The movie poster -“Love is a Many-Splendored Thing”
- Frank Sinatra’s album – “Seduction – Songs of Love”
- The Language of the Heart
- Mother Teresa’s quote – “Hunger for Love – not Food”
- The Universal Language of Love
Love is a many-splendored thing,
It’s the April rose that only grows in the early spring,
Love is nature’s way of giving a reason to be living,
The golden crown that makes a man a king.
Once on a high and windy hill,
In the morning mist two lovers kissed and the world stood still,
Then your fingers touched my silent heart and taught it how to sing,
Yes, true love’s a many-splendored thing.
Love is an emotion that is powerful, yet primitive in its inception. It is a feeling that is so positive that it transcends all barriers of language, colour, creed, culture and race. It is a language that is universally understood (without any need of verbalization) because it is an unparalleled feeling of happiness. Love overwhelms one’s entire being and soul with a cloak of warmth, goodness, safety and security. It is a quality that is synonymous with all things that convey Joy, Faith and Hope. It is for this precise reason that Love will be forever clad in the sumptuous clothing of grandeur, splendour and wonder. It is associated with everything that is wonderful, awe-inspiring and it is held in very high stead for this reason. The beauty of Love is that it has the power of unstinting acceptance – the humility to see beyond another person’s various imperfections, faults and mistakes. True love is one that can endure despite many obstacles, imperfections and misunderstandings – if it is genuine, it remains eternal, forever beautiful and evergreen.
Love has, over the centuries, captured the imagination of millions of people – it is attributed to gods and goddesses – it has been variously spoken of by innumerable authors, journalists and musicians, from all over the world. Love is the sentimental “glue” – the all-enduring, binding factor that holds the world together and intact despite its many imperfections; it is the calming bridge over troubled waters and it is akin to the surgeon’s scalpel that heals a broken heart. Words may never be sufficient to express the language of the heart. A smile, a hug, a kiss, a warm caress of the cheek, a kind word, a thoughtful gesture and a caring and sympathetic attitude form part of the eloquent and healing language of the Heart. The heart is considered to be the seat of all that is unique and subjective to each individual – it is his/her interpretation of how he/she chooses to view the world. A person who can think with his/her heart is one who can understand perfectly the workings of another person’s soul. The Mind or the Brain is associated with everything that is realistic, logical, practical and pragmatic. The Mind perceives every situation as being either black or white but the Heart will take the time to probe the Fifty Shades of Grey – the Fifty Shades of Love. Whenever you find yourself in a quandary, it is not your Mind that comes to the rescue with all its practicalities and its logic – it is the inner voice of your Heart that speaks the veritable truth. The Mind is unable to feel love, even though it knows its meaning perfectly. The Heart is the essence – the ever-beating, faithful pulse of Love that keeps it alive forever and ever.
Well, what is Love? Of course, you all know what it is – it is a quality of heightened euphoria and well-being when feelings of intense affection, immense fondness or caring are experienced or expressed to the person closest to one’s heart. It is a virtue that is dearly prized and is eloquently wished to one’s near and dear ones, on any special or auspicious occasion, as a blessing that stands only next to Joy, Good Health and Peace of Mind. Nobody can teach another to love – it is not a lesson found in any textbook – to a very large extent, it is not a learned habit. Love is innate, inborn and primitive – even a new-born animal knows that to snuggle up to the warm body of its mother, is a way of obtaining acceptance, affection, safety and security. Yet is is also true to say that people whose lives have not been touched with love and affection are unable to share the same with others. One can give love if one has known what it is to be loved in return – not otherwise. It may take a long time and a lot of effort and heart-ache but Love can (and will) dissolve the coldness of hatred, anger, bitterness and distance caused by indifference and callousness. It is a soothing balm of eternal healing qualities. It is an expression of everything that is good, pure, exquisitely beautiful and benevolent in this world. Sometimes, we say that, “Love is blind” – it is then a quality that can make one lose sight of wisdom, basic common sense and foresight in the pursuit of one’s passion -even when realizes inwardly that this one-sided relationship will end in disaster, abandonment and pain.
