True Love Or Perfect Love?

True love is a mirage
Have you met true love? Is there anything called perfect love? These thoughts have been pestering me since I have read Vishnu’s latest book.

I don’t post all the reviews of the books I read at my blog but whenever my oldest blogger friend Vishnu (who visited my blog when it was more like a ghost abode) launches a book, he stirs my emotions and thoughts and I find a connection to say more than just about his book.

This time his book focuses on relationships, love and emotions – the topics, which pull at the strings of my heart.

The very title of his book ‘Does True Love Exist’ is thought provoking and I had a lot to say even before reading this book. I have posted my formal review about his book but some reflections that have been fluttering in my heart have to be shared before I move ahead.

True love is a mirage… it does exist. We do get enamored and infatuated by it but we have to keep following it till eternity. One of my poems glorifies true love:

True love keeps smiling in our eyes
Like a fountain that never dries
It instills hope, respect, patience
The journey of love is so elating.
Read full poem.

True love could be romantic but it wears off if it is not watered consistently with affection, care, respect and kindness. Romantic love morphs into a loving and eternal relationship if we understand what is love.

Interpretations of love differ and are as varied as people around the globe.

Vishnu talks about finding a person of your choice and developing a loving and healthy relationship, which we all yearn for. Taking a cue from his personal experiences, Vishnu’s sane advice is to love yourself before you decide about the love of your life.

Love yourself?

While I agree with the concept of self-love, I have observed so much of self-love in some cases that it makes a person self-centered, self-obsessed with one’s own needs, which leads people into their own realms of being the masters, not just of the house they live in but of the lives of persons who live in their so called home.

True love?

Vishnu says it is possible to find true love if you meet people and keep eliminating them one by one. The thoughts that still reverberate in my mind after finishing his book are…Appearances are deceptive, people put up their best behavior when they want to impress and continue to do so till their motives are accomplished.

Aren’t imperfections part of our personality?

While nobody would choose an alcoholic, a cheater or a liar consciously, you need one full life to detect a pretender or a compulsive liar who poses to be loving and truthful, denies each time that he lied and promises that he wouldn’t.True love is like ghosts - quote

True love cannot be found. It is not an artifact or a treasure, which could be discovered. It has to be learned and nurtured slowly. How rightly did William Shakespeare say: “The course of true love never did run smooth.”

Passionate love, love that claims to get the moon or the stars for us, fiery love…they are all forms of youthful, immature infatuation.

True love is a fairy tale, which can be transformed into reality by rewriting each chapter by hearing the whispers of each other’s heart, by believing in those whispers and absorbing the aches that lie within.

True love is the journey of lifetime across the rough sea, weathering all the storms on a surfing board. You may not be able to hold each other’s hand when the tide is high but you know that somebody is around to take care!

Do you believe in such love?

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

Detachment – A Disconcerting Word

Detachment poem

I have been dealing with this demon of detachment ever since my nest became empty, reflecting on how disconcerting this visitor is and why he chooses to lurk around despite the rebuffs he faces.

I tried to humor him with poetic immersions, offering the best of emotional entreaties to leave me alone and warning him that he was an unwelcome guest. He still smiles and cajoles me with his capers.

He tries to pull me out of emotional attachments, which cloud our judgment, which shackle us to our past, which are like a lump in the throat, declining to dissolve.

He acquainted me with my new self, his cold touch warmed up when he dragged me out of my cocoon to look around with a new perspective. He has redefined the hues of life for me and has been exhorting me to look beyond emotions.

He tells me that there is much more to life than just attachments.

He almost succeeded! His friendship brought tranquility in my life. I learned to lower my expectations.

Despite his sincere efforts, new attachments have gently tiptoed into my life, brushing aside this demon with their tiny feet. My love-hate relationship with him has grown as he keeps cautioning me… ‘Earthly attachments have to be abdicated one day.’

My love for my grandchildren has been overshadowed by this demon who refuses to leave albeit I show him the door everyday. His long shadows follow me everywhere. He gets extremely jealous of their prattle, their hugs and the games we play. He has to sit alone!

The other day this demon knocked me down when we were playing ‘let’s catch’. I know he was missing the fun we were having and wanted me to behave like a grandma.

While I was sitting on the ground, nursing me twisted foot; my four-year-old grand daughter hugged me and told me…’its ok, its a little hurt, you are fine’ and my little grandson sat on my lap to soothe me, just like I do!

Can you think of detachment when there is so much of love?

Can you shrug off new attachments as transient and delusive?

I know “attachment is the great fabricator of illusions….” BUT

We have found again
Those tiny hands, happily holding ours
Those dainty feet, walking willingly with us
Those exquisite eyes, eagerly waiting
Those moments of eternal bliss!

The delight that shimmers in their eyes
Returned our perennial pride, our glory
Restored the world of fragrant fairy tales
The glow of gratitude glimmers
Reassuring many more years of love.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

Conflicts In Relationships – The Untold Story Of Emotions

Conflicts in relationships

I have yet to come across a person who could say ‘I have never faced any conflict in relationships.’ Disagreements and disillusionments are as natural as breathing. Even the relationship of siblings, which is based on emotional memories they gathered and the love they shared since childhood, gets warped by circumstances, choices and people who influence their lives.

The loving relationship of a brother and sister gets frayed the moment they fall in love or choose a partner, who becomes more important, who controls their life, who wants all the attention and love and who considers any other family member an intruder. It happens with their relationship with parents too.

We all know this truth but never accept or discuss it. We pretend all is well. The chasm gets wider with the passage of time and smarter partners start calling you a member of extended family! You need their permission to visit their home, you have to learn diplomacy to deal with your own loving relationships, you have to say all pleasant words and even innocent remarks get misinterpreted.

