred, more love comes into my life.
- They become more like work than play
People are drawn into our lives because it feels good to be around us. It feels easy, like being on vacation. When the “easy leaves” due to demands and rules (instead of love and boundaries), the human tendency is to distance ourselves or look for easy somewhere else.
- There are strings attached
Instead of being genuine, we manipulate. Instead of surrendering our agenda, we scheme.
- Someone is not being honest
One or both participants are hiding. Due to shame or fear of losing love or respect, we keep secrets. The tragic irony is that secrets always become wedges that separate.
- We can’t or won’t forgive
Whether friends, lovers, or family, reviving a relationship starts here. Deal honestly with obstacles to delight. Help everyone.