The Consequences of Loving

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„Are you breathing, what I’m breathing

Are your wishes the same as mine

Are you needing, what I’m needing

I’m waiting for a sign

My hands tremble, my heart aches

Is it you calling?

If I’m alone in this, I don’t think I can face

The consequences of falling…”

These are the lyrics of a beautiful song by K.D.Lang, titled „The consequences of falling”. Of falling in love alone, of falling out of love without a safety net, of falling apart. Because inherently, one of the first lessons we are taught in this life is the cause-effect process and the consequences of our acts, of our attitudes, of our behavior.

When you’re a kid, it’s always easy for parents to persuade you into doing something with the promise of an ulterior reward. Religiously doing your homework in exchange for the bike you’ve been longing for or, at the opposite end of the scale, being grounded for 6 months if failing to pass the math exam. When you’re a child, consequences are always clear-cut and easy to figure out. You’re good, you’ll have your way. You’re bad, there’s no way for you than the highway.

Nevertheless, as we grow up, it all becomes a twisted and foggy game of causality and of phrases half-told, half-implied. You never know what will happen with a friendship if you act in a certain way, you don’t know how the love you share with someone will survive your or his betrayal, you don’t know how to interpret someone’s words nor do you have any idea how he/she will choose to interpret yours. Consequences are somewhat blurred and tricky to figure out, this is why we often times choose to simply disregard them and act as if there would be no tomorrow for our choices.

The most confusing thing of them all is perhaps the huge gap between the game as we knew it as kids and its actual, real-life rules. We were taught that behaving nicely, always telling the truth, never making someone feel bad or putting anyone on the spot is the way of having people liking you and responding in the same way. However, can we even take this into consideration anymore as a ground rule for any viable relationship of our days? When truth is responded to with lies, kisses with betrayals and honesty with dirt hidden under the rug, it is maybe time to switch to a different game plan.

When loving someone, just like most people I know, I never truly assessed the consequences of my falling in love with that person. Or, as a friend would say, I was only „one big open heart”, a heart playing by the rules it was once taught. „Treat people the same way you would like them to treat you”. Nevertheless, somewhere in between disappointing friendships and tear-shedding relationships I realized the irony and the freedom of this big game we all seem to play. It is no longer about treating people the same way you would like them to treat you, but rather it’s about having the upper hand, while being accountable to your own conscience.

In business, there’s a principle of negotiation called BATNA – Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement, which states as a rule the fact that the party to a negotiation that is most likely to obtain the highest gain out of the entire process is the one who is less scared by the prospect of not reaching an agreement. Or, differently put, the one who has the least to lose – be it money, reputation, love – is the one who ends up winning. It stopped being about reciprocity and it started being about power and playing one’s cards right.

I am astonished to think how unwise and even careless I had played my cards before. Not only did I place them on the table from the very beginning, for everyone to see, but I had never considered my moves beforehand. I had never truly contemplated the consequences of falling for anything. For a job-deal, for a sales-offer, for an „ideal” man. No wonder my outcomes were so different from what I initially had in mind.

Probably the sad thing about all this is that, with all being accountable to our very own consciences rather than to the public disdain for our acts, there will inevitably be people whom, in lack of any scruples, will play their game regardless of who gets hurt or walked all over. They are not, however, the kind of people that I feel in competition with.

I truly find this game both empowering and liberating, albeit scary. Empowering because it places the choice in one’s own hands, liberating because it feeds out of your self-confidence and out of your own feeling of self-worthiness and scary…because there still are consequences of falling. There are still consequences of loving and you can always lose the control and re-become that „one big open heart”. There are no guarantees, there’s only experience…and with experience, there’s perhaps the wisdom of assessing with more accuracy from how high up we can fall without hurting ourselves…

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  1. Postat iulie 19, 2008 la 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Hi. I am a long time reader. I wanted to say that I like your blog and the layout.

    Peter Quinn

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