Thursday, January 10, 2013

Love, Promises, and Freedom

Start of a new year is the time to make resolutions. Most resolutions are broken and forgotten. We make all sorts of promises to our selves and they become sources of ever growing internal conflicts and torture for most of us.

What are promises? We make promises (resolutions, pacts, ...) with ourselves when we are hurt in some way. We use them as a way of imposing our conscious wills on ourselves. Promises can become our prison.

Love makes us vulnerable. When we love someone, we open ourselves to the possibility of being hurt. When this happen, a hurt lover promises him/herself to do this or not do that. But if the love is strong enough, we break our promises. In this process, sometimes we are fortunate enough to set ourselves free.

The delicate point here is a matter of perspective. When we break promises, we get mad at our selves and we feel that someone inside us has betrayed us. I suggest an alternative point of view. That thing inside us, who breaks these promises, is the source of life in us. By saying no to these promises, plans and schedules, we claim our aliveness. These are the last kicks and screams of a small child that is buried under the overwhelming demands of the grown-up world. Breaking promises is a cry for help.

This observation completes the answer to the puzzle of decision making that I tackled in an earlier post [Found God or Something]. The God, the creator symbol, is related to our subjective sense of our selves. Our subjective self is the dreamer inside us. To make decisions that we can genuinely ``own'', we have to start the decision from our subjective self, by asking, ``what do I want to do if I have no internal and external constraints?'' That is the way to find ourselves and hence God.

The more we make decisions this way, starting from our subjective self before imposing the objective reality and our self-imposed promises and constraints, the less our decisions turn out to be our prison. We own our decisions and take responsibility for their outcome.

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