“It’s amazing what you can do with an anomaly.”
Instincts, which where humans are concerned is a metaphor for whatever it entails—biology, sentience, gestalt, etc.—are spot on: love someone (and likely more than one) right down to the ground. Problem is that folks deal with this using themselves as an improperly criticized and sole point of entry, without considering that they’re dealing with an entire planet full of diverse individuals, for whom the same magic (your own) is quite understandably not going to work across the board.
People don’t make distinctions in their relationships with others. People do not understand how to make distinctions; instead they assume everyone is interchangeable in relation to themselves.
When things go wrong, instead of making distinctions—instead of trying to understand anything about who they’re ACTUALLY dealing with in any given relationship in terms of that specific and unique relationship—folks often just chalk it up to “love is bunk,” as if love is somehow separate from the dynamic of being human. A common subsequent response is to attempt to modify their own innate internal workings to exclude love, as if this is possible.
It isn’t. It is only possible to chain who you are to a wall in a dungeon somewhere inside your mind and then pretend you can forget about it, but meanwhile your expectations are now “under control,” because they’ve been taken out of the game. You have rendered them out of the equation.
It’s amazing what you can do with an anomaly.
It seems to me it makes more sense to acknowledge that if it is not working with a particular person, do the grieving thing, yes, but figure out what mistakes were made—without thinking that one of them was that you fell in love to begin with! OMG, people, are you NUTS??—and bear these in mind to better effect with someone ELSE, whom you should be in a better position to determine whether or not is qualified to have your love bestowed upon them.
Love, and especially romance, has been for long generations subject to a roiling miasma of misunderstanding, constraint, restrictions, paranoia, conspiracy, opportunism, propaganda and just plain spite on the part of those who got it wrong and didn’t get over being mad about it (so much for history, eh? Lol!). Marriage, too, as it is currently understood—which is completely independent of how it is actually practiced thus compounding the problem—is entirely in a shambles as a social institution. And since we also currently suffer under a relentless regime, which includes each of our oft-uncriticized personal regimens, of “divide and conquer” in our culture just in general, the idea of forming some other means of organizing our interpersonal relationships is short-circuited, because everyone is running around thinking it is wrong to be emotionally dependent on anyone else for any reason whatsoever, never mind for the purpose of building a competent team around you which actually HAS some kind of purpose beyond an empty rite of passage that just sits and twiddles its thumbs and wonders “Now what? I’m bored.”
As a consequence of all of this—more specifically, as a consequence of failing to be properly critical—folks keep getting it wrong and blaming the wrong reasons.
What the HELL sense does it make to treat a wound by keeping it open, figuring that way you won’t get another one?
Love is bunk? Is this an answer?
It seems to me the “love is bunk” method only provides surety that you will ALWAYS be wounded, nonstop, with no breaks, never mind a chance that you might be able to hit it right sometime down the road—with another distinct and actual person! Maybe even more than one, if you can just relax for 5 damned minutes.
Being human is a recursive dynamic process. Not a static state. And it is not homogenous over the entire population. We *can* think. Let’s give it a shot, whadda ya say?
“But…but, but…people are assholes!” No. People are moving targets, and some of them are assholes. Don’t fall in love with an asshole. If you find that you have, ship that sumbitch a lump of coal and move on.
And for those of you inclined to be bleeding hearts?
“Compassion, after all, does not mean forgiving everyone for their sins without any expectation that they should do something about it, and most certainly, compassion does not mean (a wholesale) making up for everyone else’s sins in a doomed effort to spare them the consequences.”
You aren’t going to save yourself—or anyone else—by pretending that love is some kind of automatic panacea (it isn’t), or that you can opt out of it personally.
Oh hell yeah, I used the word love all over the place here. Love, in all its “stringent multiplicity.” What does this mean? In terms of multiplicity, the landscape of possibility is wide open—there is no single objective formula for getting it right. “Stringent” means that yes, there are things that work and don’t work, and you must figure out what they are and pay strict attention to them. It means you must meticulously consider who you are in yourself, and who you are in relation to any specific other person, which presupposes that you are ALSO meticulously considering that other person as if they are just as complex a human being as you are, only you need to figure out in what regard.
Learn how to make distinctions. Have the courage to make distinctions! Become excellent in yourself, and do not settle for less than the best your own excellence can command.
“Take heed! You cannot refuse love
For it will find you in whatever guise
You wrap around it
And it will kill you or keep you
It is our choice.”