So when Frank Sinatra sings with so much warmth and fervour of the evergreen love that he evinces for his lover, can you even begin to doubt it? Love is as multifaceted as a diamond – it has several aspects, dimensions and variations. What may be termed as Love for one person, may not be the same for another. Love has various levels – the love shared between parent and child (especially the eternal bond between a mother and her child); the love shared by siblings, family, close friends and the very special bond that exists between lovers. There is no person on this Earth who can honestly state that he does not need love – it is craved widely by one and all – a teacher would like to be loved by his students; a boss would like to benefit from the love and respect of his subordinates; a musician would like to revel in the adoration of his fans and even any pet, like a dog, craves for the love and understanding of its master. Have you noticed how Sinatra perceives his surroundings in the most positive light possible because his perspective is based on his starry eyes that are clouded with love. Love is compared to the beautiful April rose that blooms at springtime; it offers every reason for making life worth living and enjoying. It makes any ordinary human being feel at the “Top of the World” – it makes him feel he is a king. When two lovers kiss, “the world stands still” – not literally of course, it is just a way of saying that Love is a feeling of such magnificence and completeness that all else becomes secondary and unimportant. It has the power of joy that can teach a tuneless man to sing with happiness. That is the truest essence of Love.
Infatuation and lust are not forms of Love though they are often mistaken as such. Infatuation is a foolish and frivolous passion that sways a person off his/her feet. It is temporary and lacks enduring power – just like Lust which is a strong expression of wishing to gratify one’s very strong sexual desires. Love need not always be sexual -it could very well be platonic too. A platonic relationship is not sex-driven – but that, in itself, does not make it any less genuine. People who love each other intensely use sexual intimacy as an eloquent expression of their love and respect for each other. They don’t have sex – they ‘make love’ to each other. Making love is an act of sexual intimacy that is so personal, so private and so gratifying that it becomes much more than just the union of two bodies – it is an act of ultimate and unifying bonding. It is an act of love that is so effervescent – it is an intense expression of vitality, energy and the joy of living. It is a selfless act of the equal sharing of the throes of ecstasy – it is as much an act of giving pleasure to one’s partner as it is of accepting it. It is, also, to a very large extent, an act of healing between two individuals, especially after a bitter disagreement or argument. Sex, on the other hand, is the gratification of one’s primal sexual urges and desires and the release of pent-up energy and stress. It is as instinctual as the mating of two animals – an act undertaken, more often than not, for the sake of procreation, than for anything else. Sex is often an act of pure selfishness – it does not consider the feelings and satisfaction of one’s partner’s needs and desires. It is true that having sex implies the union of two bodies but there is no bonding or any real emotion involved in the process. It is more for the thrill of relieving one’s desire and lust.
Men and women perceive Love in different ways. Women tend to endear qualities of caring, consideration and kindness, in their partner, as being very much a part of love and intimacy. Men, on the other hand, prefer the physical gratification of their concept and comprehension of love through the act of sexual intimacy. However, this does not imply that men are indifferent or uncaring – it is only that they have very disparate priorities, as compared to women.
Few people realize the healing and bonding properties of certain phrases consisting of only 3 words – phrases that can make a world of a difference to any relationship – words like, “I am sorry,” “Please forgive me,” “I miss you” or the most expressive of all -“I love you.” Use them often – they convey a wealth of meaning. Take my advice, one and all – don’t wait till the eleventh hour to express your feelings of love to someone, it can very well become a missed opportunity, snatched away by Time and tardiness. You need not say in so many words that you love someone dearly and that you care for them a great deal – that you would be bereft without their presence to light up your life. These people will always know that you love them in the caring way that you treat them.
I’m sure that you are saying in your mind -“the author seems to be in love herself, don’t you think so?” Well, the author is not going to sanctify that question with the answer that you want to hear. The writer would nonetheless like you to know that curiosity did kill the cat and that, all in all, it helps greatly to possess a vivid imagination. On a more serious note – one does not need to be swooning or floating on a cloud to know the meaning and significance of love. If you have been loved in your life; if you value the qualities of kindness, consideration and generosity of spirit, anyone can be taught the true meaning of love. I’m quite sure that Mother Teresa herself wasn’t in the throes of love when she went out of her way to help the poverty-stricken, hungry and homeless poor of the world – her love was truly an act of selflessness, charity, caring, unconditional love and compassion. Several people in the world die daily of hunger and undernourishment. It is not so much out of the lack of good and nourishing food that they die, it is more out of the lack of being wanted, accepted and loved by their own kind. They die because they see no point in living in despair.
The quality of Love is such a prized treasure that it lies enthroned in the heart of the Supreme Being Himself – our All-Merciful and All-Powerful God. He is the epitome of love and forgiveness. Love will always be a virtue that is treasured because it is the very essence of peace, unity, brotherhood and harmony.
I think that you’ll agree with me when I state that a man who has not loved, has essentially not lived. Hence, learn to love – learn to live with joy again. It is akin to being reborn with eloquent blessings – blessings that came from God without your asking!