I often get asked this question from people who know me and assume that I walk around with my heart on my sleeve: “Mihika, how on earth do you love so many people, and each of them so much?”
Every time this happens, I start to think about how I really do end up doing this, and I only have one thing to say: I can love so many people and all of them so much, because my love begins with myself. Once that happens, the love that I contain pleasantly emanates to all others. I have, over the years, learnt to love myself wholly and completely and fully, and at the same time, I am my greatest admirer and harshest critic, my best friend and my worst enemy. Everything I do springs from a place within myself so deep that it doesn’t really take that much out of me when I have to do the same for another.
I love everyone so well, because I love myself. And that’s the only advice I can give you. A lot of times we go into relationships with the desire to squeeze love out of them, with the intention to be looked after by another, with the intention to possess and be possessed, without realising that each time we do that, there’s only one person we are betraying: ourselves. Because we can’t possibly be happy with another person if we are unhappy with ourselves.
I hear a lot going on about self respect and dignity nowadays, but let me tell you that most of this is a simple misinterpretation of the ego in disguise. Please don’t confuse genuine love with this selfishness, narcissism or severe attachment to your ego. The love that is mentioned here is a genuine love that you nurture for yourself keeping in mind all that you can do for yourself as a person who is part of the human race and looking to live a meaningful life in whatever way you choose.
Its not like I have come out unscathed after my experiences in love, perhaps I have had a few of the worst experiences in it, but that is exactly why with each experience I can tell where I went wrong even if I couldn’t figure out where the other person faltered. Even when I have been utterly hurt and broken through a relationship, I have understood that the energy of hatred is never useful: the only cure to heartbreak in love, is more love and the only way to get over love is by letting the love flow as much as it wants to, and in the way it chooses to flow.
There comes a point in relationships where you know you love someone way too much, and you just do love them beyond measure: but even there there’s a place that you can find to love them and care for them despite disagreeing with them. Being grateful for their presence and gestures may be the done thing, but sometimes you’ve just got to stand up for yourself and learn to be okay with disagreeing, if that’s what the need of the hour is.
And you will only be able to do that if you love yourself enough.
There are also times when despite your best efforts, things will not work out- even with people that you know from within that the relationship can blossom into something beautiful. You will know it because you feel that special something when you look into their eyes, but if you know you’ve truly given them and the relationship a chance, you must be happy enough to let them go if things don’t work out between the two of you. When you’ve given it all you can, you just have to let go and have faith that you did the best you could, and let happen whatever is meant to happen.
Just like we take our own time to learn and grow, so do other people. Just like we make mistakes, they do too. Just like there’s a fear in us, there’s one in them. Just because we can see something clearly, doesn’t mean they can too. Everything happens in its own time, and no matter how frustrating that sounds, it’s a universal law that can hardly be tampered with.
So spoil yourself, pamper yourself, nurture yourself, but also invest in your own growth and take a chance to see what you’re worth. Apologise when you have to. Learn when you need to. Give where you can. Above all, be your first love.