Love is the blood of life. It is to be experienced to be understood. One cannot express love in words easily. One can share feelings of love or experiences of love with others. Love has many forms as experienced by all of us. Let us examine love from various experiences in our cycle of life.
A child experiences love of the mother without even an exchange of a word. It could be sign or even touch, which makes the child feel love. The mother knows when a child is happy or sad. She can feel the emotions of her kid like no other human being can in her life.
As the child grows up as a kid, she is loved by everyone in the family. The young child loves her parents for some things and her siblings for other things. These expressions of love can be in the form of comforts in life or even a small help or favour. A pat on the back could be considered as an expression of love for the child.
Now the child grows up into an adolescent and love has a different meaning to him. He is attracted to the opposite sex and relates more to physical touch and feel. He lives in a world of fantasy and dreams of love in various forms in his life. He takes the love of parents and siblings for granted and is willing to sacrifice everything to win over the girl in his life.
As you grow into a young adult, this romanticised form of love grows more realistic. You start your work life and look at colleagues at work as partners to success. You do not live in a dream world. Your feet settles on the ground and want to make a mark in life and work and love is secondary at this stage of life.
Once settled at work, you plan to settle in life. Now one looks for a partner in life. The criteria for an ideal partner goes beyond physical looks and transcends to emotional and compatibility needs. You are willing to take your time to search for your ideal partner and are not in a great hurry. Love is a journey and not a destination in life.
Now you are married and consider your spouse as your equal. Each of us want to be an ideal partner and expect the same from the other. We try to put our best foot forward and live in a honey moon period till love lasts. As the feelings of love fades, we start finding fault with each other and do everything possible to find fault in our partner. It takes courage and humility of either of us to admit our mistakes and move on in life.
We then have kids and settle down in life. Our children bridge the ever growing gap of love between us and we get closer to each other – thanks to the bonding with our children. We realise our mistakes as we grow older and are willing to compromise and support each other at this stage of life. Love seems to connect us all over again as partners.
Our children finish their education and move on to their independent lives. The empty nest syndrome sets in and we realise that we need each other more than ever before. Love gets redefined at this stage of life. It is much more than physical. It is emotional, social and psychological bonding between us. We learn to support each other to experience love.
Love is cyclic. We almost become kids again as our grand children arrive in our lives. It is to be experienced to be believed. These tiny tots light up our emotions all over again. The child in us is re kindled as it had got buried deep inside us as adults.
It is time to experience love in every phase of life. Live and enjoy love as it evolves.
Love happens, it is never planned.
S Ramesh Shankar
25th June 2018