Who's Running The Show?

The power struggle between significance and love.

The temptation to be right is often irrefutable. Much to our true self’s chagrin, the ego operates like a drug addict — a single taste and habits begin to form.

We have a need to feel important. It makes us feel less alone. It’s hard enough in today’s world, we certainly don’t want to go through it with everyone assuming we’re helpless.

Solving the same problem, yet via conflicting merits, love represents an alternative strategy. It allows us to feel ourselves in another. Like someone’s on our side. Even though when it’s all said and done, we’re all we’ve got.

And so the juxtaposition unfolds, our behavior often serving one need but not the other. If we’re not careful, significance will trump love without even breaking a sweat. It’s wired in our DNA. We have a need to survive, which is served through feeling like we matter.

The incessant comparison. The perpetual posturing. The ongoing one-upmanship. We cannot help ourselves. It’s automatic. And yet it’s chastised when we see it in others — knowing that we deal with the same thing, whether it be outright or tucked away in our collection of untold truths.

Love cannot operate in such a way. It requires a shedding of the ego. A stripping of the facade which conceals one’s innermost essence. The part that many would rather die before acknowledging to the public. All hopes, dreams, fears, insecurities, out there in the flesh. True love knows nothing but acceptance.

This zenith, however, comes at a price. Its harrowing cost is enough to yield the best of intent — returning to the all-too-familiar landscape of pressing for empty results.

With significance and self-worth at the helm, problems are certain to arise. The exhaustion from constantly competing with others cannot sustain, creating a fuse-box for anger.

Love, although inherently risky, is a way to guarantee fulfillment. It’s one of life’s most paradoxical gifts where the more you give, the more you receive. Acting in congruence with love is no easy feat and certainly doesn’t ensue by accident. It requires a choice — a commitment rather — that everything be in alignment with compassion, not protection.

All it takes is one question: Who’s running the show?