Something is Missing

Recognizing a loveless state is not easily done.  I saw a man who had never truly considered how deficient his upbringing had been.  It was only when he became clinically depressed that he could think back in time and describe to me an emptiness he experienced as a child of socially prominent parents who disregarded their own children.  I’ve heard other stories:  a parent died, a mother was institutionalized, a father drank, and so on.  To cope with these events and survive, children go on “autopilot” and make their way through life by accepting any little nurturance which comes their way.  Some run on empty and shun close attachments, still others forgo the world of attachments and clamp on to professional success and money and fame.

It is an irony that great achievements in science and the arts often occur when a man or a woman sinks their soul into productivity to the exclusion of a relationship or family.  Yet money and fame may be only transient antidotes to lovelessness.  This explains why, for example, some famous entertainment figures, having rocketed to the top, lose their way and succumb to drugs and alcohol as they most likely come to the inevitable awareness that they are missing something inside.  We hear the phrase “he had everything to live for” uttered when someone prominent commits suicide.  Of course, the fact of the matter is that the person lacked a more primal bedrock of affection that makes life bearable, even joyful.

Readers of this and other blogs may well conclude that what is done is now over, and that lovelessness is a hopeless condition.  The opposite is true: various states of lovelessness must be recognized and brought into conscious awareness.  Once mindfulness exists, then proper navigation is possible.  A man or woman can be more courageous about love and more self conscious about the process of falling in love.  He will chose a partner more wisely and will not sabotage a relationship.  And she will know when to extract herself from a liaison which has no future.

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