By Mehreen Shafique.
“Learn the art of compromise, for it is better to bend a little, than break”.
At this point in time, with the highest number of divorce rates all around the world, intolerance at its prime and family systems collapsing all over, there are some serious questions that we need to ask ourselves:
have we forgotten the art of compromise?
Have we immersed ourselves so much in pseudo progression and a misplaced definition of equality and more than often dominance, that we have forgotten how to coexist?
Do we really know the meaning of love anymore?
Love can be defined as a profoundly tender, a passionate affection of another person, a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection. Love is seeing someone at their most vulnerable, often lowest point, and reaching out your hand to help them get back up. Because deep love is selfless. It’s realising there’s someone out there you don’t think twice about caring for. Caring for them is as involuntary as breathing. Love is often unexplainable. You can’t explain why it happens, or how, and you can’t instruct others how to find it, but when you do find it, you’ll be able to decipher deep love from all the rest. It’s about someone having relentless curiosity in discovering who you are, because every time you reveal a new part of yourself, they fall harder and harder. It’s about them wanting to listen because they would rather hear your voice, talk about your passions, your dreams, hopes, and inner most thoughts. Love realises that the words you use convey your feelings.
Love doesn’t criticise, demonise, or demoralise. Instead, you can use words to uplift, cherish, and appreciate your partner. Use words that express your needs and communicate what you want. Your ego wants to hold onto every slight and injustice, but lasting love requires burying the hatchet daily. It’s forgiving your partner for the sake of peace and sanity and because you love your partner. It’s realizing that pent-up anger and long term resentments will ruin a relationship. So it’s letting go of their trespasses quickly, and knowing the both of you are not perfect. If you forgive quickly and apologise quickly, you’ll mend the pain that arises faster. You’ll continue to find things about your partner that may distress you. You’ll find out about their past and discover new things about them each day. You have a choice to judge and hold them or simply to except them for who they are. If this is a lasting life, you’ll accept their past, accept the person they were before, accept the mistakes they have made, and accept who they are today.
Love gives without asking and without conditions. Love gives without expectations of reciprocation. Love doesn’t measure how much is given or how much you get back. Love doesn’t keep score. Love gives abundantly, shares willingly, and values creating happiness. It takes courage to express yourself. A loving relationship would allow you to say what you are feeling. Love will allow you to have difficult conversations and work through conflict without destroying the relationship. Love is saying how you feel, exchanging your concerns, and being receptive to what your partner says. Love is listening to understand. It’s not inattentive listening or pretending to listen. It’s not listening to fix or offer a solution. It’s not listening to judge or listening to condemn. It’s listening with your presence. It’s listening with your heart. It’s being their for your partner during the ups and downs of everyday life and during the stressful times. It’s active listening to help your partner be heard and seen. Love is judging less, or not at all.
It’s not making false assumptions or coming to cynical conclusions. It’s not thinking the worst of your partner but thinking the best of them. It means in believing who they are at their best, not at their worst. Love means taking a risk, trusting, and going all in even though you know that you could end up with heartbreak and pain. When you trust willingly, you are giving love a chance to flourish. It’s taking daily risks knowing that your partner will be there to catch you if you fall. It’s about supporting them in their dreams and their success but even more about being there for them when life gets rough. A couple that stays together during the tough times will coast together during the good times.
Love is sympathy, understanding, and compassion for yourself and each other. Do we need to remind ourselves of this primitive concept? Is our social setup draining out of this elixir of life?
Mehreen Shafique, Business Student at Roots University.