Lawrence, KS - Events Local News Groups Contact
Society, Love and the fear of Loneliness
By Tim Hjersted / filmsforaction.org
Feb 14, 2010
How many of us seek out a relationship, want to find companionship with someone because we are afraid of loneliness? How many of us think that we could be with anyone we want but are, in moments of doubt, afraid that no one will love us?

Despite their beauty, attractiveness, personality and so on, how many women fear the image of one day being old, alone, and with nine cats, being known as that "old cat lady"? However silly this notion is, the root of it is actually very important to look into. What is the cause of this fear?

The most beautiful women with the most amazing personality and intellectual curiosity, depth for learning, and interesting hobbies - this most capable and wonderful woman may truly be able to find any man or women she wants to share her life with, and still she is afraid in some moments of not being loved. She questions, doubts, asks: "What if I am a bitch? What if I am secretly unlovable, and just don't see it?"

This is a very common fear - it is common to women and men. I think everyone in our culture shares this concern. We may have had our heart broken by someone we loved, many times perhaps. We may not feel truly loved in our present relationship, and we take all this as evidence that perhaps it is me - that I am not lovable.

We may use the evidence of past experience as a sort of "proof" that this is true. But here's the thing: it's not about us. Our inherent lovableness or unlovableness has nothing to do with us.

I once looked into the eyes of a young women who was at the moment troubled by this fear, and all I could see was the most beautiful being - in spirit, in mind - on every level. I thought, "How could anyone not love this person?" Is there any reason, on some intrinsic level, that a healthy, sane, conscious person could not love her? And the voice inside my head responded, "There is none." She was completely and utterly lovable just as is. Her boyfriend would love her ten times over if he had the eyes to see it. But most men and women do not have these eyes. An ordinary person might look at this same woman and see nothing remarkable about her (if in my description I have conjured in your mind the image of some idealistic beauty). No, many people might account that her beauty is very ordinary. If you were busy walking down the street you might not notice her.

And yet, a great beauty is there, for those who have the eyes to see it, for those whose eyes and hearts have not been so wounded by the deep malaise of our society.

It may be difficult to see this, I am not sure. Our society has been so deeply wounded by the insensitivity and brutality of our modern life. It has many wounds, accumulated through centuries of war and conflict. We have built so many walls between nations, religions, the sexes and races, even our sports teams embitter zealous conflict. All of these walls necessitate building even harder psychological walls to protect ourselves from all of this inherited cultural suffering.

And all of this, ultimately, has severely limited peoples' capacity to love.

This is true for men and women alike. That a man or a woman does not love you says nothing about you. It says more so something great about our society. The man who cannot love his girlfriend, the woman who cannot love her boyfriend - it is a symptom of our society's illness.

Love, I have found, is a choice of the will. Sometimes we have the sensation that "we just fall in love" or, "it just happens." But this is usually because we are simply not aware of the complex number of subconscious decisions we are making, the preferences and social conditioning that all influence why we choose to love one person and not another. It is still a choice, even if we are led by a subconscious drive more than a conscious one.

Many times, after the passion of the "honey-moon" phase has worn off, the euphoric feelings that we experienced are no longer enough to make the relationship feel "effortless." True love, as we come to find, is a choice of the will, and building a healthy relationship over the course of many years does take a concerted effort no matter how compatible you are. To love someone deeply for a long time, to make a commitment to one person, and to be there for them through the good and the bad, to support them and care for them even when it means you must make personal sacrifice, that is all a choice.

What is our internal experience of love, if it is not the will to take kind actions and support someone and do all of those things that we associate with a long-term committed relationship? What is the vow of marriage, if not the decision you've made to love the other for the rest of your life? To treat them as your own family?

When we realize it is a choice to make that kind of commitment to someone, we also realize it is a choice we make to not love others.

Usually this decision is made for good reason. The world is full of uncaring people who would jump at the chance to thoughtlessly take advantage of such a loving person and then disappear as soon as it becomes inconvenient to reciprocate or the feelings wear off. We get hurt when we love someone and we are not loved back, and so we become very careful that the people we love will not hurt us. We become cautious and do not lower our bridges to just anyone. We do this to protect ourselves. We put up walls so that we will be insulated from the possibility that our partner will betray our trust.

If we don't love our partner as much as they love us, we will be safe, we think. It is a prisoners dilemma. Both could benefit greatly if they both chose to lovingly cooperate, and a relationship will fail completely if both betray each other and refuse to open their heart and love. But the middle way is the safest bet - coax your partner into loving you more than you love them (or secretly remain distant) so that you get all the benefit but do not risk yourself getting hurt.

It is an unfortunate emotional game that we play, most likely subconsciously. This tactic is simply a culturally-conditioned defense mechanism that we have adapted so that we can survive in a society that is so scarce on love and support. If real emotional intimacy and connection was in abundance in our society, we would not need to guard the love that we have to give so carefully. If people did not have so many karmic wounds that perpetuate the cycle of getting hurt and subsequently passing on that hurt on to future relationships, we would not need to put up so many walls to protect us. We would not need "six months" to a year to love someone. We wouldn't even need a few weeks to open our heart to someone. We could bring them into our inner world and consider them the same as family in very little time.

