I say I love you, but do I show it?
The connection between our words and actions.
I’m hearing it, but I’m not feeling it. I’m sensing a disconnect between what you’re saying and what you are doing. Your thoughts and behaviour are not in alignment. I always say how much I love you, why isn’t that enough?
Yes, why isn’t it enough?
It isn’t enough because our words must be teamed together with action otherwise an inherent distrust in the words spoken starts to developed.
Now, why is there a disconnect between what we say and what we do? Many reasons, but some include:
· a genuinely dishonest person
· a person who is trying to manipulate or get something from the other person
· the person is unaware of themselves (thoughts and actions) and thus hasn’t perceived any disconnect
· the person is trying to act in a way that garners praise/reassurance/positive reinforcement from the other person
· the person hasn’t honestly communicated with the other person how they feel and what’s on their mind/of concern to them.
· The person is trying to mask how they truly think and feel out of fear of a negative response from the other person and/or negative feelings arising in themselves.
As I have written in another article on vulnerability and the fear of being yourself, it is imperative that we all find someone that we can express our vulnerability towards. Now, if we have this person and we don’t show our true selves to them, the most pertinent question is why? Why do I feel I cannot communicate honestly with this person? What is holding me back or making me feel cautious or reluctant to give the deepest parts of my soul to this person?
The answer/s to the aforementioned questions may indeed be unpleasant – more than unpleasant, even – which is probably why one avoids asking themselves such things. However, the longer these questions go answered, generally speaking, the worse it is for both you and the this other person.
With a difference between your words and actions, there is a deception going on. Now, whether this deception is unintentional or deliberate is important, but it’s not the point I’m making here. The dangerous part here is that this can originate from deception within you i.e. self-deception.
Here are a couple of Dostoevsky quotes regarding lying to yourself that I quite like:
“Above all, do not lie to yourself. A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him, and thus falls into disrespect towards himself and others.”
“A man who lies to himself is often the first to take offence. It sometimes feels very good to take offence, doesn't it?”
Both these quotes come from the same passage in Book II, Chapter 2 of The Brothers Karamazov – of which I’m currently reading. It’s amazing how insightful old texts (still) are.
One of the main things we can sometimes say to ourselves is that we’re withholding something we have to say in order to “protect” the other person. I generally tend to find this is being used as a mask to cover up something that one is afraid/fearful of saying and that the other person doesn’t want or need said protection and, if anything, would prefer if they were open and honest with them.
The disjunction between love and reason is one of the major problems of humanity and we haven’t managed to find a way to overlap them completely (and maybe there isn’t). So, this leads us to sometimes being forced to choose between benevolence and what makes sense. It could be that the point is this...maybe making sense isn’t everything?