How do you fall in love? What is it based on? How can you change how you feel? a friend was asking as she was seeing someone who seemed to be more attracted to her than she was to him. Yet she liked him, enjoyed him, and wished she could reciprocate.
Except it’s not an intellectual exercise is it? There’s a reason that traditionally Cupid is blind. Logic and reason often don’t have much to do with feelings.
And our feelings can change. We have fallen in love with people we’ve known for years. We have fallen out of love with people we have loved for years. Thoughâ€”on considerationâ€”falling out of love seems to have a lot more intellectual and factual aspects to it than falling in love!
It’s pretty hard to describe what exactly is the change that suddenly transformed ‘someone’ into something beloved. Sometimes there’s an action, a look, an understanding, but it’s pretty ineffable.
Trying to understand the hows and whys that cause us to fall in love with a person seems too complex and big a challenge to wrap our arms around. So let’s consider smaller things.
Can you remember an instance where your attitude changed? Some occurrence that switched your opinion, changed your mind, opened a door, gave you a new perspective, readjusted your thinking, caused you to reframe your perception and realign your judgement?
No? OK, here’s one from my files.
Some of you may remember the early days of Clint Eastwood films (directed by Sergio Leone, A Fistful Of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, etc.). I would declaim to anyone that would listen how unbelievably boring and stupid the films were! They just consisted of Clint Eastwood…
1) Walking onto the screen
2) Obliterating everyone
3) Walking off the screen
4) Walking onto a new screen
5) Obliterating everyone
6) Walking off the screen
Many would agree. But what stuck in my mind was the one person who looked at me and said, slightly sorrowfully, as if speaking to a somewhat retarded person:
“But…that’s the point.”
Well, the scales fell from my eyes and I was able to utterly reassess my conclusions, realign my expectations and realizeâ€”and appreciateâ€”the poetry in motion that this metaphoric Western ballet depicted. Indeed, all Westerns celebrated. Reader, I loved them. Yes, all of them.
Example two, further illustrating my point on how much thingsâ€”feelings, beliefs, opinionsâ€”depend on how you are looking, not actually what you are looking at. So when people say (with a myriad of quotes) ‘you can only change yourself,’ know that you probably change yourself constantly, often easily, and that it has the power to instantly open new worlds.
I remember first moving to NYC and asking, “What is an egg cream?” and always getting the answer, “It’s an ice cream soda, without the ice cream.”
Are you with me here? Huh? Why would anyone ever want an ice-creamless ice cream soda? I mean, Hello? WTFP? (What’s The F**king Point?). Given that the point of having an ice cream soda is, in fact, THE ICE-CREAM. That’s why it’s the lead!
I wandered through Manhattan really feeling pretty sad about New York and their delight in creating and ordering an ice cream soda…hold the ice cream. Indeed, Iâ€”I admit itâ€”would occasionally indulge in a little rant about the cosmic stupidity of the concept.
Until finally someone saidâ€”slightly sorrowfully, as if speaking to a developmentally disabled person: “It’s not an ice cream soda without the ice cream. It’s an enhanced Cokeâ„¢.”
The scales fell from my eyes and I was able to reassess my conclusions, realign my expectations and realizeâ€”and appreciateâ€”the nectar of the gods this delightful fizzy fresh and thirst quenching ambrosia offered. Reader, I loved them.
And consider all these challenges to reread books you’ve read in the pastâ€”Practical Classics and others I can’t immediately locate with search, or numerous articles over the years all illustrate how you, not “it” changes, and how amazing that is, because the world we see changes as we do, endlessly new, never entirely known.
Think about it….
â€œWhy do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.â€ â€• Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky (but of course time changes you, even if you never leave)