It is the deepest desire of the human heart to be known and loved.
This is something my spiritual adviser said to me a few months ago. I was struck by its profoundness, simplicity, and absolute truth. As soon as he said it, I felt the “click” — everything inside me went, “Yes, of course,” as though this thought had already existed in my soul and was just then being woken up.
Conversely, it followed that the deepest fear of the human heart would be to never be known or loved. That rang scarily true, too. What if…? *shudder* Well, maybe that’s too deep a glimpse into my darkest recesses….
In my ensuing ruminations on the quote, it occurred to me to add the following:
And, in being known, to be loved not in spite of who you are, but because of it.
These concepts have had immediate impact in my personal life, but I am eager to see how they will manifest with my characters, too. Eventually. When I’ve processed them more. 😉
What’s worse: being stuck having to confront people you really, strongly dislike, or managing to avoid those types of individuals forever?
The reason I’ve begun contemplating this at all is because I will soon be in a face-to-face situation with people I can’t stand. Loathe with a capital L. Take the trash out to the curb and leave it there, because you don’t want to deal with the stink. Preferable to have to clean toilets at Gitmo than…. You get the idea. I need a massage because I’m permanently tense, just thinking about what’s coming. The answer to the question above seems obvious.
I mean, who wants to be around people who make you feel icky?
Last night while I was lying in bed, dreading the looming event horizon, I began to fantasize about a happy-place where I had never met these people and, therefore, never had to deal with them. Everywhere I looked there was warm sunshine and the smiling faces of people who were nice. And all the food was gluten-free and dairy-free. And my favorite massage-guy from the mall was always available. And I didn’t have to wait for the sequels to any of my favorite books to come out. And I finally got a literary agent…!
Then I remembered something I think I’d read somewhere about how it’s not the way you are in the easy times that depicts and defines your character, but the way you are in the hard ones. Well, for me, this thing is right up there at DEFCON 1. I could go nuclear-postal, which is twice as bad as either having a nuclear meltdown or going regular-postal. But when I thought about this pending unavoidable-ness in terms of character-building, I realized that I’m worried about being around these people because I might behave badly. They bring out the worst in me. I hate who I become when I’m around them.
Suddenly, I saw my upcoming situation as an obstacle that I have to overcome. My competitive side was unleashed, and my inner-Olympian is now stretching out for the mental gymnastics (which are the only kind of gymnastics I can do). Cue the hero-music. It’s become a challenge: I get to face off against a nemesis, and if I win I get to grow. I. Will. Rise. Above. Ha! I welcome the chance to be around nasty-petty-selfish-two-faced incorrigibles. Game on! My character is better than theirs! I could come out of this a better person!
Hmmm. We’ll see. If I don’t start screaming and trying to claw their eyes out.