The Shortest Story on the Lie of Love
“Naomi is at your location, please collect your order,” was the long-awaited text message I received, refreshing my phone for the delivery confirmation. Naomi was my delivery driver that got to trek it across Long Beach at 9:30 am to deliver the “passionate lover” bouquet of flowers I had ordered for a girl I was dating. Naomi was not a “flower” delivery driver in the classic sense. She worked for Postmates, which explained her apparent frustration with the specificity of my order, requiring attention to detail. Being an impulsive person, Postmates was the obvious choice to fulfill my need for instant gratification with a guaranteed 30-minute delivery.
I was in control on my phone rather than leaving it to some asshole from the flower shop, unable to offer me assurances on delivery. As I anxiously refreshed the app, I finally received the long-awaited confirmation from Naomi’s personal cell phone. Yes, I had convinced her to give me her personal number because we had been through too much at the flower shop not to request it. Just as I had finished reading her correspondence, I receive the message I was really after. Basically, a text telling with her stating that I was the greatest guy ever and how special I was to her. It made my day, mission accomplished!
Sounds amazing right?
I’d beg to differ from her opinion and turn the attention to myself. Although I am ecstatic that it made her happy. Referencing Postmates’ delivery time, it was an impulsive decision intended to fulfill a desire for instant gratification. Fine! I was impulsive to get the girl I’m dating flowers, but that doesn’t sound so bad does it? It does when you add in the selfish nature for a desired outcome of reciprocity through validation…basically my intention sending the flowers, although thoughtful, was really selfish. Primarily, the flowers were sent to elicit a response of validation through her reassurance in my character. Secondary was my desire to make her feel special. Don’t believe me? Try counting how many times I said “her” and then count the different variations of, “me.” But enough of me, let’s talk about relationships.
Love, and the void it fills.
Love is an interesting word and is often confused with “fulfillment.” Fulfillment is synonymous with “satisfaction,” implying the gratification of a void that was once present but is no longer. Sounds fairly accurate right? He/she is the piece you’ve always been looking for…your other half. They’re so perfect that we don’t know where they’ve been all this time and we feel so much better, fulfilled. This is completely true, along with the dishonesty we use to justify the amount of passive aggressive emotional abuse and unreasonable expectation we are going to be placing on our latest victim; demanding they fulfill our need for security through validation and all driven by selfishness.
Don’t believe me?
With the exception of very select few, everyone enters into a relationship with selfish desires. Think about it… why else would you do it? It’s all a selfish desire to avoid loneliness, feel wanted and desired, project an image to the world, create social importance/acceptance, validate ourselves through sex, or anything else you can think of. It’s an attempt at fulfillment through selfish gratification. It’s the perception or chance that someone else will satisfy our insecurities, reassure us of our self-worth, or physically and verbally silence our rampant self-esteem troubles. That chance becomes an unfair expectation we place on them to fulfill a void that is outside of their responsibility and ability to truly satisfy.
Most don’t know how to go into a relationship selflessly or even acknowledge its existence. You can’t convince me that the immediate line of thought from anyone entering an emotional relationship is anything remotely resembling a complete comfort with honesty and vulnerability. Let’s be real, it’s more like an attempt at either concealing emotions out of fear of rejection, exaggerating feelings to signify affection with the intent of reciprocation, or dishonesty with feelings for the furthering of selfish desires and being fulfilled.
Take my example, “I’m going to do this to make a good impression and test the waters on how she feels about me…oh, and so she feels appreciated and loved too.” The worst part is that most people are unaware of it because we live in a world filled with insecurity, immaturity, and irresponsibility. We’ve been conditioned to expect that someone else can deliver the feelings of “love” that we lack for ourselves. When it all falls apart, we have Instagram to fall back on, measuring our self-worth in “likes,” as the void is reopened, and we’re left with ourselves again…until the next victim. The void itself can come in many forms as mentioned above, but one thing we can be certain of is that it is not love.
Love is the ultimate act of selfless authenticity.
Those who can offer themselves, honestly and completely, to everyone without fear or detached from outcome, know what love truly is. It is a gift that is given freely and without the expectation or to seek reciprocal validation and relieve the uneasiness of exposing our vulnerability. I recently shared the Tinder Story with you because this is one area I have enough puzzle pieces to be, absent this particular void…currently. I have obtained a great deal of insight in this category after I had a change in perception on its true root problem. It ties in perfectly with my last blog post, Authenticity.
We have been let down by Hollywood and Disney in a way. They project an image that depicts love as an emotion interpreted through affection and felt through reciprocal validation; an outcome of life “happily ever after,” and where completion of the heart is fulfilled and they stay together forever. What if the prince didn’t kiss the princess? What if he hadn’t told her he loved her? What if they didn’t live life “happily ever after,” together? Would it still be “happily ever after,” without those circumstances? Would they be happy without each other or would life end with a void of love unfulfilled?
Authenticity is love.
Someone posted on one of my threads that, “the problem with relationships is that the connection is missing nowadays.” I agree with that sentiment but disagree with her interpretation of it. The problem with relationships and love is not the missing connection to a mysterious someone…it’s a missing connection between your perception of self and your authentic self. Love is the accepting, mastering, and uninhibited exercise of one’s authenticity or individuality devoid of fear. It’s when you obtain a complete understanding of your self-worth, self-esteem, and self-respect and it creates a certainty in yourself so profound that you share it, fearlessly, with the world; disregarding potential outcome or relative social acceptance as significant, replacing it with unconditional confidence.
Authenticity puts you in a position to experience love honestly and selflessly, as it was intended. It allows you to offer love freely without fear of rejection, absent reciprocal fulfillment. That need for fulfillment is insignificant to those that have reached a pinnacle level of self-acceptance, requiring no additional gratification, as the void is nonexistent. It allows you to evaluate a partner from a position of integrity and strength objectively and honestly assessing their appreciation of your authenticity. Instead of a position of weakness and dishonesty driven by self-seeking fear and insecurity, requiring external validation of your self-worth to fill a void.
Love is a gift given through the conviction of your authenticity. A person like this is contented; even if the relationship ceases, with the understanding it is neither positive, negative, or personal…it simply just, is. Above all, it is the certainty that the outcome needs no alteration or interference if they leave, understanding that when they leave you are no less of a person than when they arrived. Your personal integrity is intact, and the fulfillment of your authenticity will continue gratifying your soul.
With great power, comes great responsibility.
This power of self-acceptance without boundary and its awareness puts us in a position of power and authority, which is why it is essential to evaluate the relationships we put ourselves in. We must be vigilant with this awareness as we are the responsible party, as evolved beings, in all situations it can cause harm, whether mistaken or intentional. It is incredible the drive one can summon to continue evolving emotionally and mentally. Evolution that was once a necessity from failure and rooted in pain is now blossoming into a quest of enthusiasm for the seeking of wisdom and truth, blossoming into expanded awareness. As I continue to grow, my perception and control grow with it.
That power of perception allows me to control “domain” instead of “earth;” “existence” instead of, “life;” “consequence,” instead of, “circumstance.” I have complete control of my own environment and relative happiness devoid a need to manipulate others’ path or interfere with their journey of growth, selfishly, to experience personal satisfaction. Perception without “absolutes,” provides me autonomy. The freedom of interpreting without bias to obtain insight for constructive response with the awareness of the primary objective, continued evolution. This awareness requires persistent and vigilant open-mindedness to remain mindful of my purpose and the furthering of that evolution.