Sometimes when I run out of ideas to write on, I ask my friends for thought prompts. With the decision to make my social profiles not private anymore, I felt it would be interesting to put this question out there on Instagram. I would definitely say that I was surprised by how quickly I could underline the common theme running through the answers!
Last year, I was sitting and chatting with a group of 5-6 folks belonging to the same age group as mine. These were people who I had never met before and didn't know their last names. During one of the team building activities, we were asked to write down the first thing that comes to mind when the moderator expresses a word or an idea.
"What comes to your mind when I say, 'love'?" asked the moderator. While some frantically wrote down what they thought, others (like me) entered a 'think-tunnel' to respond appropriately.
When it came down to announcing the responses, it turns out that most of us had associated love with pain, heartbreak, regret, amongst other similar words. I won't deny that hearing the consensus gave me a warm sense of belonging with these unknowns faces. However, the longer I thought about what everyone had written, the more amusing it got.
"Devieka, isn't it so weird how comfortably people can reason an emotion with its opposite emotion. Maybe, only humans can belittle the idea of love, which in fact, they fuel in the form of cinema drenched in dollar bills and ballads, making them sigh. Or perhaps it is just us, young adults who are still searching for our definition of love. Maybe it is to do with our age, or perhaps it really is a sign of the times."
If you know me personally or have gone through my Instagram feed, you'll notice that I admire Ayn Rand and her ideas around specific themes.
Ms. Rand once said, "To say 'I love you' one must know first how to say the 'I'."
I believe that no relationship can be greater or more important than the one we have with ourselves. Pouring in efforts outside our capacity in the hopes of reciprocation from the other person is a recipe for disaster. Absence of reciprocation sooner or later fuels resentment in people. This then cultivates strains of toxicity and voila! you have got yourself an unhealthy relationship in the making.
While I do understand, to each their own, I dearly wish people realize to prioritize themselves over others. I hope people take the time to understand what works for them, what doesn't. This way, they would save themselves and the other person from damage and self-esteem issues.
Know thyself, know your patterns. Only then can you gauge whether you can provide what is best for the other person.
On my Instagram thought prompt, I had asked, "How has the definition of 'love' changed for you over the years?"
"If I gave too much before and hurt myself, I will not give too little this time and hurt someone else."
I think this particular response aptly emphasizes the difference between love and self-love. Some wise words there, friend!
In one word, how would you define 'love'?
Let me know your thoughts on my Instagram.