It’s been said that that human beings actually experience only two emotions, and all of our actions stem from one or the other: Love and Fear. All the other words we use, sadness, anger, even happiness, can be traced back to the basic two. Decisions made from fear can feel that they’re driven by love, but that’s not always the case.
Women focused on the volume of their ticking biological clock, for example, can rationalize staying in a bad relationship, reconciling with a bad ex or excusing a partner’s bad behavior all in the name of Love. Truth? It’s usually done all in the name of Fear. Fear of being alone. Fear of never having a child.
Advice about how women should lead their lives seems to be everywhere these days. “Lean in” and commit to your career, says Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. “Find a husband on campus before you graduate” college, says a Princeton alumna. Numerous biz coaches suggest that lowering the tone of your voice will improve “executive presence“. Tina Fey suggests, ‘Always wear a bra.”
I’m no Buddhist, but some of best advice out there is from Buddha:
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”
Love yourself, and you won’t settle for someone unworthy of you (whether you find him or her at college or not). Love yourself and you’ll figure out an appropriate strategy to get a child in your life, or be accepting and forgiving of yourself if you don’t.
I wish I’d had this advice and listened to it when I was younger, but you know what? I know it now, and I’m working on applying it every day.