We could become capable of loving someone instantly. Just as I looked into the eyes of this person mentioned before, there would be nothing to keep me from caring for her. There would be no need for a culturally conditioned wall to be put up that says, "You're a stranger, I don't know you. You're just a friend. I've only known you a couple weeks." None of that matters.

There they are. Right there in front of you. A complete manifestation of everything that is common to you and the whole of humanity. Your dreams, desires, loneliness, suffering, hopes, fears, passions, striving - all are within her. All are within you and everyone you see in every moment.

The capacity to love is right there when you're looking into his eyes, into her eyes.

We've all been in shitty relationships that have more than likely conditioned our personality in negative ways, and so we all walk around with these wounds of the heart, but everyone deserves love. Everyone deserves love. The cycle has got to stop at some point.

The cycle of hurting others because you've been hurt by others - it's a cycle that constantly perpetuates itself. But someone's got to incur the last blow and just let it go - start afresh and love as if you've never had your heart broken.

And until everyone in the world has read Teachings On Love, we can't expect that person to be the other. It's got to start with us.
0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
How Norway Avoided Becoming a Fascist State
George Lakey · 14,229 views today · Instead of falling to the Nazi party, Norway broke through to a social democracy. Their history shows us polarization is nothing to despair over.
Stunning Small Homes Form Part of a Communal Compound for Best Friends
Lighter Side · 11,280 views today · If you’re lucky enough to have longtime friends even as an adult, then you know probably already know how much it means to be able to spend time together. Maybe you even have a...
Globalization Makes No Sense
Chris Agnos · 11,270 views today · When I lived in San Francisco, I often would marvel at the movement of goods through the ports across the bay in Oakland. Full container ships would enter the bay one after...
Where the Term "Redneck" Came From
15 min · 7,706 views today · If you don't know this story, you'll never look at the word the same again.  This is just a window into the sometimes shocking, subversive and untold history of the United...
The Fire Within
Words by Sophie Scholl - Illustrations by Gavin Aung Than · 6,024 views today · Sophie Scholl (1921-1943) was a German activist who is famous for speaking out against the Nazi regime. Scholl was a member of a protest group called The White Rose, which...
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min · 5,027 views today · Can you put this video into words? It's a clip from the phenomenal documentary Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke, who also made Baraka.  If you're interested in watching...
The Most Astounding Fact about the Universe
3 min · 4,933 views today · This is Neil Degrasse Tyson's response when asked to describe the most astounding fact about the universe. Background music is the cinematic orchestra - To build a home.
The London Anarchist Group Squatting Mansions to Fight Homelessness
6 min · 4,932 views today · London squatting activists ANAL (Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians) are squatting empty multi-million pound buildings and opening them up to the homeless.
Voices of Standing Rock
49 min · 3,921 views today · Short stories told by water protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota. Part 1 - Introduction: Since mid-August 2016, thousands have set up camp near the Standing Rock Sioux...
Redneck Revolt Presents: A Message to the Patriot Movement
6 min · 3,195 views today · Over the past few weeks, Redneck Revolt has been communicating with a former member of a III% Patriot Militia based out of Ohio. Peter made contact with our organization after...
The Foiled Bomb Plot in Kansas That Didn't Make Trump's Terror List
5 min · 3,066 views today · When a plot by a pro-white militia to bomb a Somali mosque in Kansas was foiled by the FBI last October, the aborted conspiracy received little national coverage - nor did it...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 2,789 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Proof of Evolution That You Can Find on Your Body
4 min · 2,370 views today · Vestigial structures are evolution's leftovers — body parts that, through inheritance, have outlived the context in which they arose. Some of the most delightful reminders of...
The Lessons of Standing Rock
Michael Emero · 2,067 views today · In mid-November of 2016, I was a Water Protector at Standing Rock. At first my goal was to play investigative journalist; documenting then writing about every detail for my...
10 Words Every Girl Should Learn
Soraya Chemaly · 1,993 views today · "Stop interrupting me."  "I just said that." "No explanation needed." In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. In other words, I won an award for being polite. My...
To Change Everything, Start Everywhere
8 min · 1,627 views today · To Change Everything, Start Everywhere! The case for complete self-determination—a guide for the furious, the curious, and the pure of heart. To Change Everything: An...
From Sanctuary City to Liberated City
Frank Lara · 1,204 views today · In just one week, with several strokes of a pen, Trump unleashed upon the working class in the U.S. an attack not seen in decades. From his attack on the flawed Affordable Care...
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 1,201 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
Charles Eisenstein: The Two Great Stories That Give Meaning to Our Lives
6 min · 1,172 views today · What matters in life? Who are we? Every culture has answers to these questions. And the way we answer them has profound effects on the health of people and planet. This is a...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,028 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Society, Love and the fear of Loneliness