A few months back, a friend from my school days contacted me on FB. I can’t tell you how much ecstatic I was to get in touch with her, once again. I wanted to know so much about her life. We exchanged numbers and she called. However, it was not a fun call. She told me that she is in love with a boy, but her family is against their relationship. This is a common occurrence in India, so this didn’t shock me. But when she told me that she is getting suicidal thoughts ever since her family began searching a life partner for her. I am embarrassed to admit but my first reaction was neither compassionate nor rational. I was furious, and I remember shaking with anger. I scolded her for even thinking about taking her life for “a boy.” Once I calmed down, my rational brain started kicking me to speak something sensible. Finally, I realized that she needs my love and care, not my stupid anger. I advised her to explain to her family that she wishes to be with that guy because of whatever reasons. Anyway, I have been checking up on her to ensure that she is alright.
On the other hand, I have a friend who is desperately falling out of love with her husband. She fell in love with him when they were in training period of their job and they dated for about 8 years before tying a knot. However, there has been trouble in paradise ever since the girl realized that this is not the man she fell in love with. The guy does and says everything that his family asks her to do/say. He wants my friend to become a version of hiss mother and he does not realize that he is gradually crushing their love. She has been thinking of leaving him for a long time, but the thoughts of her family and their reputation has been holding her back. I wonder for how long can she pretend to be happy.
Notice the complications of the “beautiful world of love?” People kill and die for love, but do they consider that there might be someone else who longs for them? As long as we are sharing love stories, let me share one more. I know a couple who seems to be in so much love that one cannot help but envy them. The girl is beautiful like hell and the boy is quite handsome. They fell in love and after a lot of resistance from the family, finally, got married two years back. The girl declares her love for the husband on FB, periodically. At one point in time, I thought to myself, there must be some problem in me that I don’t feel about my hubby the way she feels about hers. However, once we went on a trip with that couple and a few others, and all my thoughts of self-doubt came to an end. In entire trip, the boy behaved as if he owned the girl, and she was complying with his orders like a slave. There was never a question of what she wanted. There was always an order of what he wanted and she had to agree. Then, things took a nasty turn and she opened up about her real relationship with him. She shared that there are times when the food is not according to his liking and he throws the plate away splattering all the food on the floor and the walls. She still loves him because he is “the love of her life.” I wonder if this is really what love looks like.
I have noticed many couples in my life, so far, where one person controls another person as if they own them. What disgusts me more is the fact that they allow themselves to be treated that way because they love them. I can state without a shadow of the doubt that there must be someone who would treat them with love and respect, but they would not give that person a chance. You know why? Because,
“We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky
We choose to take our own life for one-sided love — not because nobody else has loved us, but because we feel we would live happily only with that one person. If we calm down a little and think rationally, we would know that a life does not end because we couldn’t be loved by the person we love; a life ends because we refuse to see other people who would take a bullet for us. I have had my fair share of heartbreaks. Trust me, in every single heartbreak, I thought that I would die. Thankfully, I chose to talk to my family and felt that I have the gift of love. Love is not just something which has a tag of romance on it; it’s all around us. Love is when our friend cancels their plans just to hang out with you. Love is when your mom wakes up in the morning to pack your lunch. Love is when your dad decides to take a loan just to buy you a laptop that you desired. Love is in the eyes of your sister when she buys you a gift and notices how much happy that made you. There is so much love all around us, but we choose to see only one side of love. We cry, kill and even die for that one person who decided to reject us. Just because one person did not wish to spend their life with you, does not mean that you are unlovable. It only means that you need to move on. Like I said, there is so much love all around us. We must open our eyes and hearts to let it in.
So, before you crave for another person’s love, take a moment to love yourself and observe how much love you already have in your life. Absorb the love of your family and friends deep in your heart before you allow someone else to enter into it. Don’t accept if “the love of your life” mistreats you because you were not born to be mistreated. None of us were! Just because you think that you deserve this person love does not mean that you are right. You are lovable and you will find someone who would treat you exactly the way you are supposed to be. Until then, love yourself <3
P.S. This post is in response to the Friday Reflections prompt – ““We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky”