Life and Love

The Slippery Slope

Life is subtle. It's difficult to make observations of life. Take these with a grain of salt. However, I believe that the observations apply to most people.

When you're young, the automatic reaction to injustice is resentment. It's inevitable that you will encounter injustice as you grow up. How much injustice you encounter and how much you resent the injustice strongly affects the kind of person that you become as an adult.

In more detail, resentment is a sin, and when you sin, you become guilty. Then if you're sorry for having sinned, you can be repented, and then you're free of the guilt. But much more common is that you encounter a new injustice before repenting of the first sin, and while you're resenting the new injustice, the memory and guilt from the first injustice gets buried.

Each time guilt gets buried, one loses some awareness. And that loss of awareness lessens how clearly one sees things. To others, it seems that you lack common sense. If you lose enough awareness, then you can easily start believing lies. And when you act on the lies, e.g. that some sin is really ok, then you become more guilty each time you sin. When you sin without being aware of sinning, you're sliding down the slippery slope.

Some people aren't aware enough to see how angry they are.

Some people become angry in reaction to a rotten childhood. Some choose to sin, e.g. a businessman that cheats his customers may have some qualms about it at first, but if he keeps thinking about how he's going to enjoy the money and keeps cheating his customers, he gradually loses awareness of the sinning involved in cheating his customers. In Biblical terms, this is a hardening of the heart.

Continuing the businessman example, when he's lost the awareness that cheating is wrong, he has a blind spot when it comes to having the awareness that he needs to keep from being cheated by others. The Bible refers to this as "deceiving and being deceived".

To keep from sliding down the slippery slope, or at least not as far down or as fast, you need to avoid resentment as best you can. Know that most injustice, cruelty, unfairness, unkindness, etc. comes from people who are already well down the slippery slope, and just aren't aware of what they're doing to you. (However, they may be aware enough to study you to ascertain your weaknesses, then try to exploit them.)

In Biblical terms, when one walks in the light, one is aware. And, when one walks in darkness, one lacks awareness.

The sinning that caused buried guilt is still in one's psyche, influencing how one lives day to day. A vivid example is that someone who almost drowned years ago, can be terrified if they fall into some water. Falling into the water served to trigger an old memory, causing the reliving of the terror felt when it first happened. A less vivid example is having resented some injustice in the past, and then recalling it, without conscious resentment, but experiencing tense muscles brought on by a subconscious reliving of the past resentment. I believe that the expression, "he gives me a pain in the neck" refers to this kind of experience.

Matthew 9:36, Jesus, "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.". This also seems true of many Americans today. In general, people aren't aware of how unaware that they are.

If you are repented over time, lost awareness is restored, and one has more common sense. (I believe that this is what St. Paul in the Bible refers to as "..be transformed by the renewing of your mind". Romans 12:2)

Also, Matthew 7:14 "For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.". It seems to me that the narrow way includes repentance over time. Typically, the things that you see with regained awareness are a surprise. Most often you will see things about yourself.

Romantic Love

By the time most people are teenagers, they've accumulated a fair amount of guilt and tend to react to life's injustices with resentment, often without being aware of their resentment. The guilt and resentments of current and past injustices tend to make one feel rotten. However, the rotten feeling often comes on gradually over years. One gets used to feeling rotten. Life may just feel kind of blah.

Now, if one is distracted from the resentments, one sins less and one doesn't feel as bad. The natural tendency is to think even more of whatever distracted you, then one feels even better. It seems to be somewhat like having gone to bed having the flu, then waking up the next morning not having the flu. One is merely normal again, but it feels so good.

Usually, it's someone of the opposite sex that distracts you. The tendency is to give that person credit for making you feel so good, to think that they are wonderful. One thinks one is in love.

Some women, after having been in love several times, like the feeling, and become in love with being in love, so to speak. It doesn't much matter who the guy is.

When one is distracted from resentments, including the resentments in the subconscious, a very beneficial thing has happened. A pattern of resentment has been broken. However, when the distraction loses it's effectiveness, most people simply slide back into their old thought patterns. And then they recall how nice it was to be in love.

The preceding is one facet of romantic love. Who you find to be an effective distraction is another aspect of romantic love.

Who You Find to be an Effective Distraction

Long ago I was around someone that was very angry with his boss. He was very critical of him. Then, later, when he was around his boss, I saw him suck up to his boss. It didn't make sense to me at the time. Only later did I realize that the anger and resentment had made him guilty, and that guilt made him uncomfortable while he was around his boss. If he then got his boss's approval by being nice to him, it relieved his guilt and he felt better. I'll get back to this after the next paragraph.

A young boy doesn't have a perfect mother. Inevitably he resents her at times. This leaves a mark on him. After years of having resentments at various times, a fair amount of guilt has accumulated.

By the time the young boy has grown to manhood, the guilt that he has for resenting his mother is usually deeply buried, but still there. Now, if he gets acquainted with some young woman that reminds him of his mother, the feelings within the guilt can be transferred to this young woman.

Something about the transfer of feelings seems to bring the deeply buried guilt to the surface, where it cries out for relief. Thoughts of the beloved, and her approval, real or imagined, provide relief of the guilt. On a conscious level, the thoughts that relieve guilt have a sweetness to them. If the beloved has also had a transfer of guilt feelings, it's real easy to get a mutual admiration society going.

For a woman, it's like the preceding, except that a woman resents her father, and is attracted to men that remind her of her father.

It's been said that love is blind. Falling in love has much more to do with one's past guilt than the characteristics of the person loved.

Having Heroes and Being a Hero

Having heroes distracts one as well. Many young men get real pleasure in thinking of their sports heroes. It helps to have heroes around to admire. Be one.

Sin Separates You From God

When one is addicted to sin, even if one is not consciously aware of sinning, the sin separates you from God. (Is 59:2) It is then hard to feel the love of God and Jesus; one feels cutoff. If Jesus were walking around in a way that one could see him, it'd be easier to relate to him. Today, it seems that one needs to begin by relating to a good Christian. Doing so helps distract one from resentments. Then in time, when you're sinning less and less over time, one will not be as separated from God, and can grow in faith and in closeness to God and Jesus.

Strictly speaking, it's God's goodness coming through a Christian that makes the Christian seem good. Seeing that goodness tends to fill the "God shaped hole" in a person's soul.

Conversely, evil comes through men like Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, etc.

A good Christian leads by example and by who he is. It's good to have a hero who is also a Christian.

Phil. 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever us pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.". To the extent that you have these thoughts, you lessen the chances of triggering subconscious resentments.

Typically, guilt accumulates over years, and it often takes years of repentance for all of the guilt to surface for repentance. I surmise that from God's perspective, repentance over time allows the experience of life to "refine, purge and purify" us. Quick repentance would not be properly valued, just as success that comes too easily is not properly valued.

Ideally, one needs to stay out of thought patterns that lead to resentment.

stanlass at netins dot net