“When we are not fully present, we are not really living. We are not really there, either for loved ones or for ourselves. If we’re not there, then where are we? We are running, running, running, even during our sleep. We run because we’re trying to escape from our fear” (232).
This quote particularly connected with me because of a personality quiz I had to take about a week ago as part of Resident Assistant training. It is called the True Colors quiz and it assigns you to four categories, although that seems broad, it is by a point system, so you will fit into one category more so than another, but it doesn’t exclude you from any of the other three. So in essence, everyone has a different hybridization with the categories. According to my points, I am mostly blue which is defined by these parameters:
And after analyzing how I am similar to this category for about 80% of it, the category which scored the second highest amount of points was orange:
I realized that the qualities that made me an orange were random (in different sub categories), but the one that ties it all back to emotive ethics is a quality defined in the “Symptoms of a Bad Day.” This quality is simply “running away.” I don’t remember the last time I lived in the present. Right now, myself and all other millennials are even more so pressured by a status quo to have certain things checked off our list by a certain age (ex: go to college, get a job, get married, etc). So of us ignore some of those terms, but it does not mean that they still do not haunt us in the back of our heads. When I took this quiz, I loved my results, but I was still not expecting the “running away” quality to affect me as much as it did, and it haunted me because it went against many of the qualities I thought I had. Recently, I have not been able to just hang out with my friends because of the thoughts in the back of my head, the fear and worries. When I was younger, I used to literally run away from anything I deemed fear. Whenever my mother discussed college, I went out for a run before she could continue, because I always feared how my current grades weren’t enough. The fear I ran from always different, but it always prevented me from completing the task at hand, and even though it’s in the “bad day” tab, I feel it affects me on other days as well. Were it not for the accumulation of current situations, I would not have been able to acknowledge this until the span of this past week.
“So in the unenlightened, mind identified condition, what is sometimes wrongly called joy is usually short-lived pleasure side of the continuously alternating pain/pleasure cycle. Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, where is Joy arises from within. The very thing that gives you pleasure today will give you pain tomorrow, or will leave you, so it’s absence will give you pain. And what is often referred to as love maybe pleasurable and exciting for a while, but is an addictive clinging, and extremely needy condition that can turn into its opposite at the flick of a switch. Many ‘love’ relationships, after the initial euphoria has passed, actually oscillate between ‘love’ and hate, attraction and attack (320-321).
This specific reading really made me think about my current thoughts about love. I have been in a consecutive romantic relationship for more than four years now, and people often ask me whether it is true love and I respond that I do not know, because I myself am unsure of how one can feel such a deep emotion. However, I have noticed that many couple call their emotions love, despite the time that they have been together. And I myself do not think time is a limitation to love, but I think it’s an obstacle, or illusion. Time can tell whether the initial romantic feelings was part of the “euphoria” before it comes down to “‘love’ and hate, attraction and attack.” The same can be said about greed and how it is not able to be sated. Just because something or something provides immediate fulfillment, the absence of it just proves that it is not real love or joy that is being given.