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Read Letter

Being Authentic

Dear Jack, can you deliver this letter to Jil?

My dear Jil, have you ever heard of the expression, “root of bitterness”? It makes relationship tough if not impossible. A root of bitterness is something buried deep below the surface. No one can see it. It’s why it’s called a root. Think of a tree felled but the roots are still alive. Under certain conditions it will germinate leaves because the tree is not dead. It’s alive under. Because the root is buried deep below the surface no one can reconcile you. Your prettiness thus becomes confusing. It attracts but those mood swings contract and detract. And sometimes you become fierce and wild.
The trigger seems to be apprehension and fear about being taken for granted. No woman wants to be taken for granted. And so I understand where all that is coming from. Trying not to be taken for granted is what’s making you negotiate affection, making you refuse to volunteer affection. You want proven commitment from the other side first. The problem with that though is that it is self-defeatist. That’s because it’s driven by a sense of inadequacy. Because of that the negotiation will never end. You’re looking for present continuous assurance. But at some point the other party will start feeling cheated. The emotional cost will be too high. He will go into a commercial mode too, wondering if you’re worth all the trouble. For him it’ll be like having something he doesn’t really have. Each time his hand closes around it he comes up short.
Because you’re watching out for yourself you’ll become self-centered. Your selfishness will threaten the relationship but you’ll not be aware. You’re self-obsessed. What this does is that it triggers a feeling of being cheated in the other party. The other party will know you like him but you won’t express it. And you won’t volunteer affection. You’ll rather be responsorial. But even then the reaction will be measured and inadequate. It will satisfy you but will be unsatisfactory to him. And soon the relationship becomes defined by this inadequacy. When men are confronted with such scenario they begin to rationalise their affection. They soon begin to withhold expression of love and affection too. And they feel they’re being manipulated.
Most young men can’t handle manipulation. They don’t have the wherewithal to command magnetic and authority based devotion that overcomes that manipulation. This is the danger: another woman can show up, one who is not stingy with affection. The guy will feel he’s met the woman who truly loves him. She’s unstinting in affection. While you won’t even text him love emojis, even when he does something great for you this other lady freely texts “I love you!” Men need such expressions of love just as women. Men need to be told they’re loved. It’s only when you see your relationship being threatened that you’ll then begin to do those expressions of love and affection. Which kind of feels funny to a guy. In his thinking it’s like, so now because you feel a threat from another woman you’re suddenly ready to love me the way you should! In some men that can generate anger. And so you can see your behaviour is a complex of issues that are stemming from a sense of inadequacy.
The display of selfishness and self-centredness is not exactly a good strategic answer to the need for assurance. It’s like pushing away the person you want assurance from yet demanding a massive dose of assurance from that same person. It’s a contradiction in terms. But you won’t see the contradiction, can’t see the contradiction because your deliberateness in withholding affection locks you in your own world.
However you dice it love is a risk. Every time you love you take a massive risk. Your love may not be requited or adequately compensated. That’s the risk. But what if it is! If the love is for the right person your love will be requited. It will be deeply appreciated. So give your love to the appreciative to mitigate the risk in love. Don’t cast pearl before swine. What a feeling of inadequacy does is that it treats all men as potential swine, even when the facts are completely the opposite. Because of fear of being taken for granted the relationship degenerates into a control scenario. He who loves less controls more you believe. But how can you want to be loved more by loving less? There’s a contradiction in there. You can’t see it because you’re so focused on watching out for yourself.
Perhaps a better approach will be to tell him in all honesty and sincerity what you need in the relationship. Tell him you want a lot of love, a lot of affection. And in a whiff of honesty tell him you feel inadequate sometimes. That is a better approach than the tough girl persona. It’s hard to love a tough woman. You’ll be hungry with pride. That tough girl persona is too rigid for affection, will not let her guards down to accept what she clearly requires. The tough girl persona won’t even agree she has needs, though a discerning man can see through. Being needful is not a problem, being needy is. It’s why I tell you to approach your relationship with honesty. Honesty in a relationship is not just about words, it’s also about feelings, being truthful about your feelings. The thing about love is that it demands such truthfulness and sincerity. Your boyfriend should not be hazarding a guess you love him, just as you shouldn’t be wondering if he truly loves you. Love is sincere. Love is not manipulative. If you’re manipulative you end up with a synthetic variety of love. Because it’s not natural it can’t be fulfilling.
Let me illustrate with the party scene from Lagos, Nigeria. At those big society parties there’s usually a band. That band is essentially a plagiariser of popular songs by the way. The songs are adapted for the party. Now, there’s something called “spraying” in Nigeria. It’s pasting wads of notes on the head of the lead singer of a band or celebrant, or lucky dancer. At these parties the job of the lead singer is essentially praise singing. His assistant goes around collecting the names of important people at the party, those that matter. The celebrant is of course is No.1. The songs are then adapted to adulate these individuals. But some people volunteer their names to be praise-sung. Now, imagine the person who volunteered his name for praise singing now claiming to be popular! That’s funny isn’t it? But that’s the picture of manipulative love. It’s artificially wrung out. It’s not natural.
You’re more beautiful when you rid yourself of all those manipulative tendencies and artificialities. There’s the raw you, the authentic attractive you. The analogy for all those contrivances and manipulations is the picture of a woman who piles on layers of makeup indiscriminately. It’s a mask. We all want to meet you, the real you. It’s freer, happier, and lighter. It’s not seeking to create an impression. It’s just what it is. There’s that nice you on the inside of you. Don’t let it be suppressed by a root of bitterness.
Yes, your ex-boyfriend might have taken you for granted. Or done something you didn’t like, something hurtful to your esteem. He made you angry. You feel depreciated… But you should put all that in the past. Move on past it. Don’t build your life around it. Don’t nurture it. Don’t meditate on it. Just move on. You can’t assume all men will do that. What if your new boyfriend assumes all women are a certain way too, just because of an experience. If the facts presented to you are contrary to your imagination correct your position. And be free to talk about things. Don’t pile up things on the inside of you. You may become mean. Don’t constipate yourself with sad feelings and pride.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. It makes relationship possible. Just do it with the right man. And you know a right man. You’ll have to repose trust if you want to have a happy marriage. If you go into marriage with someone you don’t trust there’s the potency of manipulation lurking. You might have married him for ulterior motive. Or out of foolishness. Or desperation. Pick.
I’m just saying be real, be kind, be generous, be authentic. Be you.
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder |
Move on from the past. Don't build your life around it. Don't nurture it. Don't meditate on it. Click To Tweet
Tags : Genuine love, vulnerability

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