Love: An exercise in awareness
Welcome to the much-awaited month of February, which is known the world over for the celebration of love.
However, if we only knew what love is, perhaps there would not be any misery in the world. Over the years, I have learned that without awareness, love—as we feel and describe it—is only an interplay of feel-good hormones and the mind’s desire to feel happy in the company of someone we are intensely attracted to. Normal romantic attraction, which we often confuse with love, is nothing more than physical chemistry and the gossamer fantasy of ‘a happily ever after’ with someone special.
If we observe ourselves carefully, we would realise that our imagination regarding love is all about our dreams and happiness. We think about finding the one who would fulfil our desires and our need for companionship and romance. It is not surprising that most love affairs crumble before they reach the altar of marriage and others, after that, and we are left picking the pieces of what once was.
Couples who go into therapy after divorce or a bad break-up realise that true love has got very little to do with their expectations and ideas about love. It is all about being aware of the other person. It is about looking beyond the confines of our ego-mind and seeing the humanness of the other. Being sensitive to their needs, wants, feelings while being aware of their faults and limitations too. Love is not only a feeling but rather a state of constant learning, unlearning, and growing in life. It is about not letting the one you love, lead an unconscious life and acting in their highest interest, even if one must be a little tough at times. Lastly, for earthly love to succeed spectacularly, it is imperative that we first offer our love to the Divine and make Her party to our relationship. When guided by Her, we learn to see the picture of our relationship clearly and objectively, without getting misguided by our mind or emotions. Like this, the choppy waters of human relationships can be navigated with greater skill and adroitness.
Have a happy Valentine’s Day.
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