The Other Side
Have you ever felt under loved? Have you sensed that he or she is doing everything, and you can’t complain, but something still lacks?
We want to be loved, but find sometimes, that we are surrounded by people who do what they think they need to and don’t really understand, value, appreciate or most importantly WANT us as we genuinely are.
We also want to love but find too often that we can do everything we think is loving and still find that the other feels unloved.
Why is this?
Two possibilities for human nature
There are two critical aspects to human nature, the default and potential self. The default nature kicks in automatically at birth. The potential self requires conscious choosing and work.
It is possible for us to remain in our default nature and never develop. It is also possible that we consciously choose, evolve, and develop our potential nature. The choice is ours. The default requires little effort as it is natural, while the potential nature requires great effort because it is still unnatural to us and needs to become habitual.
It is never too late to work on our potential self, but the earlier we start the more fulfilling, rewarding and enjoyable is our life.
Our default nature is to be dominating. It causes each of us to constantly make choices and decisions that are (a) right (b) responsible (c) fair & just. Each of us have an internal barometer that evaluates this for us, and generally ensures that we never act in ways that are irresponsible, wrong, or unjust.
We are driven by a strong need NOT to be wrong. More than being right, it is necessary for us not to be wrong. We may not actively do anything that is proactively right, but our sense of self depends on actively not doing any wrong. As long as we do no active wrong, we passively feel that we are right.
No one aspires to be wrong. Sometimes we are aware that we are doing wrong, but we allow ourselves to do that wrong, because its enables, or fulfils, a greater right for us. Other people see us doing the wrong and may accuse us of the same, but we have our justifications for that action and this self-justification converts our wrongdoing to right. If we cannot self-justify, we generally never do wrong.
Our need to be right is primal and we will fight, break up relationships, do whatever is needed to establish that we are right. For the natural, instinctive, un-evolved human, accepting that s/he is wrong is tough, if not near impossible.
Finding our own faults and acknowledging that we are wrong when it is pointed out, are the first signs of an evolved developed self.
The default nature is a huge obstacle to our spontaneously being able to see and acknowledge when we are wrong because we can delude ourselves by our self-justifications. Our instinctive desire to dominate, also produces the nature of exclusion and causes us to exclude from our lives those who either refuse to submit, or who tend to display that we are wrong and they right.
Generally, our world becomes the size of the number of people we can comfortably win with and who generally accept that we are right. The default nature will cause us to separate even from our closest family members as we become more entrenched in that nature over time. Nobody can love someone who doesn’t seek to be loved.
Our default self also needs to act responsibly while our potential self can be as loving as love is.
Being loving and being responsible are not opposites. They are conditional in the sense that we cannot be loving without first being responsible. However, we can be responsible without being loving.
The default nature causes us to stop at the level of being responsible.
Between our responsible and loving selves, the default nature offers the philosophy of “being practical”. This is simply those set of choices and actions that while benefitting us most, also prevents loss, suffering and pain. Practical also often necessitates that we don’t get involved in things that don’t concern us immediately or directly.
Our individual notions of what is practical, dictates our personal standards of how to act responsibly. We rarely allow anyone else to judge these internal unarticulated standards that we possess and unconsciously operate on. Again every moment that we are NOT actively doing something irresponsible we passively feel we are being responsible.
Love needs us to be more than just responsible.
Our ability to not evolve, but remain in our default nature, affects our relationships adversely.
We want to be responsible, but also imagine that our loving self is no different from our responsible self. Love can thus be limited to the extent of our sense of responsibility or duty.
Responsibility causes us to focus on what I need to do. It causes us to do just enough to make us feel that we are not being irresponsible.
Practical causes us to focus on – how I feel. It causes us to imagine that we are successful when we have the most gain with the least pain, and directs decision-making towards our comforts, security, and personal profit.
Love causes us to focus on – what needs to be done. It causes us to do more than what the actual tasks or person asked for. It enables us to view the circumstance from the view of what’s the best thing for others and pay the price of choosing that action which best benefits someone else rather than self.
Responsibility is accomplished and ceases with assigned duties that enables self-benefit. Love however commences after assigned duties are fulfilled, with actions that benefit the other, and not self.
Practically our partner has been responsible and there is no tangible complaint to be made. Lovingly, they have refused to climb up the rung and make the efforts of proactively knowing, choosing, and doing that which makes us experience being desired, wanted, needed, understood, acknowledged, and appreciated.
It’s what happens when children grow up and fight with their parents. The parents use their dutiful and responsible acts as evidence of being loving. Children tend to reject this claim.
It is not that we did not desire to be loving. It’s that we refused to overcome the hurdle to being loving. We tend in our marriages, and other relationships to get more immersed in the pride of our role and responsibility, and less in what the other really wants from us. We focus on what we need to do, not what the other wants from us, or what is needed to be done.
The default nature deludes and causes us to seek the ways of least effort for maximum reward. Love needs us to invest tremendous effort often for little or no immediate, perceptible reward. Most of us refuse to overcome the hurdle of least effort that the default nature seduces us with, and make that leap to our potential nature, which comes to life, grows, and thrives on conscious, extreme efforts with little immediate gratification.
The problem and way ahead
If you knew you were wrong, you would rectify. However, we can’t find fault with ourselves and thus change because we don’t see ourselves doing anything visibly irresponsible.
We are simply refusing to (a) get involved and (b) do anything more than what is least required for us to remain responsible. We genuinely think we never act irresponsibly because we have set the standard of being responsible as “doing-no-wrong.”
Instead, we need to set the standard of being responsible as doing all that is needed for right. Stop asking “What’s wrong with it?” and instead start asking yourself “What is right with it?”
We are made from love. We are made for love. We are conceptually irresponsible every time we refuse progressing towards the perfection of love and remain content with the thought of “this is more than enough”.
Sometimes being loving can seem like it is being irresponsible, because love needs us to lose, sacrifice, give up, so that the other can benefit. This is so much in contrast with our conditioning of winning, dominating, remaining comfortable and safe. Yet, every time we “win” in our default nature we actually lose, and every time we “lose” in our potential nature we actually win. It’s counterintuitive. Those who are able to make this mental, psychological, spiritual leap, embark on their potential selves and are freed of their default nature.
Our human existence is but a road that leads to our best or lesser self. Which side we keep to is our choice. It can seem like we are doing well and progressing, but one side leads to our lesser, worse self and the other takes us to our fulfilled better self.
The most responsible thing we can do, is to fulfil our potential self and put to death our default nature. When our actions of respect and love emanate not from the cause of someone else deserving it, or from the cause of us reaping a reward in return, but because it fully expresses who we are, and what our nature is, then we have crossed over to the other side.
Love, because that is who you are.