Love. It is such a misunderstood emotion, ill-used term and overused description of feelings. When, in all my experience (and I have some in this particular field), I have come to question – that is it indeed a feeling? Because when feelings go – vacuum remains. Can true love ever “go”? Because feelings are fleeting…you can feel love for a person by just hearing her/his voice…or by reading kind words in a chat box or by just basking in the radiance that surrounds beautiful faces. A person can uplift your heart by saying the right things at the right time… make the pain go away… fill the vacuum. That person can generate feelings that provide succour to your ailing soul…suddenly all your questions will seem answered. Before you know it…you start missing that person… start wishing to hear that voice again or read those words again… you start getting possessive… and mistake these myriad feelings for Love. When nothing can be further from the truth. This particular phenomenon is universal and more commonplace than you can imagine… people fresh out of a relationship feel it the strongest – and people in relationships that are not meeting pre-conceived expectations.

People fresh out of relationships – especially intense overpowering ones – may decide consciously “I’ve had enough… I am never gonna fall in love again. Let me enjoy being single!” But like all wounds, addictions and accidents – healing requires time. And a wound inflicted as a result of a broken relationship is the deepest one of them all. It affects the way you behave – changes the way you deal with people…and worst of all your injured soul (unbeknownst to you) constantly is searching for a “host”. So pretty face, kind word, sympathy – Bang! Love and you feel that there is indeed hope and love in this world. The same goes for people in sad relationships – and so many people find false recourse in the arms of the “perfect other” they didn’t get.

It’s good – in that it makes one smile. Makes one get up in the morning and rally on through the day. Maybe – it even works in some cases. But for most foolish souls – it ends in disaster. Leaving a person in a deeper hole than before, a soul more wounded and an outlook that seems sullied beyond repair. Only difference – this time the person so confused with images of false hope and elusive love that it puts into motion a series of nameless, meaningless affairs – which can only end in a broken wasted life. One keeps chasing shadows which flicker and eventually disappear. So is there a solution to come out of the abyss and into the sunshine?

Maybe…the answer lies inside. The answer is to fill the vacuum with the wonderous joy that life provides us – which is not associated with the affections or lust for another person. Each one of us is a world in ourself… with most of our potential to live and grow left untapped. Sure enough – most of us are lucky to have life itself – something we are so willing to give to another person. As my life progresses and I experience and see beauty and pain – I realize there is so much love in the everyday…love that is not ephemeral like a feeling… love that does not require someone else’s fulfilment. There is love in your duties towards your parents, there is more fulfilment in a job well done or project in which you shine. There is real, imperishable beauty in literature and music, arts and dance. There is a sense of accomplishment in running a couple of miles that far surpasses that found in momentary liasons or experiences of passion. There is an earthy “realness” in the company of old friends – much more solid and therapeutic than a crush or an infatuation. All of these provide “chicken soup” for the soul…fill the vacuum and elevate the soul from the depths of hopelessness to the elevation of enlightenment.

And when you feel that there is no longer any need for another person to give you happiness or make you feel “complete”… that’s when will you find the true love of another person. That’s when you will learn to distinguish between love as a feeling and real love which is the icing on an already beautiful cake.

All ye broken/sad hearts out there – live on! Love yourself. Discover and explore all that life has to give… that is the only path to true love.