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Most millennials know of love in the Tinder age, but do they know what it is to really love? Here’s some guidance from a couple of classics I have learnt from.
In the millennial generation, where relationships are losing the art of knowing each other layer by layer, and the only place of solace is right swipes on Tinder, I stumbled upon this book, The Road Less Travelled – The Classic Work on Relationships, Spiritual Growth and Life’s Meaning by M. Scott Peck.
Peck, a psychiatrist, a writer and spiritual guide, has generously shared his lifelong wisdom to help us build more loving relationships; distinguish between neediness and love, and become the highest possible versions of ourselves.
I also came across The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, where he expresses so much with such brevity, yet making the reader think. Here too, I read of love and different relationships.
Love is the most sought after complex human emotion. Let’s try and unlock the mystery of love and break a few myths so that we can save ourselves a few heartbreaks. Here are few lessons about love that I have imbibed from these two teachers.
The most common misconception about love is the notion that dependency is love. In the romantic love ideal propositioned by Bollywood and fairytales, the delicate balance between intimacy and interdependence is lost, and love borders on the psychological condition of co-dependence.
According to Psychology, those whose lives are governed by dependency needs are suffering from ‘Passive dependent personality disorder’. These people always feel that a part of them is missing, and tolerate loneliness very poorly. Having no sense of identity, they define themselves solely by their relationships. It is as if it does not matter whom they have as long as they have someone.
Love is not dependency.
“Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live with each other.” – M. Scott Peck
Mr. Peck has defined love as the will to extend oneself for the purpose of one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. The key words here are ‘will’ and ‘growth’.
It means that true love requires effort and willingness to act in loving ways even if one does not feel like loving for the ultimate purpose of growth of our partner and relationship.
“Love is as love does”. – M. Scott Peck
Kahlil Gibran on marriage:
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love;
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
Love is a beautiful companionship between two people who come together and help each other reach their highest potential without losing their individuality in the process. Each individual has their own destiny to fulfill and identity to be carved.
Genuine love always acknowledges the significant other as a separate individual and encourages their unique individuality.
Both the partners develop their own talents and gifts, stay in solitude, pursue their hobbies, work on fulfilling their purpose and come back to the union to share their gifts and nurture each other.
“I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet.
Header image is a still from the Twilight series of movies