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Read Letter

Contrary Spirit

Dear Jack, it’s important you discern the spirit of someone you’re considering dating. Rather than just being moved by superficial realities. What’s on the surface is being projected. The nice dress, makeup, the affectations, the sexiness…all those are projections. Those projections won’t give you a true picture of somebody, just an impression. Projections are independent of character. Projections won’t give you insight into the spirit or real nature of someone. A devious person can wear fitted skirt and look attractive. The prettiness of the skirt is not the true knowledge of the person. And anyway mass media has sold us an imagery of a cosmopolitan woman. You’ve been programmed by reality TV. That someone looks fine, dresses fine can’t tell you the character of the person. You have to discover that. The character is independent of the dressing. The dress is mere fashion, an artistic endeavour. So you may find yourself appreciating a dress rather than evaluating the character of the model you’re considering dating.

Yet character is key. It’s what sustains marriage, not the dressing. She’s going to pull off the dress anyway, clear her face of makeup. After cleaning the face, removing the wig what’s left sans makeup? That’s a question you should be concerned about. It’s what’s left that’s your marriage. The dress, the makeup, those are just image technologies and enhancers. Character is easy to discern. It’s in attitude, it’s in disposition, and it’s in words. Character is the concern or unconcern. It’s the sincerity or insincerity. Character is the honesty or dishonesty. It’s the trustworthiness or lack of it. Character is the faithfulness or faithlessness. It’s the ill temperament or lack of it. It’s the caring or uncaring. It is these concerns that are painful to us in a relationship. It’s where emotional desire and wisdom collide. Character is you being sick and she doesn’t bother to call. She goes off partying, offers untenable excuses… It’s her asking you for money for something and you can tell it’s a fob, a lie and deceit. It’s her showing up in your house when she suspects you’re drifting away; this after days of ignominy, treating you badly. It’s you catching her off-guard temperamentally using unbelievable gutter expressions that are dissonant to your upbringing.

Character is that viciousness lurking under the surface. You can’t quite put your hand on it but you know it’s there. It leaks. Character is that uncare for the feelings of others, the execution of Darwinian and Machiavellian theology. You can know these things and still be carried away by sexiness – the short skirt, the sway of the hips, the affectation… But you ought to be concerned about character. Sexiness can’t cure it. It’s not a substitute for it. And that she wants you doesn’t obliterate the facts of character. Young men often get confused about being desired. Being desired can short-circuit the system. Being wanted makes people overlook character traits that ring alarm bells. So it’s not just the fashion projection that confuses young men. There’s also projected desire, being desirous. Being wanted naturally titillates a young man. He feels good pursuing and being pursued. But you can’t make life-determining decisions on just someone’s sense of fashion or desirousness. You’ve got to discern the spirit and nature of someone, the character of the person, before you make a decision on marriage. Character can take some time to manifest. It’s why you don’t rush into marriage. You may be marrying a projected image. Or you may just be getting carried away with someone’s desire for you.

Discerning human nature can sometimes require meditation – thinking through facts. Human nature can be buried under layers. The other factors can be so noisy – the makeup, sexiness, dressing etc. You need some quiet to see through. Even religiosity can obscure character and nature. You can get carried away with dedication and religious ablutions. You need to go over those persistent facts, the ones you keep excusing. What do they portend? You can’t keep ignoring them. If someone does something painful to you the first time, you might say it’s a happenstance. If the person does it the second and third time, you’re looking at character trait. Especially if there’s pretext to gloss over it. Examining what is producing the traits will give you insight into the spirit and nature of the person.

When someone for example is contrarian and stubborn for no reason you’re looking at nature. You can’t change it. Those expressions of stubbornness many times stem from a desire to control or be in control. It can be a learned bad trait – the belief one can get away with bad behaviour; or it can be an insecurity shield. And sometimes it’s an expression of anger at something or someone no one can know. It’s deep and far. If you examine the basis of that rigidity and something nasty keeps showing up you’re looking at a nature. Some people are so rigidly stubborn the trait has demonic qualities. You CAN’T convince them to wisdom. They celebrate that stubbornness. You will hit a wall with such a person, and I’m talking reinforced concrete not clay bricks. That’s because the issue is so rooted deeply in the psyche it’s not just a defence, it’s being-hood. You won’t understand that stubborn rigidity. Trying to process the reasoning will about short-circuit your brain. You’ll go white brick blank. You can’t make the person see sense for his or her own good. You’re wasting your time. The stubbornness is more important. You can take a 200-mile journey of persuasion with the person thinking you’re making progress, but find yourself at status quo. You can’t handle such a spirit. The relationship won’t work however you try. You may break yourself trying, dull yourself.

Yet there are those with wonderful agreeable spirits. Marriage is more feasible with such. That’s because marriage is a series of adjustments. It’s acculturation. There has to be a spirit of agreeability in marriage. An unbending and unreasonable disposition is the artistic totem of the unwise. They tend to be wise in themselves. Always wanting to be in control. It can be buried under layers of pretence of unawareness. You have to play the facts in your head, look at motivation and disposition to discern the spirit of someone. Don’t be carried away with all the dressing or the projection of desire. Character matters, nature matters. There is such a thing called a contrary spirit in a relationship. That spirit always faces backward never forward. You can’t persuade a contrary spirit. She may come along with you to get what she wants. It’s for a period and calculated. Once she feels advantaged she begins to assert that true self. Everything becomes enforcement. If you insist on changing her she’ll break you. Just let her be. You’ll keep coming back to the same issues, the same thing. A contrary spirit is rigid because it’s rooted in seeking to protect self from experiences of past pain and disappointment. There are things only God can do.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

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Tags : assessment, Personality, Background check, Attraction, Character, Family, Sincerity, Choosing, Backgrounds, expressiveness, Value, How men assess women

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