7 Important but Uncomfortable Truths about Life and Love
Change is important to every living thing in that it allows evolution to constantly make improvements from one generation to the next. It allows and increases the ability of all life to survive and thrive in this world. Change is a constant, not a variable. Our world and everything in it is constantly changing, being human, you must change with it (to some degree or another) or you will always be at odds with everything and everyone around you.
Some people, few I would think, are able to go against the grain for the duration of their lives. They are able to stem the tide of change and live as well as they can, in solitude and isolation, clinging to the past. The butter churn, phonograph, cassette tape and even the record player can now be found in museums, all replaced by more efficient tools that change has brought about. This is a testament to the old saying, “Time waits for no one.”
2. The illusion of control
How long do we play in its shadow before we realize that there is always something or someone, the wizard if you would, standing behind the curtain pulling the strings, telling us that the great Oz has spoken? The longer you labor under this illusion, the greater your disappointments will be. Including what occurs in nature, there is little in life that you actually have control over.
This is the result of the simple fact that most of the things you plan and do in life are dependent on more than one person’s actions. The amount of control you can exercise is limited to things about and by yourself, once there is energy needed from any outside source your control is gone and you will be at the whim of the circumstances you find yourself under.
Age and wisdom teach us to see the world how it really is, to shine a light through the shadow and illuminate who or what is pulling the strings from behind that curtain, to know the difference between the few things we have control over and many the things we don’t.
3. Life is a lonely road…
Even if you have someone to love and travel it with. You look through the eyes you were given at birth from your first breath to your last no matter how many days may come in between. Behind these eyes you make every decision, form every opinion, dream every dream and formulate every thought on your own.
The farther you travel along the road of life, the farther away in thought and experience you grow from the generation behind you until you wind up being an afterthought to the young, a relic, and eventually a burden.
Even if you marry, have a large family and live to be a hundred and seventeen you will find that it is still possible to be alone in a room full of people no matter if you are related to all of them or not.
This uncomfortable truth is perhaps the most sobering of them all when you meet it face to face. Whether you are young or old, rich or poor, happy or sad it will cut through your clouded view of life and lay bare the truth that life is a lonely road.
4. Disappointment, life’s full of them.
The sooner you realize that you’re not the only one who has to deal with them, the better off you’ll be. When you are young, being disappointed can feel like the end of the world, your heart will ache and your mind falls from the dizzying height of your own expectation. You had your heart set on something, be it something physical or an idea, it doesn’t matter, and at the last moment it’s torn from within your reach by forces you have no control over.
The letdown you feel is enormous because you had your hopes so high. Being young and naïve you were ill prepared for the possible outcome that someone of greater years warned you about, not once did you consider it a real possibility. Fast forward a few dozen years and the same situation will look much different to your experienced eye.
By this point in life it’s as if you have developed the ability to see into the future. In reality, you’ll have learned where to place your expectations based on years of having seen and done things your younger self could only learn by the lesson of disappointment. (This applies equally to life and love, though not always in that order)
5. Most often, love isn’t the same as it’s portrayed in a fairy tale.
In the beginning it sweeps you off your feet, wraps you in its warm embrace and weaves you in a cocoon that shields you from the rest of the world and keeps your heart on fire. It is the single most binding force two people can share and without it our species would fade from existence like so many others.
It is both beautiful and cruel, luring us from the safety of our solitary life into a relationship where our soul is naked and exposed, open and vulnerable to the whim of our partner. No matter what the signpost says about the danger ahead we ignore it and drive full speed into the unknown.
The years spent in love shroud us with a happiness and comfort that we would have never known had we not found it. They also bring the pain we must bear for the sake of our partner, the tears we must shed for the sake of ourselves.
In the end we must watch from their bedside as our loved ones fade away. Some go quietly into the night, never feeling a thing as they slip from this world into the next; others suffer in pain we can’t help them bear unto their dying breath. When you finally let go and wish them well on their journey into the next life you promise them that you’ll find them when you get there, no matter how long it takes.
We all want it in one form or another and most people settle for far less than they could achieve. Being genuinely accepted for who you are by your friends, family, coworkers or peers is difficult, and sometimes feels impossible.
Being part of the pack is our end goal, to find a place where we are secure in our position and rank in the pecking order of society. To do this and not compromise your values and beliefs is an important truth, to not place acceptance from others above acceptance of yourself.
People will try to put you into a mold, accept you only if you like the same team or shop at the same stores as they do. To make you more like themselves in an attempt to boost their own ego and promote their own brand as being somehow better. Always remain true to yourself, even if it means being accepted only by your best friend Rover.
This is probably the most uncomfortable truth about life (and love) that we all must face. It’s not our own death that strips away the veil that shields our eyes from this grim reality, enabling us to go about our lives without continually pondering the Reaper. It’s the death of those around us that brings our own mortality into view.
We remember it like it was just yesterday when we last saw them, what they were doing, what they told us, how we felt when they shared stories of our collective past. Once they’re gone we realize the permanence of the grave, no longer can you look them up or run into them by chance.
Regret about past deeds or debts comes full focus in our minds, things that you wanted to say if only you had known you would never see them again run through your mind and settle into your consciousness. You must learn to accept that which you have no control over, and move on. Those who have come before you in the journey of life and not learned this lesson carry a weight on their shoulders that will burden them into the next.