Lies. Every sweet word out of my lover’s mouth was a lie. And once I recognized them as such, it all became clear. I saw how things really were.
I understood that every person tells the lies they must to get the things they want. The worst of them manipulate the feelings others so they may bask in the glow of being loved without the risks inherent to loving in return.
Some lie without even realizing they are lying. They carve out their little corner of reality and abide in it. As long as they remain confined within this small place of reference, their truth is The Only Truth.
Some love only when the situation suits them, and easily withdraw their love to seek advantage elsewhere.
The more I paid attention, the more I recognized the patterns. I became a master of these observed manipulations, which made me wary and cynical. I felt proud and clever to have figured out how to protect myself. I would not give my love. I would trust no one.
Not that I didn’t suffer. It only saved me from the ignominy of publicly granting others the power to hurt me. I gave them no satisfaction. I licked my wounds in solitude.
This became the irony of my life. The more times I was hurt, the more wary I became. The more wary I became, the more I, myself, became the very nightmare I was trying to avoid
I never found the way out of that cycle.
From here, the route is clear. This is the truth: To love requires remaining vulnerable. Vulnerability inevitably, eventually results in pain. Thus the quest for love guarantees pain.
With this understood, there are only three choices:
Avoid the pain by locking the gates to the heart.
Remain vulnerable in weakness, suffering every slight with no enlightenment.
Remain vulnerable in strength, accepting of whatever comes, marveling at the full range of the emotions of which we find ourselves capable, regarding each passion and sorrow as the first chapter of a lesson.