Find Yourself © Martyn Carruthers
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When Love is Counterfeit
If you enjoy exploring, and you are in Warsaw, Poland, take a morning tram to Rondo Waszyngtona. Follow the crowd and you will soon find yourself in the Stadion Dziesięciolecia, called the Russian Market by the linguistically challenged. It is a huge open-air bazaar, with an enormous selection of goods. Each day, thousands of people visit this marketplace from all over Central and Eastern Europe.
Go with a Polish friend, as prices change according to accent. Amongst omnipresent Asian polyester, you will find clothes with designer labels that may might survive two washes, and accessories with well-known “luxury” names. You will find endless pirated software and bootleg music. Avoid the plastic amber and beware the toxic Russian whisky. Anything that looks valuable probably isn’t, and anything that seems antique was likely made recently. The bazaar represents a counterfeit culture.
Sellers will scrutinize your money carefully before they accept it. The more something is valued – the more motivation to make copies, and the more important to detect and reject whatever is counterfeit.
Happiness vs Fun: Substitutes for Love
If you value love, you can find fake love for sale, at the bazaar and elsewhere. Lonely people support large industries. Sellers of pornography and prostitution offer little pretence or justification; they are honest compared to people who pretend love in relationships based on codependence, passive aggression and abuse.
Counterfeiting love may seem easy. It may be easier to be lonely, or to be codependent, than to learn friendship and partnership skills. Loving relationships need care, attention and nurturing. While becoming a biological parent can take a few minutes of unskilled labor – fulfilling parenthood takes years of dedicated effort. Joining a crowd requires little effort or thought – creating community is hard work.
Fulfilling human life is a lifelong task. Do you sacrifice your desire to love and be loved for substitutes? The most common substitutes for love are probably power, security, success or family traditions. Recognize the counterfeit before you buy into it.
You may not miss what you never had. If your role models for mature behavior suffered toxic relationship problems, you may assume that all relationships are toxic, and search for happiness elsewhere. In disappointment, you may turn to substitutes for love – to romantic books, music and films, to medication, to alcohol or nicotine, or to obsessions or addictive distractions.
Many businesses cater to lonely people and compete in selling fake love … short-term substitutes for happiness! Empty people often pursue empty goals.
Substitutes for love that can be manufactured, duplicated and sold are valuable commodities. Stories about love, songs about love and pretended acts of love are eagerly sought by the lonely. The pretence of love in advertising and sales helps persuade the gullible that products such as clothes or a car will bring attention … respect … happiness … love …. without any effort or risk on their part.
Is THAT what you want? Love for your clothes or respect for your car? Be careful what you ask for.
If you are a love addict, you may prefer unfulfilling relationships; perhaps convincing yourself that you are seeking a perfect partner or soul mate. Like other addicts, you may proclaim your ability to stop at any time, while securing a supply of your intoxicant – fake expressions of shallow love.
(People who are entangled with opposite-sex parents may be unable to create long-term happy partnerships until that systemic problem is remedied – they may become recluses or love addicts. See: Emotional Incest, Mother’s Little Prince and Daddy’s Little Princess.)
Your investment in quality clothes, furniture or food reflects the effort, skill and ingenuity that went into creating merchandise. Your investment in healthy relationships reflects your effort, skill and ingenuity in creating, communicating and accepting love.
Your relationships reflect your beliefs and your relationship skills, which you likely learned from your family, friends, co-workers and television. Most people try to copy their role models – often with horribly predictable consequences! If your role models are actors … you can learn how to act.
Yet most people can choose to change! Motivated adults can change their beliefs, manage their enmeshments, find healthy mentors and improve their relationship skills.
A popular American idiom is “Fake it until you make it”, and for some people, “Fake love until you make love” is a life pattern. In life, like at the Russian Market in Warsaw, many people prefer the counterfeit, often not even suspecting the beauty and benefits of the genuine.
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