By Megha Bajaj
…that the search for it can only be completed when you give it, says Megha Bajaj
I was not one of those children who felt very deeply cared for while growing up. Don’t get me wrong – I have the most beautiful parents, and being brought up in a joint family certainly shaped me into the person that I am today. Good touch was available in abundance. However, being a somewhat offbeat, curious child, I had a lot of questions about life, about myself, about relationships that no one really seemed to be equipped to answer. I remember sitting on my terrace at twilight, with so much wondering and no expression for all the churning within. I would feel intensely alone even though I belonged to such a wonderful family.
My quest and search for love and companionship – to just fit in, carried on in school too. I was neither the most popular girl, nor the most unpopular. Neither the prettiest, nor a nerd. The year I felt like topping, I would study and come first – and the year I didn’t, I would hover around the last few ranks. My classmates didn’t know what to do with me, because I could never fit into an image in their mind. Fridays were dress-as-you-like days in my school, and while most “groups” dressed in similar and consistent ways – I kept experimenting. One Friday I would wear a salwar, stunning the so-called “hip and happening” dressers. The next Friday I would wear a short skirt and top, shocking the nerds. While I was more or less liked by most people, no one knew where I belonged, and I didn’t have a very close friend growing up. Somehow, I always felt the lack of love in my life keenly. I wished for intimate friends whom I could talk and talk with. Many came, many went – things always seemed to be in transition, and I always seemed to be in transition. It was one of those beautiful nights, under the stars at my first spiritual retreat with my guru, that it happened. He was speaking about love and relationships, and suddenly he looked straight into my eyes and said, “The search for love can never be completed by being loved, it only ends with giving love. In fact the more you love, the more loved Existence makes you feel.” For reasons beyond me, I started crying. I cried for all those years of loneliness. I cried for the overwhelming understanding. I cried realizing how much love there was in my life. I cried out of self-pity. I cried out of relief. And finally out of love.
After all the emotions were spent, peace engulfed me. I realised that to feel rich in any aspect of life, I had to feel an abundance of that already in my life. I kept looking for people to love me, not realizing that the only thing in my control actually was to love people – and I had not exercised that right enough. I was always fearful. Always bartering.
I kept looking for people to love me, not realising that the only thing in my control actually was to love people
Since that moment I have opened my heart. To people close to me. And to life itself. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I can love all the people, all the time – but I can certainly say there are some people in my life whom I love all the time; and many people whom I love most of the time. A beautiful metaphor for love, as my guru says, is being in a rose garden. The more you are in it, the more fragrant you feel. It hardly matters beyond a point whether you are loving or being loved – in fact, the first is easier because it’s in your hands.
What a feeling it is. To love. It’s actually the only way to end that deep yearning to be loved.
About the author: Megha is, above all, a seeker. These days she is attempting to find herself in the role of a teacher through the online writing course designed by her. You can know more about her on www.wonderofwords.org
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