Healthy Relationships: Choosing A Good Heart

Authentic love is selflessness; it is also mindfulness. A true act of love demonstrates loyalty, honesty, and integrity. It is not our drug. It is not our shopping list nor our parachute as we fall further out of grace. The more selfish we become, the further we fall. If others cannot meet our stringent demands, are they really to blame? Once our happiness depends on others complying with our wishes, we corrupt love. We sabotage it by ensnaring it and owning it like a pet. This universal feeling is not here for our amusement. What matters is not our end of the bargain, our precious minerals we extract from the mine of relationships. What matters is our compassion. Life offers us a critical choice, which tests our character. No one can make the choice for us. Will the world attest that our hearts are good?

One with a good heart values awareness, and there’s no denying the growing chasm separating the sexes. In a volatile economy, women still expect stability and security and in an exceedingly hedonistic society, men still expect restraint and faithfulness. As narcissism rises in females, so does self-debasement in males. How long will males take seriously the outrageous demands from the opposite sex? Civilization cannot support unlimited materialism. As society learns to be rational, the age of reckless and rampant consumerism can only wind down. Beyond our personal finances, we are all debt ridden and doubting whether the economy will ever recover. Spendthrift behavior will inevitably lose its appeal. We are already punished for previously making bad investments in higher education, and the spending will never fix the inefficient corporate bureaucracies. If true love is really our objective, we must grow spiritually and get comfortable with living minimally.

The shopper’s mentality applies to mate selection as well. Out of the ugliest vanity, females treat the world as if it can be customized to suit their own individual needs. They conjure up the ideal male specimen as if they’re describing the perfect outfit a tailor must create for them. This reduces the opposite sex to a lifeless collection of traits. The most minute characteristic becomes more important than the whole person as a living being. As we can imagine, someone like this deserves to be alone. Anyone who holds another to this unrealistic standard needs more than anything a long stretch of solitude. Deluded narcissists need time alone to reflect. Awareness necessitates humility. A humble person knows sacrifices and compromises are fundamental to relationships, even more so in an economy hostile to small businesses and the young and aging workforce. It won’t take much attentiveness to notice that males are increasingly disenfranchised. The government in turn acts as a replacement for the customary role of provider.

Realizing that even STEM graduates aren’t immune to underemployment and unemployment, at least we can reassess what’s really important in life. Despite suffering from poor job prospects, we can eliminate the toxic waste from our own personal lives. This toxicity consists of people who pose as family or friends and yet, they allow their selfishness and carelessness to poison the relationship. We are who we freely associate with. If we surround ourselves with immoral people who steal or commit adultery, this reflects poorly on us. Keeping friends like these, any potential partner or friend would reasonably suspect that we’d have no qualms about participating in the same destructive behavior. Any misguided tolerance for cheaters or thieves becomes an act of condoning. A true friend confronts the immorality. If the accused justifies the immorality, the reasonable option is to disassociate and maintain a healthy distance.

Loyalty is rare in a world steeped in ignorance and superficiality, but let’s not idly watch the toxic waste build up within ourselves. Anyone with a good heart understands that forgiveness isn’t masochism. Do not forget to extend kindness to ourselves. If we allow others to use us for money, stability, or random favors, we lose self-respect. We allow ourselves to be reduced to a utility, and we subsequently disintegrate into their toxic waste. Real sacrifice doesn’t involve self-debasement. A good heart has no use for vain extravagance and the amassing debt used to acquire it. A real relationship is not a sex for resources transaction. There’s nothing beautiful about narcissists who manipulate the opposite sex for a self-serving means to an end. We alone are responsible for our own hearts. Do we listen to Seneca’s perspective on high expectations or do we degenerate into heartless hunters with an endless list of demands? This is our choice. This is our choice that reflects our true character.