A Deeper Shade of Love
In my youth, the concept of love was strongly linked with joy and happiness. When it came in the shape of romantic love the idea was finding someone you had a strong connection with and attraction for. When it came to platonic love the idea was sustaining friendships with those who shared your overall value system and whose companionship you enjoyed for a dinner party or a vacation. When it came to familial love the idea was sharing an emotionally honest communication system where our identities are acknowledged, respected and supported.
Yet in the past years, my emotional discoveries relating to love had a recurring theme which is that of sacrificial love. Every epiphany I stumbled upon came down to this – the quality of true love is most profoundly tested when calamity hits. When we open up ourselves to love, we open up our pores to the full spectrum of the human experience. The joys of our loved ones, become part of our glories, and their pain, our sorrow. The commitment to stay by someone’s side, when they are at their most vulnerable, is largely a choice we make which will pretty much define our caliber as a person. Do we hold back when faced with the pain of a loved one, or do we reach out and offer a full embrace? And when reaching out to offer a full embrace, how far and how long do we go? Because true love goes far, unconditionally and indefinitely. Are we ready for the journey?
Courage Under Fire
I guess nothing exposes us to our own limitations as when those we hold dear in our lives are debilitated by illness. When through no fault of their own, life brought them to their knees and our capacity for unconditional love will make a difference to the quality of their lives. And while it becomes somewhat instinctive to protect and nurture if this misfortune befalls upon your child, or if you are naturally a deeply empathetic, compassionate and sincere soul, more is required from the kernels of your being if you are not within this category.
The story of the one who suffers a life-changing ailment and the one who looks after the sufferer is ultimately one of courage. Whatever that you once were, life compels you to elevate. If you were once full of anxiety, you will have to accept that life for now is a 2 prong effort of 2 competing mindsets– to believe in the possibility of recovery while accepting the limits of your destiny. If you were once full of pessimism, you will have to push yourself and fight against your temptation for defeat. If you were once impatient, you will have to accept that some things are beyond your control. If you were once selfish, you will have to pause and reflect on the type of generosity you would wish for in your time of need. If you were once full of guilt, you will have to counsel yourself from wallowing in survivor’s guilt as a caregiver, or from punishing yourself with self-blame as a patient.
It is a painful and uncomfortable journey, but one that can potentially heal us. In the end, going against our baser instincts to reach for a higher self is a fundamental process of evolution. Stand up, fight, persevere and break those patterns that kept you safe. Embrace hardship as a moment of reckoning on who you truly are and start with being the message of love you long to receive. For me, this has been the authentic lesson that true love taught me.
Note:- Featured Image in this Page is sourced from Pexels.