An average young girl dreams of a partner, nothing less than a knight in shining armour, to take care of everything for her, much like her father. And, an average young man imagines a partner as a beautiful maiden, who is an embodiment of care and love, to take care of their worldly needs, exactly like their mums did (assuming we have perfect parents, which is often not the case, but the expectations remain!) .

First, in the fairy tales, then through the cheesy romance novels, and finally in the movies, the same pattern gets repeated, imprinted and burnt into our consciousness through generations after generations.

Once, I was describing the despair of raising a child without any family support and a much younger colleague just commented, “don’t spoil it for us!” That comment made me think how the image of love, family, etc lived in a young mind. The dream-life, for them, needs to remain intact and the knowledge of reality needs to stay at bay, until they need it.

I wonder why the illusion of a dream-life gets written, sung, acted and sold, and thus consciously distributed and carved onto young minds. Is this simply to save the species, to keep the hopes up? Without painting a glorious picture, will our species be under the brunt of heavy wisdom and may as well become extinct!

I hope not!

We all came here into this world, knowing absolutely nothing about love, and we learn about it from our environments, i.e., parents, family, society, in general. It is a learned concept, in my view. Possibly, people, who get less love, know nothing about it, and try to follow the concept of love that is sold to us in the various media that we consume these days. So, many of us, don’t even know what they are looking for. It’s like exploring a place without a map, cooking a dish without the recipe, or singing a song without knowing the notes.

All of us, wary of this life, keep searching for the light, the love, forever. It is perhaps, never supposed to be there, forever!

The intensity of pure love, I think, is too high to be present all the time. It’s perhaps like the beauty of Everest. You can perhaps scale it, but you can’t stay there. The peak is a very small place, indeed. You need to leave and go back to the mundane usual, with a golden memory of being there, at least once in your life.

In other words, we perhaps need to curtail this expectation of a continuous existence of love in our lives and it will be showered on us by, who we feel close to. It’s not necessarily the case, in the real world. If it happens, you won the jackpot. Otherwise, I think simply being in the presence of someone you deeply adore, is a good enough fortune to rejoice – don’t expect any favours as bonus, though.

Moderate, in fact, erase your expectations. Rejoice in giving. Life is not about calculating return on your investments, although don’t we almost always fall prey to that! Unrequited love, unacknowledged kindness, make us feel sad. But, what the heck! I guess it’s enough to try to succeed, and not get deterred by a failure.

Let’s live our lives like we do sport. Try to shoot a goal, if it doesn’t happen, let’s just try again until the whistle sounds!

The fact is, the desire for love from someone to make you feel complete, is insatiable. We need to acknowledge this fact consciously. If we wait for someone to turn up at the doorstep of our lives and fill us with all the love and glory that life can furnish us with, we are leaving the control of our lives to someone we have never met! Is that even smart?

Who will know me better than myself! After close to five decades living this life, I have realised that I need to orchestrate my life. It’s “my” life, after all! People in my life might be able to give some accompaniment, but they neither should write the melody nor the tune for the song of my life. Only then, I can truly own my life.

Will life feel beautiful? That depends on me. If I have no expectations from anyone, then there is nothing to sulk about! If I set a goal in my life and achieve it, then there are no regrets! And, that makes me feel content.

So, let’s stop dreaming about the life that’s sold to us. Be real, try different things. See what makes you tick, plan your life around those things for the most (at least, some) part of of it. This strategy gives me peace. Hope it brings peace to you, too!

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Pritha

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