If we are compulsive, we have a tendency to make our compulsions imperatives. But in all creation there exists only one imperative – the imperative to love. Most of our compulsions involve false senses of urgency about some need, desire or fear. Those urgencies to which we assign the highest priorities in our lives inject and propel our compulsions with often erroneous and, usually non-existent imperatives.
In my own life I haul around many compulsions that take on the character of imperatives. One of them is my compulsion to do things now. I don’t know why, but somehow it seems imperative to me that I do whatever I conceive needs doing as close to conceiving it as possible. There is, in reality, no such imperative.
I am also under the compulsion to organize the hours of my day into a routine to the greatest extent possible. While it may seem so to me, this, in fact, is not an imperative either. The danger is that obstacles to my compulsions actually gnaw at me causing a variety of emotional reactions that work directly against the one true imperative – to love. All the quasi- imperatives of the compulsions of my life are the flotsam of a long misspent and unexamined life. Only one thing is necessary, and that is love. The compulsions that lead to false imperatives mask our failures to love.