The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships

Love is a benevolent process whereby two people try to teach each other how to become the best versions of themselves.

 

Loved this episode of On Being — it so perfectly captures how I view love and relationships, which while beautiful, can also be flawed and exhausting, and rest heavily on the shoulders of compatibility and communication.

 

We must fiercely resist the idea that true love must mean conflict-free love, that the course of true love is smooth. It’s not. The course of true love is rocky and bumpy at the best of times. That’s the best we can manage as the creatures we are. It’s no fault of mine or no fault of yours; it’s to do with being human. And the more generous we can be towards that flawed humanity, the better chance we’ll have of doing the true hard work of love.

The Glass is Already Broken

This post was great, but this portion in particular resonated with me:

temporary

As someone who sometimes fears lack of control and spends more time than I’d like in a wistful state of mind, this is a lovely perspective. Whenever emotions — fear, sadness, regret, anger — get the best of me, nothing brings me back down to earth more than the reminder that everything is temporary.

At my most zen, I’m able to channel this. I’ve noticed, however, that it can be perceived as aloof, cold, or dark. I get that, but it’s not meant to be any of those things. By embracing the impermanence of life and everything in it, I’m able to be my most appreciative.

…On the other hand, can this way of thinking manifest into self-fulfilling prophecies? If you already understand that the glass is already broken, are you less careful in handling it?

(h/t Matt Mullenweg)

How To Ruin Your Life (Without Even Noticing That You Are)

“You ruin your life by tolerating it. At the end of the day you should be excited to be alive. When you settle for anything less than what you innately desire, you destroy the possibility that lives inside of you, and in that way you cheat both yourself and the world of your potential. “

Thought Catalog

Erin KellyErin Kelly

Understand that life is not a straight line. Life is not a set timeline of milestones. It is okay if you don’t finish school, get married, find a job that supports you, have a family, make money, and live comfortably all by this age, or that age. It’s okay if you do, as long as you understand that if you’re not married by 25, or a Vice President by 30 — or even happy, for that matter — the world isn’t going to condemn you. You are allowed to backtrack. You are allowed to figure out what inspires you. You are allowed time, and I think we often forget that. We choose a program right out of high school because the proper thing to do is to go straight to University. We choose a job right out of University, even if we didn’t love our program, because we just…

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You Need To Go After The Things You Want

This was posted a year ago today, and I still love everything about it.

When did we become so afraid to love someone with vulnerability? When did we become so fearful of spilling our guts and being who we are? It sounds corny but it’s true.

Let’s go after the things we want, let’s love each other brutally and honestly, and not worry about the consequences. Let’s release the feelings inside of us and let them land somewhere special. Otherwise, we might have a lifetime of longing in front of us.

My very pragmatic side annoyingly reminds me that I can’t spout off about everything I’m feeling. There are repercussions. What good will it do? I’m an adult after all, and adults can’t successfully function unfiltered …right?

I don’t know, but I know that I’m happier being genuine with my heart upon my sleeve, regardless of the discomfort, self-doubt, and general anxiety it may cause me.

(But if I’ve caused you any discomfort or anxiety, I really am sorry!)

Wisdom From a Harvard Cognitive Psychologist

Courtesy of a brilliant man on Reddit in response to the question, “Do you find your understanding of the mind negatively affects your own happiness? I mean does your deterministic outlook sometimes make life seem arbitrary and pointless to you, and elation just some chemical reaction.”

Quite the opposite — I find a naturalistic understanding of human nature to be indispensable to leading a wise and mature life, and it is often exhilarating. Wisdom consists in appreciating the preciousness and finiteness of our own existence, and therefore not squandering it; of being cognizant of what makes people everywhere tick, and therefore enhancing happiness and minimizing suffering; of being alert to limitations and flaws in our own judgments and decisions and passions, and thereby doing our best to circumvent them. The exhilaration comes from understanding that we are a part of natural world; that deep mysteries can be explained; and that the world — including our own mental lives — can be intelligible, rather than a source of superstition and ignorance. Yes, mortality sucks, but given that it exists, I’d rather know that than be kept in a childlike state of delusion.