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.