Everyday breakfast with the person you love, watching a movie in her company, a walk in the park, a night in the theatre, dancing a song feeling the body of your partner, a conversation sharing warm coffee, laying down in a roof terrace in a sunny day, staring at a picture in an art museum…life is full of these little things that we often do not appreciate enough. They are what keeps you alive. Without them life will not be worth living. Their emotional content is such that they do give us the force to keep going even in the worst moments of our life. Our society do not appreciate these little things enough. We do prefer to buy a big plasma TV, stare at it hours and hours instead of experiencing them. And then we are surprised that depression and violence are rampant. Our problem is not material, it is not because we don’t have enough things. Our problem is emotional. We do not know how to live the moment. Carpe Diem, now I know what it means.
I’ve just arrived from Barcelona to London. My easyJet flight was 3 hours late! It took off from the old terminal of Barcelona airport. It was a very sad experience. It is completely empty. Very few flights take off now from there, most of the shops are closed, very few people are using it. For me it was even sadder, because I used it many times with the person that shared my life for eight years. Our relationship is gone, I miss her and the darkness of the terminal alleys remind me of the sorrow of my soul.
Fantastic sunny day here in Barcelona. After lunch, I went to have a tea with my uncle. We had a great time for a bit more than an hour in a sunny terrace in Via Augusta Barcelona. It is these little moments that I was not appreciating in the past, which can make your life great.
Today, I was in my house in Barcelona when my aunt called me. She told me that there was a jazz concert in the Casal de Sarria (casals in Catalunya are some sort of public civic buildings where people can organize concerts, games, events…). She asked me if I wanted to go, for it was just started and there were going to play for one hour more (it is just 5 minutes from my house). At first, I reacted for a very brief moment as I have for many years: too late, no need to go, waste of time…and then I turned around, as I am learning to do now, and told myself it was a good chance to have a bit of spontaneous fun. At that very moment, my mother was coming in the house. So I asked her if she wanted to come, and told my aunt that we were going.
I enjoyed it very much. I realised what I have been doing for many years. Rationalizing all my life. Considering every benefit and every loss before doing something, and at the end don’t do anything. Not enjoying my life. My emotions. I spent a fantastic hour with my mother and my aunt, listening to good music, not thinking of anything else. First time in many years. There was, however, a cloud of sadness. For I wished that I would have discovered this earlier in my life. I missed the person who would have made it a perfect evening. The person who offered me many times this kind of experiences, and I rebuffed once and again.
The liberation of women is still an ongoing process. In the last 50 years we have made great advances in the legal, economic and political rights of women. There is much to do in the world on this. But there is much more to do in the social and cultural dimensions. In our societies, we still hear how women are verbally misrepresented, attacked or discriminated. We still see how women are sexually attacked and violently beaten. We still treat women as inferior beings, which don’t think like us, and so don’t deserve the same responsibilities. Even if consciously we don’t realise it, in our everyday lives we often treat women as objects, trophies or servants. When I say “we”, I am not only referring to men, I am referring to society, men and women. It is our cultural values and social practices that put women in this position. Some benefit from it, many suffer from it.
The real liberation of women. The one in which they have the opportunity to be women without being attacked, discriminated against or dominated. It does touch me directly since I was born. Now, it touches me even more.
We use the word egocentric to define someone who experiences life as something purely happening around him, where his body and mind are the centre, and the world turns around them. This way of living is very often transparent for the person at the centre. As the emperor without clothes, he doesn’t see the reality as others’ see it, but as he sees it. All his experiences are filtered by what he is thinking and feeling. All his memories are about himself. He is insensitive to what others feel or see. He doesn’t listen or observe, he just experiences life for himself. I lived for many years like this. And I am paying now the price. I hope I have changed.
Today, I was thinking of a very important episode of my life. One in which a connection was made and kept between two people around a common experience and a name. One connection of many that were recently abruptly broken. Then I thought of other episodes and saw how wrongly one can communicate feelings. Sometimes we feel love and communicate rejection. This was the case during my last birthday. My frustration for feeling that I was not receiving the appreciation I needed from the people I loved (aggravated by the fact of being far from my family) caused my rejection of whom loved me the most. That is, my need for emotional appreciation provoked a frustrated reaction. This was a fatal unconscious and paradoxical error that has costed me dearly.
In our society, we talk much about being sexually unfaithful. Having extramarital sexual relationships is seen as the ultimate sin in a sentimental relationship. Yet, we don’t talk so much about being emotionally unfaithful. When one person starts having emotions for someone else, the consequences can be very destructive, particularly for the one being emotionally abandoned.
Disloyalty of the heart is the one in which our partner starts feeling attached to another person and she doesn’t tell us. When she remains silent about her feelings. Then the beginning of the end is being sown. Being unfaithful at heart and keeping silence, even lie about one’s feelings to each other is a betrayal of love.
When this happens, how can we know? And, then, if we suspect it is happening, how should we react? A sexual relationship is physical. We can find evidence of sexual disloyalty, show them to the wrongdoer, and even to society if needed. Emotional disloyalty, however, is purely sentimental, intangible, even confusing for the one committing it. The sufferer is left in utter confusion, not knowing what’s actually happening, and sometimes immersed in guilt. He feels his partner gradually abandoning him at heart. And then he blames himself for all the wrongs that are causing it. These feelings often survive, and can become more intensive after we have been actually abandoned.
In truth, though he might be responsible for the void left in his partner’s heart in which another person is coming in, she is disloyal at heart when she remains silent, waiting for her feelings to abandoned her partner, and denying him the opportunity to rectify and repair what he’s done wrong.
While in Brussels, on Saturday 5/3 I went to the movies. In the last minute, I bought a ticket for Tom Ford’s A Single Man, a movie that was recommended by a friend of mine on Facebook. It was exactly the movie that I needed at that moment. A piece of art, and a beautifully dramatic/sad story. It is about an English school teacher trying to cope with the death of his partner, Jim, who died in a car accident eight months earlier after fifteen years of relationship. The whole movie is about the day he is planning to commit suicide, while life slowly shows him how beautiful it can be, despite (or perhaps partly because of) the pain and tragedy it contains. Utterly recommendable if you like good cinema.
Some people have such an innocent image of themselves that they think they can do no wrong. They blame everyone else for their wrongdoings and mistakes. They cowardly hide their own guilt behind others’. They fool themselves for the sake of keeping their self-assumed purity. Yet, they gravely harm others without knowing, for accepting that would be accepting they are no angels anymore. They hurt in ignorance and self-delusion. For above all, they fear pain, their own pain.