Swallow Hard

May 26, 2010 by

Swallow Hard
Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love

I’m reading a book entitled “Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love” and I went into the little cafe close to the office.  Now, it’s an interesting book … basically the science of why we fall and who we fall for.  You know the neuroscience of love (yea, I’m a geek I admit it … but geeks are kinda adorable, aren’t they).  Kinda a peak under the covers of when Al Pacino says to Keanu Reeves in The Devil’s Advocate:

quote
Keanu: What about love?
Pacino: Overrated.  Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate.

But this post is not about the book.  It’s the reaction the book brought on this morning when I went into the cafe.  The woman behind the counter saw the title and started talking to me about the book.  She asked what it was about.  And as soon as I told her it is the science of falling in love, she put her entire belief system on display for me to see (read that line again, since I think it is something we all do more often than we’d like to admit).

When I said “it’s the neuroscience of why we fall in love” she said “because we’re supposed to.”  When I asked “why do you think we’re supposed to?” she said “just because.”  And that was pretty much it.  No thought, no inquiry, no curiosity, no depth, no exploration … “just because”

Then of course I asked “ok, but why with specific people?” and she said “because that’s the way it’s supposed to be?”  I said, “ok, but why?  Why guy A and not guy B? And what happens when guy A dies?  Is that it?”  I was just pushing to get her to engage and think through her answer.  And of course I get “because God wants us to” and my response (you should know by now) … “but why?”  And her answer “just because”

So she has swallowed her belief system so hard that she can’t even attempt to ask questions and explore it.  She’s drank the Kool-Aid and HAS to have full faith that her belief system is a true and solid foundation for her to stand.  Now maybe if I could ever get to her beliefs … maybe they are true … then again maybe they’re not.  But I couldn’t even explore them.  She just HAS to believe because any exploration could yield doubt and her beliefs have become her character … and oh my, what happens if we start to doubt our character.

Ok, so here’s my question: “What belief have you swallowed so hard on that you can’t even explore it?”  By the way, we all have them.  What’s yours?  Think about writing down what you believe in.  Then look at it and ask yourself why you believe in it.  If it’s nerve wracking to even explore it, then maybe your just swallowing hard … maybe you should explore it more … maybe it’s more true … but really look at how you feel if it’s not true … because with exploration comes knowledge and with knowledge maybe, just maybe, comes a nugget of truth.

See you on the wire

— Steven Cardinale

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