Semantics as a defense mechanism

“Tantas cosas asustan…” Sandra Cisneros

Linguistic intelligence. This is the learning style I employ the most. Words appeal to me. They appeal to a lot of people, particularly when we are faced with difficult questions. I have probably used semantics as a way to avoid talking about a difficult issue or to rationalize away my worries or fears. But I also understand that word definitions are simply constructs, that words cannot truly encapsulate what is inanimate, ethereal, and spiritual. Take the words, “love” and “infatuation,”(Thanks Merriam-Webster):

Etymology: Latin infatuatus, past participle of infatuare, from in- + fatuus fatuous
1 : to cause to be foolish : deprive of sound judgment
2 : to inspire with a foolish or extravagant love or admiration
– in•fat•u•a•tion /-“fa-ch&-‘wA-sh&n, -chü-‘A-/ noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English lufu; akin to Old High German luba love, Old English lEof dear, Latin lubEre, libEre to please
1 a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests b : an assurance of love
2 : warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion
3 a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration b (1) : a beloved person : DARLING — often used as a term of endearment (2) British — used as an informal term of address
4 a : unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for others b : a person’s adoration of God

So am I foolish and extravagant? Given my recent spending in airfare and lodging and my overabundance of tears and insecurities, I have had those moments.
But, according to the dictionary, to be foolish is to be:

1 lacking in sense, judgment, or discretion
2 a : ABSURD, RIDICULOUS b : marked by a loss of composure : NONPLUSSED
3 : INSIGNIFICANT, TRIFLING

My negative thoughts can be absurd. My behavior, when I’m anxious or depressed, can be ridiculous. But my feelings are not insignificant and definitely not trifling(in the dictionary or street sense!)

So am I unselfish, loyal, benevolent, full of strong affection, warm attachment and devotion? Most of the time I am. I would like to be on a consistent basis. But this takes time. It takes maturity and growth, both as an individual and with the other person in my relationship.

I know what I feel is important. It goes beyond lust. It goes beyond platonic friendship and gratitude.

I also know that in time, what I feel will grow and deepen in wisdom, dependability, health, and stability. Time will heal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s