Pure love, grandchildren and cognitive dissonance

Why oh why, can we not love all of our lives like children do, unabashedly, without restraint and open? What causes us as adults to hoard love, to give it so stingily? Is it the memories of love unreturned, cast aside and discarded? Is it embarrassment that maybe it’s not returned in the same measure? Is it fear?  What do we lose by loving another – be they friend, family or lover? Yes, loving involves giving of ourselves but…do we lose anything of our self when we love? I think not. I think we grow, even in unrequited love.  We learn more about ourselves, our depth, our end points also.

My grandson so often reminds me of the freedom to love as a child.  He is unabashed in his declarations of love for me.  My heart nearly bursts each time I hear those words in his childish, lisping voice. For what more do any of us want, than to be loved thoroughly for all that we are; for all that we have to give. But as adults, we apportion it out as if it were a limited supply.  If you have ever truly loved though, you understand that the more love you offer, the more love it is that you have. We forget that after a time of not being loved I think.  We become stingy, miserly, with our love.  Love loses its value, becomes an unnecessary item, when there is a dearth of it.  We replenish the yearning well that lies within us all with actions – self-fulfillment; accomplishments; careers.  Some something that will provide a visible reminder to us, and perhaps others, that we are here and that we have value.  I want to return to the place where I love purely without worry regarding the cost on the internal balancing of books, you know – Heart 1 – Lover 0.

How does cognitive dissonance fit in with the rest of this post you may wonder.  When we are adapting our life views or making changes within ourselves, this is often a direct result of experiencing cognitive dissonance in the recent past.  We come to hold ideas that do not fit within the rest of our idea framework, so we must change, or reduce, the dissonance we are feeling.  Often we accomplish this by changing the value of something we don’t like, or something that we do like.  When we behave differently than what is reflected in the carefully defined set of rules we normally embrace in life, this too results in cognitive dissonance.  To resolve this imbalance, we must take some action, or continue in the uncomfortable realm we find ourselves in.   It is my belief that cognitive dissonance actually drives change in human behavior – be that positive change or negative change.   We can manage change in our life more ably simply by being aware of this driver in thoughts and behavior.  Just food for thought 🙂

Absence diminishes mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans fires.
Francois de la Rouchefoucauld

And I leave you with one of my favorite pianists – Ludovico Einaudi – Eyes Closed

Be well.  Love purely. Give freely.


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