A feeling or disposition of deep affection or fondness for someone, typically arising from a recognition of attractive qualities, from natural affinity, or from sympathy and manifesting itself in concern for the other’s welfare and pleasure in his or her presence ~ The Oxford Dictionary
But often we struggle to define LOVE, for its meaning is unique and personal to each one of us and is based on the ugly, beautiful love stories we have witnessed or been a part of.
LOVE – Probably the sole reason for one’s existence is because of the love shared between two people. (Sometimes a mistake xD). It often seems complicated to understand this feeling amongst all the other emotions that we often feel. Love often does not wander alone, it governs and brings together emotions such as happiness, fear, pain, which inflicts a sense of care, concern and sometimes insecurities too. Even with all these odds of the good and bad it can lead to, we choose to love and that is the beauty of it and it makes us human.
Why talk about love? Well, it is one feeling every one of us has given, received, is denied of or has wanted at some point in time and it is something one can relate to. Love is not confined to the bond between two people as such. It could be towards a pet, a passion, a materialistic object or the very nature whose beauty you admire. It resides in everything around you, the food you eat, the movies you watch, the music you listen to, the books you read and what not. Its existence is as wide as the air and as pure as the soul. However, we come across the terms ‘pure love’ or ‘fake love’ which in reality cease to exist for love itself is pure. It is either love or it is not, sometimes it tends to drift from one to the other and we do tend to Unlove things.
Why do we love things? We often fall in love with things that we admire, things we would want in our life so that it becomes more exciting, we want more reasons to smile and more reasons to keep us happy. We fall in love with people whose qualities we admire and are attracted to, we want to fill up the missing pieces of our puzzled lives with things and people we love. A dear friend of mine once asked me to write a list of things I loved. “Art, Food, Movies, Family, Friends….” and the list went on. When I was done with it and I shared it with her, the first thing she asked me was “How long will it take for you to put your name on the list?” and I did not know how to respond. We tend to love so many things around us that we forget to put ourselves on that list. Of course, we do love ourselves but at times we need a reminder and at times we need to learn to put ourselves on that list first.
Is self-love necessary to fall in love with someone else or for someone else to be attracted by it and fall in love with us? I do not think so but it surely makes it easier for you to sustain in love. Self-love can start with accepting yourself , it can start with “I know I am flawed; I am not perfect and I do not have to be perfect. I am ME and I’ll surely be the best version of me possible” Self-love teaches you to care for yourself physically, mentally, financially, spiritually and emotionally. It helps you understand who you are and unlike all the other bonds of love, this one is not a two-way street. So, love yourself, listen to your body, work on things you feel you should improve on, believe in yourself and love yourself a little more today.
Over the years
Let us go back a few decades in time. In a time where landline phones barely existed and travelling to a different country or a faraway town was not an easy option, letters or postcards were the go-to means of communication between two people. Oh, how many stories of love, friendship and bonding have nurtured even when there were obstacles, be it that of distance or time. Be it the love for a person or desire to pursue something which at times is distant. Patience, hope, trust, belief in oneself and perhaps the universe kept people going. Over time things have changed, communication has become easier and so has travelling. As much as this has brought people closer it has also created a gap, we have grown to be less patient, we have issues of trust and belief, we at times give in to our ego but irrespective of the period and change in time, there have always been bonds that grew together and the ones that grew apart, it all comes down to which path you want to choose.
Once when I was talking about passion with a mentor of mine, he told me “People come here to learn or do things in the name of passion but the truth is, you have to grow beyond it. You should be bored of doing it and still want to do it anyway.” And I think that holds good for your dreams as well as the people you love. It does not have to necessarily get boring or less exciting but even if it does, you have to love it enough to stick with it anyway. Some bonds are worth sticking to, even if the going gets tough. You either learn to sail through the storms and reach the shore or you run away from it and be stuck in the next one. Well, there is no guidebook to sail through the ocean of love but probably there are a few things you can do.
Communicate, sometimes the best person to talk to is yourself. Communicate with the ones you love, a little communication can solve so many things. Don’t run away from situations, face and confront them. If you keep running away from every bond you make, there won’t be a bond left. I know the world is big enough and there are billions of people on the face of this earth but you are not going to meet all of them. There are only a few people that you will really connect with, respect and love these bonds you make. On your tough days, take a few days off, collect your thoughts and talk things out. And to communicate does not mean to just talk, it is also to listen with intent. We all want to be understood but we forget to understand, so listen to each other, listen to your inner self too.
Time and space
“FOREVER” and “TO THE MOON AND BACK” is how we choose to love but we barely learn to give time or space. That does not mean pushing them away, it simply means to let them collect their own thoughts and emotions. If it is something materialistic or a goal then give sufficient time and pursue it, work towards it and wait for it to bear fruit. Be patient, give things time. At times you may feel the best thing to do is quit but if it is something you love, be patient with it, remind yourself of why you started off in the first place. Rediscover your passion, be it towards your dream, your family, a friend or someone you love.
Learn and relearn
Of course, some of these bonds are two-way streets and if the other person does not feel the same about it, learn to let go of it gracefully. You could be the sweetest mango in the whole wide world but there will always be someone who doesn’t love mangoes.
Appreciate the beauty of things, be the person, be the dream you would fall in love with. Be what you seek. The world needs a little more of you and all that beauty and love you have to offer. Be empathetic, understanding but not at the cost of hurting yourself or others, give space for yourself to bloom, hold on to things that make you happy and the ones that add value to your life, things that affect your mind, soul, heart, finances and your spirituality in a good way. Let go of your fear and embrace the beauty you are. Period.
LOVE – A four-letter word whose definition could be subjective, you may hate it, fear it, admire or love the emotion but you cannot deny its existence in your life unless you want to lie about it xD.
In the air
You were born with a heart, with a soul,
Pixie dust, magic and love mixed in a bowl.
A sprinkle of innocence and zest of empathy,
A drop of the universe’s essence and a hint of sympathy.
A recipe so perfect, you leave the world in awe
and to love is not a crime, there is no such rule in law.
I know you have been bruised; I know you have been hurt;
You have been through pain and you have seen worse
But this is not the end, this is not the grave,
To love is to risk, thus you are brave.
On your darkest days the universe will show you light,
Show some love and it’ll never leave your sight.
Close your eyes and open your heart,
You are beauty, nothing less than art.
The chirping birds and the music of the trees,
To see you happy, rise the seven seas
The wind brushing your eyelids, running through your hair.
You will always be loved for love is in the air.
About the author
Shashank Rajashekar is a civil engineer by education and experience. He is a passionate actor, writer and director currently learning and exploring the world of storytelling through theatre and filmmaking. Shashank has been a part of three theatre productions as an actor as well as worked on short films as a writer / director and acted in a few short films. He also writes poetry.