He asked me what love is. In my insecurity and my inability to talk about such emotional matters, I just said, ‘I don’t know’. The answer to the question was simple. I was always following the lead. I always felt I knew what the answer was but in the bid to be my sane, authoritarian, ‘what-feelings?’ self, I forgot that there is a sensitive side to me that needs to be nourished and cared for, every now and then. As I said, this year is going to be a completely new experience for me. I am slowly but surely de-tangling emotional locks, finding the keys one at a time.
The biggest problem with me? Love.
There are many people around me who claim to love me. Some tell me that they have a great time with me, some like the conversations. Some also like to be bossed around by me (no kidding). All claim to love me. All of them. But, it never really feels like I am being loved. I can easily live without the company and affection of about 80% people in my life. Sure, enjoying company is one thing. Sure, talking regularly is one thing. But love, is it love when you talk to someone regularly and enjoy their presence?
Absolutely not. Love is no more a feeling, not even a verb. It is just an experience that is coming too cheap. Why? People have started associating love with short-term affections, attractions and plain admiration. Remember how people tell you that they absolutely ‘LOVE’ your hair, your new shirt or dress? They don’t ‘LOVE’ it. They are just using love as a superlative to ‘like’ or ‘admire’. So what is love in the end? What does it mean to love? Is carnal, physical, sexual or romantic love different than that of parental love?
If you ask me, I will say NO.
So what is love?
Love is attachment + forgiveness coupled with time.
Looks like a simple equation, doesn’t it? It is not and this is what you have to understand.
Attachment is a feeling. When two people are united to each other like nothing else. It is not essential for your thoughts to be my thoughts, even though it is quite possible. When we feel attachment, we will mostly want to be close. We will want to spend as much time together as possible. We will go into the territory of the beloved, unhindered. We might also become obsessed with the object of our desire.
Some people, however, react differently, like me. They want to give themselves ‘space’. They want to let themselves know that they are not fusing into someone else’s identity. They, hence, try to create as much distance as possible while never really going away. Both the conditions exist because of the insecurities of the individual. I may be clingy because I am afraid you may go and I may be distant because… because I am afraid you may go and I will be hurt.
And yet, we all make the same mistakes, time and again.
When you are in love, the insecurities of the individual dissolve into the security of a couple. You control each other’s moods, life decisions and even the heart beats. It may sound like a threat to a person like me but this is what happens when you are in love. There is truly nothing wrong or cheesy about two hearts becoming one- this is the ultimate truth about love. Your sweetheart is the one who can lift your mood, make you feel deeply sad or just enjoy a romcom without feeling guilty for the action-thriller your missed (or vice versa).
When you are around someone, all your insecurities actually go down the drain. All you are focused on is the one you love. Now, there is no barrier, no insecurity. A hug can tell you if your beloved is sad or happy or excited or how their day went. There will never be a need to ask questions. A hug will say it all. I have known this, I have felt this. The heart that loves you will send these small signals to you (science may explain this in detail, but in another post, soon) that will tell you what it has felt.
I felt he was bothered. I felt something was wrong and I shrugged it off my shoulder, thinking that I am just hallucinating. Thinking that I may come across as nagging. I should have asked. Maybe he told me, maybe he could have been comforted. But then again, our actions are fueled by our insecurities.
When you feel a deep sense of attachment, you will not have to ‘talk’ about love. That is stupid. Talking about love only makes it feel like news, good today but stale tomorrow. Love must be felt, right till the abyss of your heart turns into a cozy bed for the beloved. It must be felt till it breaks all chains, breaks barriers and helps you become a soul, united with another.
We forgive those we love, often. We don’t talk about how many times we have forgiven them. We don’t talk about why we have forgiven them. We forgive, then we forget. When you come home late, you are forgiven for the endless worries that they may have gone through while you were away.
When you cannot make enough time for them, your are forgiven because they think you are genuinely busy. When you cannot fulfill your promises, you are forgiven because they believe that something might have genuinely demanded your time. It is not like they are not hurt. They are. They don’t talk about it. They forgive you. Now you know why your boss never forgives you for being late. He doesn’t love you. LOL.
How many times during the day do we get angry on the world and claim that everyone is a jerk while we are angels walking the earth? Today, think about how many times you were forgiven by the one(s) you love for all the small discomforts and extreme emotional anxiety that you caused them.
