Growing from Trust Issues-Part III: Do you want happiness and good life?

Although cliché may be overused, it has wisdom. One popular cliché is if we want to love and respect others, the first person we must love and respect is ourselves. This cliché applies to trust. If we want to trust others, the first person we trust is ourselves.

Why we cannot trust others

According to depth psychologists, such as Freud and Jung, they find that people distract themselves from pains by employing different psychological defenses, such as denial, repression, etc. These active energy stay in their unconsciousness and wait for the right moment to come alive.

The origin of the insecure attachment style is the unresolved and repressed childhood pain resulted from traumas or dysfunctional parenting. Children cannot trust or feel safe around their primary caregivers. When insecure attachment style people go on date, they cannot trust their new dates because they bring their damaged personality to the occasion. My observation agrees to the prediction made by the attachment theory. I never dispute this theory. It is possible that we grow up with secure attachment style in childhood but we develop insecure attachment style in adulthood due to 1) damaging romantic connection, and 2) inadequate moral strength in adulthood due to we lie.

The second point, inadequate moral strength, needs further explanation. A person with weak moral strength tends to lie more often. What is lie? Lie is a false statement to deny the truth. If we lie and if we want to believe in our lie, the first person we need to lie to is ourselves. Example is we have sexual fantasy for our hot co-worker but we are married. To maintain our self-image of good spouse, we deny our feeling and convince ourselves that we dislike our co-worker because this person has sexual interest in us. We would use lie in many social situations. Example is when we make a mistake, we lie to defuse the responsibility and the image of incompetence.

Although lie is a form of denial, it is different from denial in defence mechanisms. When we lie, we are consciously aware of our behaviour. Yet we are not consciously aware to use defence mechanisms to shield us from uncomfortable feelings.

Lie has effect on our attachment style because we unconsciously project our shadows to our new date. We have insecure attachment style to our dates because we don’t trust ourselves.

Relationship between romantic love and morality.

In “The Sacred Path of the Soulmate”, I point out that relationship has a moral component. Many people look for a partner who can make them feel good socio-psychologically and sexually. If the relationship employment does not work out, then both partners just part. Where is moralistic dimension in a relationship? You may ask. Before answering your concern, let me ask you some questions first. Do you want to live a good life? Do you want to live happily after you’ve met your soulmate? If your answers are yes, then you want to live a moral life.

Google defines morality in the following:

  • Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.
  • A particular system of values and principles of conduct, especially one held by a specified person or society.
  • The extent to which an action is right or wrong.

Imagine the following dating scenario. It is our first date, our date invites us to their apartment for sex after couple drinks. We are liberal. Sex is only a recreation activity. We don’t equate sex with love and relationship. Although sex is not part of our morality, if we apply Google definition of morality in a broad sense, then the question should we go or not go to a stranger’s place on the first date to have sex is a moral dilemma for the following two reasons.1) The choice we make affects our well-being. Is it a wise decision to trust the stranger that we would not be harmed in that person’s apartment? 2) Is our behavior right or wrong in relation to our safety?

What does a good life and happiness mean?

From Aristotle’s perspective, ”eudemonia”, means a moral good life. The ultimate aim of living a moral good life is to experience happiness and flourishing. The pre-condition to live a moral good life is we need to be a good person. What is a good person? Aristotle specifies that a good person possesses virtues, refined human qualities. In sum, a happy life is to live virtuously in accordance with reason. In a nutshell, these two concepts, a good life and virtues, are not separable. Aristotle’s idea of happiness makes sense. If we have virtues, we have a better chance to create a good life which includes happiness.

For readers who seek love and happiness, virtues are the path to happiness.

Further consideration:

What is a good life means to you?

What are virtues?