Love Smart Not Blind
“It’s a truism that love is blind; what’s less obvious is just how much evidence it can ignore.” ― Margaret Heffernan.
Survival is the most basic instinct of human nature. It rules and controls our behavior and gets activated immediately at the slightest perception of danger — imaginary or real. Being in a state of survival dictates how we respond to given circumstances as to a possibility of a threat. Survival alters our way of being by changing our interactions with ourselves and the others. Ultimately, it shapes the perception of reality we experience in that very moment. Our values seem to fade away, our vision gets blurred and the focus shifts to a defense mode. Interestingly enough, the evolutionary process — which we are constantly part of — has not equipped us with the skills to distinguish between the real threat and a potential one. So when we, our loved ones and/or our beliefs are endangered, we take astonishingly extreme protective measures. We want to protect our feelings of familiarity and security. We want to belong and avoid being anxious or unsure. Conversely, we often fail to realize that the extremes we activate, turn out to be much more dangerous than the original threat itself.
An unconscious and much denied impulse to obey and to follow shields us from challenging the reality and the need to speak the truth. We enter a blind state where we only accept the information that — at the end — would make us feel great about ourselves, while conveniently filtering out whatever disturbs our fragile egos and most vital beliefs. Fear of conflict, change and any form of disapproval keeps us away from seeking the truth in the name of preserving our own integrity. The beliefs we hold, powerfully mask what — to an unrestricted mind — is clear, dangerous and even irrational. And love has the power to blind us, even to our better selves.
The only way to face any challenge is to confront it. Any confrontation disrupts the status quo as it implies potential conflict and change on the one hand, and apathy on the other — hence we tend to choose to take the ostrich view instead.
Therefore let’s stop being afraid to take a stand. Let’s name what we see and hear and express how it makes us feel without being frightened of losing “our packing order” either as a partner, parent or friend. Cease being offended by people’s reactions and don’t take it personally. Those reactions are pure projections of their own reality and they have nothing to do with what we said or did. Find the courage to probe and to ask. And don’t make any assumptions. What it is obvious to us, most likely have a different meaning to others. Seek clarity by pointing out what might be hidden in the shade of intense emotions and blurred perception. Use the power of our words to express love and truth. Recognize the distinction between love and controlling the outcome, guilt of disappointing and fear of rejection so that we can enter a new profound state of relating. When we finally acknowledge that love cannot be bought, sold or manipulated in any way, we will free ourselves from the incorrect belief that love hurts. Love can never hurt. It is only the possibility of losing love that hurts and causes us to hold on to it too tightly and for not always the right reasons. And then, love itself gets hurt.
So when we speak from a place of love — love becomes a driving force and anything can be achieved. New possibilities can appear. Points of view can be reshaped, beliefs reprogrammed, new paths discovered and horizons expanded. People can discover and/or rediscover their place in the world. Relationships and circumstances can be seen for what they really are, if we only dare to look at them deeply enough. To love and to be loved is a privilege that grants the power to transform lives — our own and others. Let’s not forget- it is an honor being offered wise, patient, kind, humble, and authentic love. Only then we can rise to our full potential as love always trusts, always hopes, always preserves and never fails.
Share your thoughts in the comments section if you found this observation valuable. Please visit me at Kasia Jamroz, CPCC, ACC for more insight into the realm of personal growth and organizational transformation.
Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on September 16, 2016.