Think about all the times you have not been there for them when they needed you. Think about all the times when you distanced yourself from them when they wanted to cry, pour their heart out to you. My love lies somewhere in the corner. Waiting. A feeling, personified, waiting.
What happens when big mistakes are committed? Of course things change then. People who love you will still forgive you but they might move on too, just like you. It is difficult to hold a grudge for too long. I wonder how people are able to manage that kinda stuff. How long can you hate someone?
Often, we do not forgive people for what they have done if we do not practice self-compassion. If we hate ourselves, we will hate everyone and we will hold a grudge till the last breath. But love, it teaches us compassion. A compassionate person forgives. Where there is no forgiveness, there is no love. I have forgiven you a few small discomforts because I love you.
They say that when you love someone, you give them the power to hurt you. What a stupid statement. You think you are a saint? You hurt people too. People hurt you. It is all a game where the tables keep turning. I am sorry if I ever hurt you or didn’t fulfill your expectations. It happens. I try my best though. I know you are trying your best too. Like I said in the last post, making an effort is important and effort is sexy. Whatever the results, the fact that you made an effort to be by my side makes all the difference to my life.
But I just said that spending time with someone or enjoying their company isn’t love? Am I moving into my bipolar phase again. No I am not.
I remember telling my best friend once- Time is the best friend of love, just like you and I. A relationship that blooms slowly with time is the strongest relationship in the world.
They were probably the best words I uttered that year. Time is indeed the best friend of love, in both its qualitative and quantitative aspects. Qualitative, because spending time with your beloved makes you closer. Qualitative, because even if you are away, your heart thinks about them.
You know what is the most intrinsic quality of love? When you fall in love, the beloved is always on your mind. Even though you are physically not with them, you are spending time with them in your memory. Their name catches your attention wherever you go. You start associating things with them. Some place, some memory, some perfume, some sight- you have already formed deep associations with the person and these trigger in your mind.
You are spending time with them even when you are not with them. Trust me, when the love is strong, they feel it too. They dream of you, they think of you too. No matter how metaphysical or impractical it sounds, it is true. You have to experience it to believe it. Yes, I am saying this because it is true. It is beyond reason, not because it is false but because reason isn’t powerful enough to reach it yet.
Time makes the attachment stronger. Time makes forgiveness easier to bestow upon your beloved. Times makes it all worth the while. Yet, when you are with the one you love, time literally stops.
I am dropping another piece of wisdom here (I have already written this on my about.me profile but repeating)-
If you don’t have to look at your watch or phone while you are with them, it is love.
And why shouldn’t it be. Time gives proof to love (just like it gives proof to matter) but time is virtually non-existent when love takes over. It just isn’t there. It becomes irrelevant. 10 minutes will feel like eternity for lovers. Sometimes they may actually get insecure and scared of how much time has passed (of course we sell our time for money, more about this in later posts).
They are usually in for a shock. Either more time has passed than they thought or it has just been those 10 minutes. Damn! You lose sense of time. As love grows stronger, as bonds grow stronger, time slowly loses its relevance. Words are of no use. You start communicating at a different level.
Haha! And I say this often while talking to my other self, love is all powerful, it can make you an alien. LOL.
It does make you an alien. You don’t have to communicate with people through words. Sounds, smells, touches do the talking. Hugging is a conversation. Kissing a heavenly dance. Sex a cosmic ritual. You become your highest self. You are no longer human my dear. You are a real alien.
You don’t have to be ‘wired’ differently to love. You just have to connect with people differently. It is a pity that we are born human and die human, not the aliens I mentioned above. It is a shame that we all are so capable of loving but never really love. It is a shame that we are not able to love people for their souls. It is disgraceful of how many times we give up on love and opportunities for true connection only because of our insecurities (You can read my last post- A Child Trapped In An Adult Body– to read a little more about this).
In the end, all I would like to say is that love is simply attachment and forgiveness, coupled with time.
If it is love, it must nourish your soul. If it does anything other than this, you are in a delusion of a relationship. Get over it!
BTW, the concept of love can be applied to any relationship. Yes, any relationship where there is love will follow this concept. Not convinced yet? Reason with yourself. Let me know if your findings are any different.
It feels like I am not my usual self this morning. The other, softer and more sensitive side has taken over while I still feel my logical, reasonable best. That happens often. Listening to Tangled Up In You- Staind