Saturday, March 23, 2013

Learning to Love: Change

Yesterday, we had a memorable dinner to celebrate my parents’ sixtieth wedding anniversary!!! (…talk about learning to overcome everyday hardships, to distill love, borne from patience).
Anthropologists argue that man is, by ‘’nature, monogamous, but only for an approximate seven years at a time (corresponding to those, needed by children to develop to the point of no longer needing taking-care-of). Anyone aspiring to a marriage “till death do us part”, requires ‘supernatural’ help, hence marriages, before God. My parents thusly, learned to muscle virtue and have lasted sixty years together! Of course it hasn´t been easy. Challenges, worth overcoming, never are. However, it is these daily conflicts that give us opportunities for growth. To wrestle with them we have to ‘change’.
The debate about ‘change’, whether it be ‘immanent’, ‘permanent’ or just ‘potential unfolding’, has been going on since Aristotle through Hegel, the present day. Do we actually ‘change’ or is it just the unraveling of personal development? Can we ‘change’ our essence? Does ‘change’ depend on free will or is it conditioned by ‘nature’? Can a loved one actually ‘change’ to overcome his innate shortcomings and transcend his ‘natural’ imperfection? Can we trust that our giving second and third chances to those who have let us down, will actually make a difference? What does ‘change’ depend on?

We all have loved ones who have collapsed the inflated expectations we had of them, through disillusion. Can we ever expect them to ‘change’? If so, how much longer must we wait? (I would like to believe God would say “Forever. That´s why I made eternity”…but it may just be wishful thinking).
I was impressed with the number of people asking these same questions, at a workshop in self-growth, I gave, recently. Their main concern was not about themselves, but about loved ones caught up in mediocrity, ignorance and self-deprecation (or should I say ‘de-prickation’!). These innate ‘care-takers’ have been trying, over and over again, to love loved- ones who feel unworthy of ‘ being loved’ and just end up rejecting  help. It is this dejection that seems to have them ‘give up’ and harden to loving, cynically responding to it with sneers of disbelief (I know, because I have been there!)
My parents have mutually let each other down, over and over again, but have both held tight to their ‘ideal’, confident of change. It is this ‘unwitting trust’ that Love is made of. It’s about ‘believing ’patiently, over and beyond evidence, in the potential of our Higher Selves. It is about trusting ‘change’.
My tendency to ‘doubt’, till Science and evidence proves ‘otherwise’ , strongly objects to such belief in ‘change’. People ‘are’ as they ‘are’ and their acts speak for themselves. Such doubting renders  anything else, a ‘wishful projection’.  However, having myself, been one of those loved ones who rejected loving, for whatever reasons  and ‘changed’, I now stand up for the silent dis-believers, confident that they too, will ‘change’. My parents’ example is my avowal and evidence that proves change is possible.


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