To You … With All Your Love, You

This was lying among the drafts for a few weeks and then I had a conversation containing similar undertones with a friend whom I told about this piece and realised there was no better time to share it. On the same lines as Poof! but deeper and with respect to stronger relationships; dedicated to those of us who are on their way to discovering it for themselves and to those who have fumbled, faltered, fallen, but picked themselves up, and learned how to get rid of the hurt, pick up the pieces and become whole again…all on their own. Names needn’t be mentioned for they know who they are.

I felt uncomfortable, a little uneasy, but didn’t know exactly why. At first I did what we tend to do: I tried to forget about it. But it doesn’t budge easily. So I decided to look at the best place to start: The beginning. No, not of time, but of the uneasiness. An attempt to analyse its cause led to the reasons for it and led to an understanding of why it created such restlessness within me. And I decided to make it a point to do this with every such situation as far as possible. This realisation comes after countless such situations, and the underlying issues, in most cases, just swept under the rug, covered up, ignored and all but forgotten.

If something bothers us, rankles our minds then we must sit down and try to find the reasons behind it. Why does this situation upset me so? How can this person disturb my peace of mind so easily? Perhaps instead of thinking, How can he say such a thing to me? we must ask ourselves Why do his words bother me?  And then, we must consider ways of resolving it. What are the possible solutions? Can we sever the relationship with this person? Wait–I mean, will we choose to sever it? If a person, no matter how much we love him or her, is disrespectful towards us, do we continue to love them? What if they never see that what they did was wrong? Do we still say “I love you” to them? What sort of statement are we making then? We’re sanctioning what we may think of as despicable behaviour! We’re effectively telling them that we deserve no more than their disrespect. We’re telling them that it’s okay for them to treat us that way. We’re saying that they can get away with it and we will still love them. But what is the basis for our love? Is it just love for the sake of it? Or is there a reason to it? There must be a reason we love this person, right? What is that reason? Let’s think about that.

Let’s think about the statement we’re making by continuing to “love” them regardless of the way they treat us. Do we love this person more than we love ourselves? Our “virtuous,” “unconditional” love makes it seem that we do. Unconditional?! We don’t love people simply because, do we? Love is an emotion and emotions have reasons. Anger, jealousy, sorrow, hatred, happiness: there’s a reason we feel each of these, and so there’s a reason we feel love for somebody. The nature of love is complex, but I’m certain if we think about our reasons for loving a person we can come to some strong realisations. We can realise that perhaps we are the most important people in our lives, that we must love ourselves first and enough to stick up for ourselves, that we cannot let another person get away with devaluing us and that once we have the strength and courage to we must take back our lives, the respect and our values and prevent it from happening again.

It isn’t easy to accept that relationships valuable to us perhaps aren’t as important to the other people involved in them. It isn’t easy to accept the fact that our emotions are wasted on them and it will only leave us drained and gain us nothing in the bargain. Most of all, it isn’t easy to let those people go. But we have to try to see it in a different light, for what it really is. Letting go doesn’t mean you have failed at that relationship. It means you finally want only the best for yourself, according to your own standards and that you will tolerate nothing less. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed–no, it means you have succeeded at the most important relationship in your life, the one with yourself.

Featured image on front page–click here for larger image–is from something once given to me by a wonderful, admirable woman

4 thoughts on “To You … With All Your Love, You

  1. You know I’d comment if I only knew what to say – but whatever I write is just going to be a differently-worded version of what you’ve written up there! Time and again, people keep asking what is perhaps the wrong question – to quote your example, “How could he say that?” rather than “I wonder why it’s bothering me”. I suppose it takes a particular way of looking at life to realize that maybe a change of perspective is required to really solve the issues at hand. But having said that, another observation just popped into my head – maybe ultimately people do learn to cope with the hurt; it’s just that most people take longer than maybe you or I do… I have to think more along those lines before I figure out what reasons might be the drivers for how most people think and act under such circumstances. But yes, I strongly subscribe to the view of taking care of oneself first. A random line from a forgotten movie pops into my head here; it goes something to the effect of “You must learn to be strong when those you care for are weak” – Not the best of comparisons, I agree, but in some way, I guess it holds true for the fact that there are times when you just need to swallow the hard pill, and to do so sometimes requires the practical expedience of taking a stand for yourself first, so that you are in a better, more positive frame of mind to deal with all the adversity that life keeps throwing at you every so often. Because in the end, if you aren’t happy, then there’s really no point to much else!

    1. You’re absolutely right. The less people look inwards and seek to simply assign blame to another, the more difficult it will be for them to be at peace from within. People say a lot of things. Many people continue to harp about how much they love themselves but they still choose to blame others when something goes wrong. It isn’t “(S)he angered me,” it’s “I got angered by him/her.” Once we think of it like that, we can begin to explore our minds for reason and find out what it really is that bothers us and come to startling realisations with all that. It takes time to understand that it’s foolish to depend on another for our sustenance. If we are able to take care of ourselves with a healthy mind and a healthy body, we should attempt to. That’s a road along which one can discover many, many facets of oneself. At the end, the only measure of any sort of success is…Are you happy?

  2. “Love is an expression and assertion of self-esteem, a response to one’s own values in the person of another. One gains a profoundly personal, selfish joy from the mere existence of the person one loves. It is one’s own personal, selfish happiness that one seeks, earns, and derives from love.” Ayn Rand

    It’s quite simple if you think about it. Love doesn’t just come and go. If it feels like that, then one has to question that feeling and understand what it really was. Do I really feel happy about the existence of the other person? And if I do, I won’t give it up, because it brings me joy. I don’t know what it does for the other person, I know that I am happy.

    If you continue to “love” a person that does not make you happy, a person that you despise then again, you have to understand the real emotion. Is it love, or just acceptance of that person in your life. I don’t know if I am making sense any more. You see I love who I love. And there are others who I accept. And then there are those whose values I despise, and those are the people I cannot love or accept and prefer to isolate myself from.

    1. It isn’t a feeling which comes and goes frequently or again and again. But, it is a feeling which can fade, like any other emotion, once you understand the reasons for it and perhaps realise they don’t exist anymore. The feeling that I’m speaking of here, too, is not just the romantic love…but any kind of love, including that of or for a member of one’s family.

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