For some time I have been contemplating on relationships. Some, that start on a good note end with bitterness, some nurture gradually; while some are there for the sake of being there. In everything that is so transitory in nature, even the intensity of relationships change and we have no choice but to embrace the changes and move on with life. So, do we really need to gratify the desires and expectations of this communion that is so temporary? Is the love that you share bound by responsibility and duty or is it selfless without seeking any kind of gratification? Peering over the top once in a while and seeking gratification of one’s own desires, is that what relationships are all about? I doubt.
The manner in which we communicate determines how conscious as a person we are. The thoughts that we feed in are thoughts we become to a certain extent. We are all born to a parent, in a family of some sort, a community with groups, culture, nations that are patterned accordingly. Though this becomes an identity we reckon with, this also segregates us from one another. We follow certain language, rituals and culture that differentiate us from who we are despite the society we belong to. But when it comes to love, this becomes universally a language of communion.
So can we really say what love is?
Mark Manson in his book, “Everything is F**” says, “Let’s suppose our mind is a car. We think we are driving the consciousness car while most of us seem to be driving merely a clown car where comfortably seated are Thinking brain and Feeling brain colliding with one another.”
Love cannot be rationalized; hence it certainly is understood a part of the Feeling brain. A feeling that is illuminating, infinite, mysterious, intricately detailed, complex and abstract yet powerful and heartwarming. Can words really describe a feeling this intense? It is believed love is a verb, yet people become very insensitive when it comes to expression. Perhaps it is human nature to be in pursuit of things only until we acquire, hence fail to understand that we need is to nurture the same once we own it.
Undoubtedly, love can be a great motivating factor in people’s lives. But it also is the precursor to many of our problems. To be technically correct, our problems lie not in love or the act of loving. For love is a very selfless state of being. It is one rare moment where we are happier in giving than receiving. When we are in love, we are prepared to wait for hours in a stretch at a coffee shop or a mall or maybe gazing and smiling at our cell phones. Everything feels beautiful. Until now the readers might have concluded this communion that I talk of is between couples. Love isn’t limited to just to this, but with the changing times the value of it has certainly changed between couples.
So, on the flip side of love that is understood to be selfless, lies expectations that arise over time. We start expecting- maybe loyalty, understanding, reward for our affection. Conversely, that is not guaranteed. At times these expectations become too irrational or just way too much to handle. We expect our loved ones to understand us and forgive our frailties, but when love meets disappointments over time, it boils over. Managed unwell feelings can then, become very explosive. Love is an emotion that is intrinsic but comprehending it can be such a draining thing when we look for gratification and filling the void relations leave behind. What we aren’t aware of is self -revelation but instead seek to bring joy into our lives through the communion with people who satiate our need for some time. Most of the times we look elsewhere and try find love. We build connections, acquire, live together, and find comfort in our tiny nests and feel home. But in this communion we tend to build invisible walls that of duties, responsibilities, ownership and self-importance, so high that we often forget to climb up the wall and see what is happening at the other side. And when we do, we do not like what we see on the other side and pull away. When we need constant assurance of our worth, of our doing, of giving, gratification and wanting back, gradually creeps in jealousy and possession. We find ourselves suffering, in pain. Love then gradually fades. Thus, only through self -revelation of being a whole and embracing the other whole can nurture love. It is how we nurture, the plant we sow.
Anoopam Kher in his book “You are the Best of You,” makes one ponder over the ‘ins’ in the language of self -realization? Why is it w-IN and now w-out, IN-trospect and not out-rospect, IN-tuition and not out-uition, IN-sight and not out-sight, IN-spiration and not out-spiration, IN-stinct and not out-stinct? All the breakthroughs have always been from our thoughts which are IN- ternal. Paradoxically seldom do we understand this.
Readers, so why love just between couples?
Perhaps, because relationships have started becoming so fragile.
Perhaps, because people aren’t willing to tolerate the tiniest of breakdowns.
Perhaps, because we give up so easily. Perhaps because we dwell on illusion
For someone who is hopelessly romantic and thrives for love, perhaps it is because of fantasizing the immeasurable depths of real life love stories that of two people, the pioneer author Nayantara Sehgal from the Nehru- Gandhi family and E.N. Mangat Rai, a civil servant in the administration of Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir. The epistolary romance reads something like this ,…I want warm summer nights,to lie in a hammock, staring at the stars, telling you stories.
I want to dip my toes in the water, to dangle my feet off the edge of the dock and sit leaning forward, looking at you, laughing till our stomachs hurt, that’s the summer I’ve always dreamt about…
The beauty of their relationship that defied the storms and unfolded into an intellectual and spiritual bond is seldom witnessed these days. Perhaps because of the longing of love like that of fictional characters Robert and Francesca who unite with the ashes blown over The Bridges of Maddison County. Love is all about finding someone on the same page.