This article is not about the “love” you, or Wikipedia call love… it’s about another love… What we customarily call love is a “hardware-based need”, the need to make our genes to survive in some offspring. And some of us may call the need for pleasure, the need to get rid of the unpleasant guiding feeling of “horniness” love. Those are misnomers, dressing something as something else… prettier.
Most people have plenty of sex, no love. Some people have no sex, and plenty of love.
The two needs are not connected.
The need for love is a group of needs really. The need for a group, the need to belong. The need for someone who is on your side. But more importantly the need for someone who helps you fulfill, satisfy the “software-based needs” of the need to meet others’ expectation, and the need to fulfill your own expectation.
Those needs not fulfilled cause an overall unhappiness and hopelessness. The state Thoreau called “quiet desperation”. No one who fulfills those needs is in quiet desperation. We all need help… this is what this article is about. It’s about how love IS the fourth pillar of the good life, without which the other three don’t matter. It’s about how to have love be the source of power, courage, so you can go for all the good stuff you want.
Intimacy has been coming up in my conversations with people. My people.
Being intimate is hard. Because our defective, lacking left brain is incapable of even imagining that the other person is at a place different from ours.
So when I ask the guy whose wife is abusive of him, what her complaint about him is: he doesn’t know. And even if he were generous enough to do the five questions exercise with her, his left brain would blame her… and not him. Because the left brain doesn’t know diddly about what doesn’t concern it. 1
But, of course, we live in a world of our own design, moment to moment, and for the most part it is not a good world.
The short movie from youtube says: you need generosity. Generosity of spirit to allow for another’s world and to not attack it from your own, thinking of only yourself, your point of view. Interpreting the response from that isolated, cold, self-centered place.
Love is one of the pillars of the good life. But without love none of it works.
Let me say that differently: if you have people in your life, and your relationship is rocky with them, being happy is impossible. Food loses its taste. Money loses its allure. And fulfillment moves to the place of impossible.
Observing myself, speaking from my own need, oblivious or ignoring the other’s need gets me into discord.
Don’t be mistaken: everything you do, say, every facial expression means something to the other, or others. And they will interpret it from their own “planet”, from being able to meet others’ expectations and their own expectations.
The need to meet those two expectations is as strong a need as the need for food, sex, or safety.
And only when you can let your need be fulfilled NOT AT THEIR NEED’S EXPENSE that you can have love.
You acting superior makes them feel inferior… preventing them to fill the need of meeting your expectation and their own.
You judging, acting too eager, acting too chipper, acting needy or unhappy, preoccupied, not present… nearly everything that you do signals to the other the ever changing state of meeting others’ expectation, and meeting their own.
It is not stationary… just like your own isn’t.
You looking at the world you create as if that were the only world, not seven billion different worlds is what is called ungenerous. I sometimes call it stingy. Both words are true.
But if you have the ambition to have and live the good life, you need to learn to be generous, and tell your mind to consider that the other person is in a whole different place, worrying about their need… and what they are doing has nothing to do with you.
Nothing. 99% of the time.
Oh, and lip service won’t do.
The other day I wrote about you being ungrateful to me. I got a lot of thank yous. Inauthentic, lip service, a slap in the face.
I understand. You are only interested in continuing getting from me.
Seven billion people.
Learn to be generous with the few people you get the chance to interact.
Allow them to fulfill their own needs, while you are fulfilling your own.
- The right brain, on the other hand, knows exactly what is happening to the other, and also knows generosity of spirit… but for the right brain to come out and play, you need to trick the left brain. You need to occupy the left brain.
I used to have a tight-wound, self-protective body… and I think I still do.
When at the doctor trying to check my knee reflex, he would always need to distract the left brain to get that reflex working. Squeeze the hands, look at the bird… and then, when the left brain was otherwise occupied, my knee reflex would work.
Same with you.
I recommend that couples play board games, cards, chess… something that distracts the left brain. And while the left brain is occupied, love can connect them through the right brain. Intimacy can be present.
I play freecell when I coach. It is still needed, because the left brain is only interested in what I have to say… and not listen, keenly, to what the other is saying, who they are being, what they are not saying, what they are dying to say but are afraid to, or can’t.
You can’t be a good coach from the left brain.