The Universe has taught Jarna Kataria that unconditional self-love is the answer to loving one and all
What is love? The child in me identified love as what I saw in my mother’s hand-made ghee-dripping parathas and mouth-watering laddus. Later, as I grew, I experienced my father’s tender love for me, concealed under his stern facade.
The forms of love
In my school and college days, love took on an entirely different meaning: flings, teenybopper love, possessiveness, dying in love, and then living without that same love!
What is love? Is love any of these? Or all of these? Is it so complex? Why so many feelings for one single emotion? I questioned time and again, only to experience this ever-changing feeling of love within me.
When I married, I added to my existing feelings about love, a new layer of respect and acceptance as well as the feeling of give and take, sharing and caring. Love would keep changing forms, and I would never find the true meaning of love.
Oneness is love
And then, one morning, as I watched the sun come up, some thoughts simply crossed my mind, as if to awaken me: Shouldn’t love be as simple as a feeling of oneness? If you are a part of me and I, a part of you, wouldn’t the feeling called love radiate? Don’t we all come through the One above? Aren’t we part of one another then? Shouldn’t the feeling of love be shared with one and all? Aren’t we all fuelled with love? Some tap this feeling, others don’t. Shouldn’t we all be above hatred, anger, or ego?
I knew it then, that my parents indeed have unlocked their love for me. For in spite of all the wrongs I did since childhood or I do today, they would never hate me. For their love is much higher and ceaseless than my deeds.
Ah! What if I unlocked the same feeling for one and all? Sooner or later, the hatred for someone who wronged me would be buried, and the anger would extinguish. And all that would remain would be love—pure love.
Questions... and more questions
I pondered the reason why my love is conditional and why I reciprocate only when I receive and not otherwise. Why has this feeling been enormously restricted to a few of my close aides and not shared with many? It’s been the same for self-love too; I love myself more when I achieve something, be it acclamation at work, an article published, or shedding those extra pounds!
Why is it that contempt, anger, or repellence come naturally while it takes an initiative from someone for me to love? Why is this love for one and all, so evident in the eyes of only a few people and not all? We often say, “those kind eyes.” How did those eyes turn into kindness, sympathy, and love?
These thoughts kept me wondering for years with no answers forthcoming. I often had this edgy feeling that nothing would unfold to whisper to me the truth. Yet, indeed, when we ask questions to the Universe, it does answer, ever so gently, just like waves touching our parched feet and stirring up our soul within.
The Universe answers
The waves of the Universe whispered in silence, “Love thy self to love thy Universe. Seamlessly, gently, cross thy barriers, and let love loose to gush all around you.” Oh, how true! How naive was I that I wished to give something to someone, what I was short of! It was then that unconditional self-love became my prime focus in life.
Each day, my stiff heart softens a little, dancing in love and joy, pouring plenty of love within for me to share around. I don’t seek; I share, and what comes, overflows for me as joy and bliss within.
It’s true, indeed, that the most complicated questions, ironically, have surprisingly simple answers.
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