Our capacity to love–to truly Love ourselves or our partner or children, et cetera–is inexorably connected to our dedication to truth and reality and to truly growing up. If we’re not more dedicated to truth than our own comfort, if we’re not much more dedicated to reality than illusion and fantasy, if we’re not truly dedicated to growing up and transcending our own self-centeredness and natural narcissism rather than indulging these, then we’re really not capable of Loving ourselves or others–extending ourselves beyond our fears and shortcomings and issues.
Meaning, whatever “love” we might have for another or shown another will ultimately be a matter of convenience and self-interest, and not goodness; we will have loved the other because, conveniently it didn’t conflict with our own comfort and gratification. In our love there was no sacrifice, no self-extension, no real goodness, no real conscience, no courage, no self-overcoming, no self-transcendence, no heroism, no actual contact with the core of another and incorporating our concern and responsibility for that for that person into ourselves as if it were no less important or essential to ourselves than we feel ourselves to be and our own impulses and feelings and desires. Our “love” ultimately was false, a pretty fraud made up of lies, deception, manipulation, exploitation, entitlement, thievery.
If we are to ever grow up and learn how to truly love ourselves and others, that love must be a costly love that manifests itself in judiciousness, wisdom, self-extension, sacrifice, self-overcoming, and is based in courage, goodness, conscience–in other words, a fierce and meaningful dedication to truth, reality, and what’s best in us.
We prove our love by what we’re dedicated to, by the actions we take and the choices we make. Truly loving people live and love differently than pseudo-loving (or unloving) people. Truly loving people love with openness, courage, goodness, self-extension, truth, forgiveness. Pseudo-loving people love their comfort zone and their excuses and their lies and their laziness and their stealing (their sense of entitlement) more than they love or care about others. For pseudo-(or un-) loving people, outside of themselves no one else is real, no one else counts, no one else matters. . . . It’s a living death, even if they’ve succeeded in numbing and blinding and obliterating themselves to it.
“Truth is reality. That which is false in unreal. The more clearly we see reality—ourselves and the world, the better equipped we will be to deal with both. The less clearly we see reality, the more our minds will be befuddled by falsehood, misperceptions and illusions, and the less able we will be to determine correct courses of action and make wise decisions.” – M. Scott Peck, from “The Road Less Traveled“
Another way of looking at this is that the more clearly we see reality and ourselves, the more sane and mentally healthy we are—and will become.
The less clearly we see reality and ourselves, the less mentally healthy we are, and are becoming.
The truth is not only what will set us free, it’s also what defines us being as sane and healthy. When we’re mentally healthy or getting healthy, we know the truth and we wrestle with it, and we try to do so with more and more integrity and honesty. But when we’re mentally unhealthy, when we’re neurotic or have a full-blown personality disorder (narcissism, antisocial, borderline—all three closely related and overlapping), we don’t really know the truth any more, we don’t know who we are or how we really feel or what we really ought to do; our lives are caprice, chance, testimonies to fear and impulse and chaos, instead of goodness, Godliness, order, Love, courage and truth.
When we’re mentally unhealthy, we are not interested in truth or in facing it or this, but in avoiding truth at all costs; we’d rather lie and steal and make excuses and believe what we want to believe because we want to believe it and because we’re convinced that it will make us feel better than we are in learning what is actually the case.
In other words, when we are mentally unhealthy or ill, we prefer lies and confusion to truth and clarity. . . . (read rest of post here)
In other words, when we’re mentally unhealthy or unwell (ill), we actually prefer anti-love to love; meaning we prefer the quick-fix of taking and stealing love and using and exploiting others, rather than becoming solid and actually becoming a truly loving and decent and trustworthy and honest human being and growing up (and facing our issues and the truth about ourselves and the perhaps horrible unconscionable hideous things we’ve done). We’d rather keep running and hiding and lying and rationalizing than face the truth. We’d rather stay dependent and irrational and childish–and mentally unhealthy and even mentally ill–rather than mature and become truthful, trustworthy, honest, sincere, virtuous, grateful, caring, good . . . and truly Loving.