In the words of one of the greatest motivational speakers Sandeep Maheshwari, “Love is not a temporary feeling or emotion. Emotions and feelings change; sometimes daily, but true unconditional love is ever-lasting!”
Consider a scenario. You’ve been living with a person for quite a few years in a row. You have spent with each other the best as well as the worst of times, through myriad sunrises and sunsets. Time spent apart from one another seems tormenting and hard to pass by. You definitely cannot picture a life without him/her. So, let me ask a nonchalant question; ‘Is it love?’
Have faith in me, it is not such perplexing a deal to figure out whether it’s true love or mere addiction. You’ve landed yourself in the right place if this is the answer you are seeking!
Take a hypothetical situation ladies and gentlemen. You had a major fight with someone at your home, or maybe with your best friend. Your heart is flooded with innumerable emotions, that of anger, hurt, resentment and much more. You are offered a pint of pungent beer, garnished with cubes of ice. A sip down your throat relieves the burning sensations in your heart. Eventually, the entirety and gravity of the situation begin to dissolve into thin air. Your heart, mind and body all feel the ecstatic soothing sensation of alcohol running in your veins.
Pleasurable, wasn’t it? No doubt it was. And the enchantress alcohol lures you towards itself slowly. When the next quarrel occurs, your muddled head and racing heart light up by the thought of the calming sting of alcohol. Now that alcohol, which was initially consumed by you for temporary stress removal has become a daily and much-needed dose of pleasure. A week or perhaps a day without it seems miserable and wasted. In other words, you have become addicted to it.
The same phenomenon applies to individuals as well. We get addicted to not only alcohol, nicotine and caffeine but also to human beings.
You are in midst of a grave crisis; be it emotional, physical or social in nature. Just then, someone enters the threshold of your life, takes your hand, gives you a warm smile and lifts you up. You confide in him/her. He/she, like a saviour, helps you come out of it all. With time, your bond with that person gets strengthened.
In this way you become thoroughly intoxicated with that person; just the way an alcoholic becomes intoxicated with alcohol.
Now imagine if your worst fears come true and the alcohol that you highly prize suddenly vanishes from your life. And as you expected, your resistance to tough situations diminishes, you start feeling miserable, and to an extent, even helpless and lonely.
But hold on dear friend; now someone comes to your rescue, offering you a handful of cigarettes. You smoke one. Two. Three. And so on. It feels equally re-vitalizing and soothing, isn’t it? Slowly, the addiction to alcohol starts getting transferred to cigarettes. Over time, subtly, you get as addicted to cigarettes as you were to alcohol once. Now life without cigarettes seems a big deal to handle.
An alcoholic would say he loves alcohol. A smoker would claim he loves cigarettes. Come on, do they? We all know the answer.
Dig deeper a bit, and you will begin to realise that we get addicted to human beings in a similar manner, and mistake it as love. We derive certain kind of pleasures (be it emotional, mental, physical and the like) from someone, or maybe just by their mere presence. We look for someone who could fulfil our needs and/or desires, someone who completes us as a person, fills in the missing gaps in the jigsaw puzzle of our lives.
And not everyone is able to fulfil these pre-requisites. So, as soon as we find someone who does pass these criteria, we label it as ‘love’. For some duration of time, that person becomes the perfect epitome of a human being that we seek. With those gaps in us and our lives filled in by that person, we achieve a sense of fulfilment and feel sated.
But, we are all constantly shaped by the environments that we live in and thus constantly evolving and changing. As life proceeds, our personalities and lives begin to develop newer gaps, with new desires and demands, which might not be necessary for that person’s capacity to fulfil. And with the pleasure waves having stopped emanating from that person, we begin to feel that there is no more love between you two and that he/she is not the ‘one’. Now, someone else would be in an apt position to bridge in our gaps and give us the pleasures that we seek, we would be driven to believe that we have fallen in love with this new person.
Well, let me tell you, all these are mere facades of love.
Real and the most pristine form of love can germinate where both the persons are complete in themselves. They do not look onto the other person to fulfil them or fill in the missing gaps in their entity. Instead of seeking pleasures and happiness in the other person, they find/create reservoirs of bliss within their own selves. Before looking for another person to love them, they embrace and love their own selves first.
And when this exquisite state is attained by a person, only then is he/she in a position to love another human being. Because now, that they are fully self-reliant and happy by themselves, they can look into the needs and happiness of other people.
And yes, most importantly; love is NOT a smooth sailing ship.
• Love is not just when you can share your happiness with them. It is also when you can share tears and misfortunes together.
• Love is when you can go on days without each other doing your respective works, but can’t wait to be with each other again.
• Love is not a story of always agreeing with one another and having similar viewpoints. It is when you can have opinions poles apart, yet lean to come to a mutual agreement.
• Love is not really what we see in fancy movies and romantic songs. The perfect love story is not the one that we see on ‘Relationship Goals’ posts on social media.
Thus, it is important to differentiate between addiction to another person and being in love with another person. It is easy to get confused, which leads to a lot of heartbreaks and issues, but if you understand this concept once, then you can at least recognize your own emotions effectively. This recognition will help you deal with such situations in a better manner.