Contrived delusions…

Knowing what you want is a really good thing. It is the only way you can chase what you want and need in your life. If you have never reflected on and decided on what you want, you will never ever get it because, well, how does one chase what one does not even know one wants?

My point is this: decide what you want and go get it. Simple right? Wrong. So often we are sold this fiction and believe it. But when we truly question it’s validity, the holes in this theory show themselves very quickly.

Sometimes we decide that we want something and go after it, full force and wholeheartedly, then we get it and realise it is so different from what we thought we would be getting.  And maybe we don’t want it anymore. Because it is not what we wanted! But we worked so hard to get it and quitting now would be ridiculous. So we keep it around. No one is happy, but that does not matter.. I hope this makes sense. My articulation has become so clumsy.

When you “crush on someone,” you project  the traits desirable to you, onto them and then give them the responsibility of living up to them. Recipe for disappointment. You create a reality around this person and they have no say in it. Then you get mad when they have the audacity to be themselves, to destroy your idea of who they are, what they like to do, how they think and behave.  Why would they ruin your fantasy? You take it so personally.

Imagine that you meet a guy and decide that he is the perfect guy for you. He has the beautiful smile, a strong sexy jaw, looks amazing, has an easy smile permanently plastered on his face and a beer in his hand. In your mind he is everything you want and need in your life. You talk, you flirt, and have a genuinely great night. He is sociable and fun and easy to be around.

You imagine long lazy walks on the beach, early morning hikes up rustic trails, late brunches that stretch into early lunches at quaint little hole-in-the-wall cafes. You have read too many books, seen too many romance movies. You imagine the soft touch of his hands in yours, the lingering private looks, the kisses outside your gate after a late movie. The crush grows. You do not spend as much time as you would like to with him. You are fine with that. You have your ideas to keep you company when he cancels your dates.

In reality, he was just a nice guy who happened to have a beautiful face and had been pretty drunk that night and had an extra shot of confidence with each shot of tequila. When he finally sobers up and you get to know him, you realise that you had grown an entire personality for him to complement the initial crush.

Now when you see him and silence descends, you understand.  You learn that there is no awkwardness. He is not unfriendly or confused. He is simply being himself. He does not have wildly exciting stories all the time. He does not speak to fill the silences like your mind needed him to. He was not a big talker like you needed him to be to cover up for your restful silences. He was just as restful as you were. And he has every right to be so, to be himself.

He is a great person and you have had to, painfully and inconveniently dissemble all projections and allow him to be himself and enjoy his company as it is, and not as you needed it to be. I say painfully because I have control-freak tendencies and in my experience, it has often been a painful process. It involves letting go and accepting that as much as you might want something to be true, it might not be and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it but accept it and embrace the actual reality and not your contrived delusions. Because until you do so, you will never be truly happy with what you have. Or who you have in your life.

A large part of growing up involves letting go and allowing people to be who they truly are, and accepting them as they are, and not as we would have them be, for our own convenience. Life has many lessons for me, and it is slowly teaching me. I think this journey will be fun.


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