Why I don’t care anymore
by Andrea Elizabeth
1. I’m tired of being upset about things.
2. I don’t believe in emotions as much as I used to.
3. I believe in the danger of spoiling people.
4. Being upset on someone else’s behalf can lead them into self-pity. Something I have to fight off with all my being.
If someone has a habit of being motivated by emotions, which are unstable and have to be pumped up by entertainers and salesmen and sensational newsmen, then when that particular motivational factor is removed, they can experience a void. This void can render them cold and detached from things. A passive state. I don’t think this is what is meant by dispassion though. Hopefully it can be a step towards it.
While in this passive state, people who really “care” about their causes can get very angry at you. Then you have to detach yourself from their anger, which distances you from them. This is a very lonely state. Not lonely in the emotional sense, but alone in the absence of the comfortable, what-is-expected-in-relationships sense. Another void. I am exploring the idea that these voids are necessary in order to be filled with something more authentic (pardon the word).
I have had “feelings” when in the presence of certain Orthodox people and objects which I believe exude grace. It is different than feelings of being in love or enjoyment in relationships with people, but not opposite. They are both very pleasurable, but in different ways. It is in the region of my physical heart, where I think the other is more in the area of the head where emotions lay. Being in love can promote a sort of delirium and distraction. Feeling grace can have a focusing element.
But one cannot be motivated by trying to attain even the feeling of grace, though I think it is a gift. Love is being willing to give up one’s gifts. Choosing to pray and go to Church consistently has to be motivated by a desire for correctness rather than for a feeling. I am so convinced of this method of attaining correctness, that I don’t believe in politics and even “normal” human relationships anymore. I probably don’t understand “normal” human relationships. One can be used to relationships being needs-based. I wont go into all the instances of needing help from friends and family, emotionally and physically. This works both ways of course. With that comes the points system, sort of I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine, or the duty system in caring for children,etc. Fallen as we are, this is better than nothing. I have in the last number of years needed however to distance myself from this. It can become like spinning a number of plates in the air. I became exhausted and have removed a number of my plates and spinning poles from the communal queue. I still hear the pleas for help spinning the communal plates, and it is built in us to respond to them, but I’ve had to learn to say no. Back to the void. Since I have six dependent (to different degrees) children and a husband, I still have plenty of plates to juggle, but something in me doesn’t want to promise that when they are self-spinning I will be available to spin other people’s plates again. But what if George and I lose the ability to spin each other’s (he probably spins mine more than vice versa)? Right now I want to have faith that I will be ok without trying to purchase some sort of relationship insurance policy in advance. I want to be at home and at Church with no strings attached. I want to be relied on to stay here and show up there. That is about all I want to muster right now. This is why I like the idea of freedom of will. When you start adding all these necessities and “if you don’t”, I get obstinate. I guess freedom is what I care about. I don’t know if it’s enough, but I’m pretty stubborn about it right now, justifiably or not.
So if I remove the element of need in certain relationships, what can take its place? Hopefully genuine love. I wonder what that is like. Being “in love” is more selfish, I imagine. True love doesn’t have as much to do with personal preference.