Monday, August 15, 2016

You Should Go and Love Yourself

I think the Biebs meant that line in a less than charitable connotation; however, the point is actually valid - if someone is unhappy it's because they don't love themselves. Talking to a friend today I flashed back 12 years to a "counseling" session my ex-wife and I went to. We had only been married about 7 months and I was at my wits end. All the things that she couldn't deal with (mostly due to her choice of perspective) became my fault somehow and I felt like I was back in childhood. If we didn't have a baby already on the way we would have split but felt like we had to somehow make things work. 

The counsellors were licensed but also Christian and also a couple themselves to boot. Not too far into the session they turned to me and said "she may have problems but as the man (the "biblical head of the home") I was responsible for what happened. If I loved her "like Christ loved the church" it would solve the issues."  Christians preach "love conquers all sins" because it's in the bible but also because it's an easy way to put responsibility on someone else.

If love conquers all sins then you wouldn't "have to believe in Jesus, accept him in your heart and confess that he is lord" to be "redeemed". What the individual does shouldn't matter because love trumps your own ability and responsibility to choose (apparently). What we have here is a giant contradiction. You can give all the love you want to someone but if they choose not to receive it then it doesn't matter. These "counselors" heaped on more of the same bullshit I was raised under and I accepted it because it was the only tune I knew at the time. 

Marriage is a beautiful idea however, it's predominant purpose is to create security and stability for the human mind that is fearful of an uncertain future. A reasonable analysis of many old school "morals" ends up revealing a mindset of control fueling the societal subconscious. Those at the top of the pile (usually men) want to be comfortable and invent ways to keep the goods coming to in. You could throw out the entire bible if you just lived by the "do unto others as you would have them do to you" axiom. It says "love your neighbor as you love yourself". Not more. Not less. I was taught that JOY stood for - Jesus, Others, Yourself. That's a great way to fuck up your life, putting yourself at the bottom of the pile. Everyone else doesn't have to live your life and therefore will probably not understand why you do what you do. So why worry about what other people don't understand? If a parent needed their child to understand everything before taking actions, they wouldn't do much and the child would probably die. Life is about growth which requires taking in things you don't understand and sitting with them till one day you do. No one is responsible for making another person feel loved but unfortunately most parents beget offspring to feel complete themselves which only further perpetuates the cycle. 

A preacher I heard years ago said that people cohabit instead of getting married because they are using their ability to leave at any point as a means of controlling the other person's behavior. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but holding someone against their will for your own sake is not love. Marriage is a great way to assuage one of the many fears people who don't love themselves face - being alone. Though long standing things can be very beautiful (like a mountain or an old couple who still love each other after fifty years), nothing lasts forever. Enjoying what is while loving yourself is about as close as you can come to a recipe for success. I grew up with many numbered lists of principles for how to have a good life but it completely sucked any vibrancy out of it. Life is always changing, you just have to go with it and stop trying to hedge yourself in with formulas and rules. 

 "The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao". 

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