Have you been to Inanna’s Temple where we are baptized in the waters of the JoyWell? The truth will set you free in there, but not before pissing you off, making you laugh, and causing you to clutch your pearls!
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We have a clever way of shaking off responsibility for our shortcomings through the use of cute words and phrases. (I should know, words are my stock and trade.) Some of our adages are so short and sweet, and sound close enough to the truth that we often don’t bother to examine them more deeply.
I get a little amused every time I hear someone say, “Money is the root of all evil.” Not only are they simply regurgitating an often misquoted bible verse, but I can immediately see right through to the sense of powerlessness and lazy thinking that would cause a person to latch on to a phrase like that.
Why do we speak this way? Because it shifts the responsibility for doing something away from us.
Look it up. The actual bible verse says, “The love of money is the root of all evil”, and the addition or omission of those first three words gives the phrase a totally different meaning. “The love of” makes it clear that evil is not the inherent quality of money. It’s an out of control desire for money and unbalanced behavior in relationship to it that create evil outcomes.
Here in the good ‘ol USA, another name for our money is fiat currency. That literally means that it is backed by nothing and has no value other than what we assign to it. Whatever circumstances we create in dealing with money is purely a function of our thinking and behavior. It is simply a tool, and we are the builders.
The same logic can be applied to love and the phrase, “Love is blind”. If you’ve uttered these words, I’m placing the bags full of shame, blame, resentment, and self-pity related to your disappointments in love squarely in your lap. Your mind is the only one that you have the power to change. So, I want you to stop what you’re doing, mosey on over to a mirror, look yourself dead in the eyes and say,
“Love is not blind. I am.”
Now close your eyes and think about all the things that you cannot see, all that you’re missing out on, as you accept the truth of your behavior. Ask yourself what you have been choosing not to see, and if you’re afraid of the answers as they come, face them anyway. Write them down for full effect.
I’m not doing this to make you beat yourself up over your missteps in love, because wallowing in guilt is just as unproductive as self-pity. You can toss those bags I placed in your lap out with the trash just as soon as you acknowledge what’s in them. I need you to understand that taking responsibility is taking back your power, and it is one of the first steps to healing and getting stronger.
Now, I’ve seen enough to know that there can seem to be as many definitions for love in this world as there are people. And at times the definition gets so convoluted and watered down that it ceases to be distinct. This is why it is important to maintain the purity of values and ideas to a reasonable degree. The expression of love may evolve with time, but it still has certain fundamental qualities.
I think one of the most invaluable characteristics of love is wanting the best for someone. When someone knowingly engages in behavior that opposes the best interests of someone they claim to love, that so-called love is falling short. Of course, life is complicated and it isn’t always easy to know what is in a person’s best interests, but love tries to learn.
Yet, I’m not even referring to the hard cases. I’m talking about the cut and dry, no brainer situations where we know that what is happening is bad for us. Whether it’s our own substance addictions, choosing to stay in toxic, abusive relationships, eating poorly and neglecting our physical health, or any number of destructive patterns, these situations reflect a lack of love for others or for self.
So instead of saying love is causing this unwillingness to see and deal with gaping flaws, maybe we should adopt some new phrases like:
“Fear is blind”
“Codependency is blind”
“Lack of knowledge/Ignorance is blind”
“Loneliness can make you blind”
You get the idea.
Sometimes we make the mistake of fixating our love on the wrong thing, like money. We might chase wealth and accomplishment to the detriment of ourselves and others. Or we may pour out our energy and good intentions on the wrong people. We might make ridiculous displays of devotion and blind faith hoping to be validated in return. We lose sight of the fact that love is not always a gift that should be tossed out like candy from the back of a float at a parade. There are times when the benefits of love have to be earned.
No one gives out the medals before a race even starts.
There are times when love has to be kept on reserve and given only as a reward.
Ladies, I’m talking to you here, because this is especially true in romantic relationships, situationships, and dalliances. Women often make the mistake of believing that if they just keep pouring love into someone else’s cup, somehow their own cups will be filled. That generally doesn’t work with men who prefer a challenge, even if they say they don’t.
You know when something’s not good for you. You feel it in your gut. It keeps you awake at night. No matter what you do to drown it out, it just keeps screaming louder and getting brighter and brighter until you shut your eyes tight like vice grips, shutting out the very light that would illuminate your path to freedom.
Love is in that light. Love is the thing screaming. It sees the flaws of the beloved with 20/20 clarity and chooses to keep loving anyway… even if it has to do so from a distance.
Love is in your conscience, in your heart asking you to see the truth.
Love is that truth.
You are the one who’s blind. But you don’t have to be.