Love hurts. It’s messy, it’s crazy, it’s stressful and it’s chaotic.
You know what else is chaotic? *large gesture to the whole ass Earth*
See the thing is, because we come into this world alone, we are shaped by our experiences. Because this world is messy and chaotic and just flat out HARD… The level of difficulty can be increased or decreased depending on the circumstances in which one is shaped.
Case in point: I love to play video games… I find that it is really relaxing taking out ones frustrations with a nice assault rifle or frag grenade. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a super competitive person, so I don’t have a crazy gamer set up with a bunch of screens and a Twitch account, but I like a good chill session of killing folks. Lol
But I was also born in the late 70s. Therefore by the time gaming technology, graphics, and even socialization got more awesome for my inner introverted nerd; I’m now an adult. Therefore, for a good 8 hours a day, I must do something that makes me money to be able to buy these nice fancy video games (that are getting pricer and pricer every generation…) Ergo, I must work. Then there’s this whole liking to have some form of social life because it’s fine to be a child playing games for hours on end in a dark room with blackout drapes because you’re entertaining yourself.. As an adult… apparently you’re “reclusive” and “creepy.”
Since I must work, my ability to get better and more proficient at gaming is limited. Whereas a child with no job and possibly little supervision OR someone who may not have a desire or need for a social life, or someone who doesn’t have to work all day because they have plenty of money for their gaming desires… they kick my ass all the time.
This is a blatantly ridiculous example, but hopefully you get the point. We all are humans, but our outlooks are molded by our individual pasts, traumas, and circumstances. If there are too many negatives or trauma points in the molding of a person, then there will be a lot of lasting pain. This is where we get our outlook, values and ideology.
When you come into contact with someone who has a very different set of circumstances and outlook than yourself, if you are too attached to that ideology to the point of where even the mere mention of anything outside of that ideal is upsetting and triggering… Then it will be hard to truly love someone.
I mean… I get it. Our values and outlooks are engrained into us by different means. In a more positive situation, these ideals are not forced onto us by some traumatic means, but rather we are guided to them by empathy and love. In other cases, experience can be the cruelest and most vicious teacher.
If you hold onto the negative or more traumatic aspects of these experiences, then any thing that challenges or even evokes the negative connotations will force you to either choose one of two options. Either you will open your mind and consider that your experience was your own and other experiences could help further shape your outlook. The other option is to allow the negative aspects of these experiences to cause you to reject being open to hearing any other perspectives.
It’s hard to do that. It’s hard to have the energy to deal with your own shit as well as other peoples’ shit. To allow yourself be exposed to the pain of someone you love is to also hurt yourself.
But see, the more we do that, the more apathetic we become. We sometimes don’t even see it in ourselves. It happens over time until we decide that it’s just too hard to deal with other people.
But to truly love… to care about others is to WANT to share your pain and to WANT to hear the pain of others. The thing is though, when you truly love someone and want to LISTEN to their pain and understand them, you have to know that it doesn’t negate your own experiences. It doesn’t dismiss you or your own negative past.
If you were more outraged by the treatment of Amy Cooper’s dog, whether or not you believed she was right or wrong for calling the police… (Which..come on.)
If you’re insisted that there were “better ways to protest” than peacefully kneeling on the sidelines during the national anthem. And now claim he current protests and riots sweeping the country after the murder of George Floyd are too far because there are more “peaceful ways to protest…” Whether you believe it was murder or not… (Which…. again… come on.)
If your answer to Black Lives Matter is “All Lives Matter”
Then you are apathetic, and you probably don’t even realize it.
To quote myself in Shadow Resistance: “It is often assumed that the opposite of love is hate, but that is erroneous. Apathy is a more fitting antonym for love. That is not saying apathy in itself is good or bad, but the human condition seems to favor apathy over love…”
Hate isn’t killing us. Apathy is.
Hate doesn’t destroy relationships. Apathy does.
Apathy is the true enemy of love. And as an empath, I get it…