Vinita Dawra Nangia
If we love those who make us feel good, isn't it normal to avoid those who make us think badly of ourselves?I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you." For years this line has spelt the epitome of romance for me. Love is what you become when you are with a loved one.
Remember melting into sheer gooey chocolate, being able to hear the blood sing in your veins, having your heart leap into your throat? That lightness of step and body? That thrill? The tingling of your fingernails? All this and more at just the sight of your loved one! When time seems to fly and hours become seconds? When you live for the next meeting, and, when the sound of the loved one's voice feels like drops of rain on parched desert sand!
You know you love him or her. And yet, you know you actually love the way your loved one makes you feel. After all, could you ever love a person who dislikes you, makes you feel small, or humiliates you? Why do we always love the people who make us feel we are beautiful and 10 feet tall?
And why just romance? An appreciative boss, a genuine friend, a proud parent, a doting spouse or an adoring child has a similar effect. All of them can make you feel on top of the world and ready to slay a few demons as you go on your way with a smile on your face and a skip in your step!
All of us love to love ourselves. And appreciation from those we love and admire can have a very therapeutic and rejuvenating effect. And naturally having tasted the heady feeling, we are drawn to people who make us feel in love with ourselves.
Is not the reverse just as true? We tend to dislike people who bring out the worst in us and generally avoid them. They bring out a dose of negativity in us that is best avoided. When you know someone thinks badly of you, being in their company lowers you in your own eyes. Also when you know someone is envious of you or dislikes you, being with them can only put you under a lot of stress.
Clearly there are people who bring out the best in us and those who bring out the worst. Some people in our lives can make us break into spontaneous laughter, while others can at best inspire jaw-aching artificial smiles. There are those in whose presence we absolutely relax and let our guard down and those who make us feel tense and on edge. We talk to some without thought or fear and measure every word with some others. There are those whose presence relaxes you and others who stress you out just by being with them.
There is obviously a certain chemistry at work. Reincarnation experts insist this is a connection from another life. Under hypnosis Brian Weiss and others claim to have regressed people to past lives that explain how experiences with certain souls in earlier lives can explain away certain instant likes and dislikes we form in this life.
I cannot comment on past life connects; but what we all can confirm is that there are moments in life when we instantly like or dislike someone without any clear reason. And, most of the time these instant likes and dislikes are mutual. In a scenario where both give each other positive strokes, the relationship grows steadily since a source of mutual admiration has been found. And so when you fall in love, you end up creating an illusory world for yourself where you feel exclusively loved and admired. You seek more and more of the good vibes and the attraction grows. And then when love sneaks away and admiration gives way to a reality check and some criticism, the adrenaline just doesn't pump as hard as earlier. You no longer feel as beautiful, as loved or cared for.
It is natural to love and seek people for the good they bring out in you. And so, it is equally natural to dislike and avoid them when they bring out negative emotions such as envy, jealousy, anger, aggression or hatred.
We love the people who love us and couldn't care less about those who don't. And there is nothing wrong with that. Why waste time with those who rather than help with your growth, drag you back a few steps? Any two people who really care for each other will always help each other grow.
"I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out."
Somehow I always thought this was Elizabeth Barrett Browning on her equally famous poet-husband, Robert Browning. However, the quote it seems is from Roy Croft, a mysterious American poet, who some say didn't really exist.