The salty breeze parted my hair. The night sky was pitch black and had specks of white which seemed to be stars. The waves hit the rocks with aplomb, as I sat with legs crossed and shoulders slouched.
I looked into the horizon, towards the Mumbai skyline. The more I focused, the more lights appeared in the distance. The more I sought, the more borderlines of buildings and structures appeared. Until I blinked and they all vanished.
A few cold drops from a strong wave hitting the rocks below touched my face, triggering goosebumps. Goosebumps which required just an excuse to pop up I reckon. Ever since I was with her, they’ve been excited to jump out, much like an overenthusiastic puppy after locating its owner.
With her. These two words can mean so much; ranging from a mere companionship to everything beyond that. But beyond the influence of physical presence, something I haven’t discovered yet exists an entire realm of presence; wherein we play, love, heal, and talk. We talk about things I haughtily assume people, in general, don’t, we heal each other in a way I proudly presume we haven’t before; yet we play in a simple way as almost everyone does. How do we love, though?
Love. What is love? Many, including myself, have been questioning that, and as I’ve pondered about it more I’ve realised that it means differently to every person. Some see love in bodies, some in the skin, some skin deep, some in the hair. Some within the heart, some in the soul, some in the scars, some in the mind. Some in the blocks, some in the barriers, some within the vulnerabilities, some deep into the fears, while some find love in the opposite of each. Brilliantly enough, none of those approaches are right or wrong, even though disagreements may arise. How does one love someone, or doesn’t, is dependent on how one has lived, and even the most mundanely similar lives vary in the bitsy aspects of every day that are unique within the common.
The question then, is not how one does love another, as to how does one love oneself. Quite often, loving someone is the later stage of making them love themselves. It is not a noble take, at least not as noble as words may portray, it is inherently selfish. If one doesn’t love oneself, there is no way he or she will able to love you. When it was said, ‘to get love you must give love,’ it didn’t mean that you need to love someone to get love back. It was a hint, that you need to give them the blessing of loving themselves, to get the fruit of them loving you.
You want someone to love you? Make them love themselves, and that love will eventually find you.
Of course, you can only do that when you love yourself. What does loving oneself mean?
Loving oneself is the simple and straight act of giving yourself what you’d give to someone you love. As humans, many of us have a tendency to either judge ourselves too harshly or too favourably. In either case, it leads to detrimental effects. The most valuable part of love is honesty, it is the mammoth block of ice beneath the tip of the iceberg that is love. Nothing in love strives without honesty, as from honesty stems the glorious aspects of love – trust, belief, faith, assurance and knowingness. And if you aren’t giving someone you love your honesty, you aren’t loving them, at least not yet. Give yourself some honesty before you give it to love, as that will mould you into a better person. And a better you is easier for you to love, and more capable to make others love themselves, and eventually more lovable in return.
Give yourself the same space to make errors you’d give to your loved one. Allow yourself the same forgiveness that you give to them. Take off steam from your own head just as you will take theirs. One of the greatest lessons she has taught me was to be me, while I constantly try to make her the best version of herself. Probably a little swap in approaches from time to time would be awesome.
Love is learning. Love is a path. Love is finding someone who is equal parts your complement and equal parts your polar opposite. You want to be with someone who, deep down, is just like you – you share the same values and beliefs, probably even favourite music and teams, you share the same outlook on life. But beyond that, you will want differences, for they are what you will talk about. You need differences to understand the other person better, and to grasp what makes them tick. It is the differences which will make you appreciate the seperate entity that the person is. And the differences are the factors that will maintain an element of surprise and excitement throughout.
It is both, however, the fact that you are similar yet different; two different entities yet intertwined into something bigger; that makes you appreciate the wonder that love is. Two wholes doubling up into a strength that shakes the world. A little dark in white and a little white in the dark – two human beings, one bond. Love.
I took a deep breath. The cool wind in my lungs seemed to freshen me up. Despite me being there alone, I knew I truly wasn’t. I rarely am. Either I am with her or she is with me, and despite being miles away this makes sense. Sometimes she encroaches my thoughts, and sometimes I go to her. And very much like the Mumbai skyline from Marine Drive, the more I focused on her, the more I could see and hear her everytime.
And as the lateness of the hour dawned on me, I heard her tell me to go home and sleep.
Sure enough, came a ping, as I smiled and started walking.