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The Opposite of Love is Indifference

Some days are easier than others, as we all know by now. Today’s reflection revolves around indifference and its existential questions. Questions that have been floating around my head lately:

Is indifference a deliberate choice or an inevitable consequence of specific experiences and circumstances? 

In that sense, is it better to feel the pain of it than nothing at all?

My jazz playlist is on, so let’s explore those intrusive and not-so-intrusive thoughts, shall we?

I guess it's a complex interplay between personal responsibility and the external factors that shape our experiences. Indifference as a choice implies that an individual has consciously decided to detach themselves from a situation or relationship, often as a means of self-protection or out of a lack of care or interest.

On the other hand, indifference can also result from repeated disappointments, betrayals, or emotional exhaustion, where a person becomes numb as a defense mechanism against further hurt.

Analogy time!! Tired of relationship examples? Let’s pick a less-beaten path.

I present to you The Abandoned Garden!

The Choice — Imagine a stunning garden that looks like it came straight out of a fairy tale. At first, you’re all about it, spending hours making sure every flower is perfect and every blade of grass is in its place. But then, life happens. You’ve got a million other things to juggle, and suddenly, that garden feels more like a pesky chore than anything else. You’ve got bigger fish to fry — you choose to leave the garden aside. The weeds start throwing a hectic party, and the flowers look like they’re on a permanent hangover. This is indifference by choice, where you deliberately ditch the gardening gloves and let nature take its wild course. You’re opting out of the responsibility because you lost interest.

Now, let’s flip the script.

The Consequence — Imagine you’re a dedicated gardener, pouring your heart and soul into that plot of land. But no matter what you do, it’s one disaster after another. Freak storms, bug invasions, mysterious plant diseases – it’s like your garden’s cursed. Something else goes wrong whenever you think you’ve got it under control. It’s enough to make anyone throw in the trowel. Slowly but surely, all those setbacks wear you down. You stop caring as much because, really, what’s the point? Your indifference isn’t a choice you made on a whim; it’s a survival tactic. You’re not consciously deciding to neglect the garden – you’re just over it after everything you’ve been through. This is indifference as a consequence, where the “universe conspires against you” until you can’t muster the energy to fight back anymore.

Well, I’m trying to say that in both scenarios, the once-beautiful garden vividly illustrates how indifference can emerge either from a deliberate decision or as the inevitable fallout from relentless challenges. Whether you’re choosing to move on to bigger and better things or just plain worn out from the constant struggle, indifference can creep in, showing how our attitudes can be shaped by our choices and/or circumstances.

So, it's not simply one or the other; it's often a combination of both. And that goes for relationships as well, of course. Who said I was not talking about that all along? Wink, wink.

By now, I am counting on you to know that it is essential to recognize where and when indifference creeps in and take steps to address the underlying issues rather than accept it as an unchangeable state. But what do I know? So don’t empirically listen to me. Or do — *That’s me treating your decision with indifference to protect my feelings of rejection.*

Wait! We are not done yet!

To conclude this very public life reflection, tell me, my sapient friends: is it better to feel pain or nothing at all? 

The Opposite of Love is Indifference

Experiencing pain, while challenging, is an essential part of being human. Pain indicates that something matters to us, that we are alive and engaged with the world. It can be a powerful motivator for growth, change, and resilience. Indifference, conversely, signifies a deadening of the soul, a withdrawal from the things that make life meaningful, regardless if it’s by choice or consequence at this point. To feel pain is to acknowledge our vulnerabilities and capacity for connection, which is far preferable to the emptiness of indifference. Don't you think? A well-lived life is full of experiences, not the lack of them. Choose wisely, choose heartily.


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