We learn pretentions, we have to become hypocritical, greet each other with fake smiles and kind words even when our emotions are in a volcanic state.

While conflicts lead to healthy relationships, they can throttle us if they are not addressed at the appropriate time.

Some people don’t confront the conflicts, brush them into the corners and never ask any questions. Probably they are scared of shattering the superficial peace that seems to exist in their house, which never becomes a home. Their relationship issues keep smoldering.

Some don’t have a choice and therefore accept it as their life, become mute spectators to their rights being trampled and become doormats. They learn to suppress their emotions and convince themselves that their wishes and desires are superfluous. They take pleasure in pleasing their family members and dwell in self-made graves.

Some start ignoring the conflicts, make their own choices and find happiness in whatever is available around them. If they happen to be financially independent, they find solace in their work. They drift away from each other and their relationships never grow.

When insensitivity creeps into relationships, when feelings and emotions are not shared, they create an unknown wedge between relationships. They breed anger and angst and there is no limit to these negative emotions.

Non-communication can lead to serious rifts and it is one of the major reasons of drifting apart. Emotions need an outlet, a channel that makes them flow spontaneously.

Emotional outbursts are better than carrying an emotional baggage.

Repressed emotions are like a volcano and silence becomes a lid for them. I am sure you can understand what happens when a volcano bursts!Nurture relationships

All relationships are valuable; all of them are brittle and have to be handled astutely.

‘Relationship’ is a very wide term…it is not just a connection between two persons, which immediately comes to your mind when you hear this term.

The most precious relationship begins in the womb…a motherly binding that you experience the moment you feel the sensation of that small movement of your baby.

Relationships connect us not just by blood or marriage; they also refer to the emotional binding between people, family members, teachers and students, business partners and clients etc.

“There is no formula to relationships. They have to be negotiated in loving ways, with room for both parties, what they want and what they need, what they can do and what their life is like.”—Mitch Albom

You may like to read more about emotions and relationships and how to handle the conflicts.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

 

Outside and Inside #writephoto

#writephoto poetry

The wondrous window…
Her world, her only real realm
That connected her with clouds
Outside and inside.

The edges of the windowsill
Smoother than paths she trod
Reassured her that she was safe
In the arms of her benefactor

All fears receded within her
She licked her wounds and soothed herself
As she looked out…calmness prevailed
Outside and inside.

Starry nights churned the storm
Shook her out of her slumber
Wobbling towards the window
She looked out at the streaks of light

Which shrieked…‘coward!
How could you concede defeat?
How could you enter your own grave?
Cringe inside and outside’

The glow of each dawn descends
Deeper into her deliberations
She looks outside
To confine conflagration inside.
© Balroop Singh
All rights reserved.

Thanks to Sue Vincent for the inspiration.

You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more poems.

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

What I Learnt From My Critics

Critics are friends

“The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” – Norman Vincent Peale

All people like to be praised as it boosts their self-esteem, keeps them motivated and happy but it also pushes them into the abyss of sham, which is propelled by hypocrisy and sycophancy.

We like to think that we are the best; we are the most successful; we are more intelligent and smart.

Anyone who criticizes us earns our instant dislike and we try to keep that person at arms length. If we happen to be at a higher position we try to take a punitive action against our critics.

Criticism is a subtle message that we need to embellish our personality and manner of working. Sometimes such messages are loud and hurting but they do ring a bell within us. They may seem to belittle us but they need to be heard.

I have learnt many lessons from my critics. When I was told ‘I am arrogant,’ I made every effort to analyze my personality. When I was told I was reticent, I tried to come out of my shell.

I learnt to smile from my critics. I learnt patience, compassion and humility from my critics.

When I was a teacher, I was given an extra charge of writing press notes of all school events. It was not an easy task and each time I handed over the report to my boss, it was criticized and thrown back at me.

Today when I look back, my heart is filled with gratitude towards her because she helped me enhance my writing skills, ignited the fire within me to put in my best and fostered the ability to become emotionally resilient.

Why is criticism essential?

  • It is an eye-opener
  • It steers us out of self-deceptionCritics
  • It points out our mistakes
  • It acquaints us with our imperfections
  • It develops our emotional quotient
  • It helps us in introspection
  • It makes us a better person

Keep the windows of your mind open:

Welcome all kinds of feedback, more so if it is negative. All people can say good things about your work, way of dressing up and demeanor. Only the truthful ones, the unsuccessful and the jealous ones would point out your mistakes. Listen to them and reflect upon what they have said. Growth and learning happens only when we are receptive to criticism.

Listen patiently:

When we listen carefully what others have to say about us, we get an opportunity to know others’ perspective. We tend to tune off even when our friends try to convey a negative aspect of our persona but each negative insight can contribute to our positive development only if we pay attention to it.

Look within:

Can you lie to yourself? Self-awakening hits us only when we find the time to drop into our heart. Our weaknesses reveal themselves one by one when we make an effort to understand the cause of criticism. Such experiences ennoble us. They prepare us for forgiveness. I forgive myself before I decide to forgive those who have hurt me with their insensitive words.

Embrace positivity:

The aunt who told me not to laugh loudly, the teacher who punished me for being rude, the friend who mimicked me for being a cry baby, the student who glared at me for giving unsolicited moral advice and the neighbor who criticized me for being unsocial, they all taught me profound lessons of life!

It is easier to praise but hard to criticize. Let’s bless our critics, as we owe gratitude to them for showing the mirror to our true face.

Critical thinking is a gift that nature has given us. Let’s use it judiciously and constructively.

I am sure you too have faced some critics. What did you learn from them?

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections.

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Balroop Singh.