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Love is the most powerful phenomenon we experience. It is also the most misunderstood
Last month, on Valentine’s Day, millions of people around the world professed their love to one another—most of them without understanding, or knowing, what love really is.
Mind you, hormones alone are not responsible for perpetuating the myths associated with love—our literature [ancient and modern] too shares the blame. It has always propagated the idea of a can’t-live-without-you kind of love.
So, when we describe romantic love, we usually associate it with feelings such as “she completes me” or “he is my other half”. Somehow, we have been led to believe that we are not complete unless we are united with our counterpart—that someone special who fills the void in our life.
The trouble with such notions about love is that they are inherently erroneous—two incomplete people can never complete each other. If you get the feeling of completeness only with another, it is nothing more than an illusion.
Think of two ‘Cs’ coming together to form an ‘O’. Each ‘C’ derives its sense of completeness from the other—in essence, both ‘Cs’ feel complete by sharing their incompleteness. Unfortunately, such feelings are temporary and therefore bound to cause disappointment, sooner than later.
James Redfield touches upon this idea beautifully in his best-selling novel, The Celestine Prophesy. He says that when two incomplete people come together, they feel a false sense of euphoria. This is a classic co-dependent relationship, which has built-in problems that begin to arise immediately.
He explains, “The problem with this completed person, this ‘O’, that both people think they have reached, is that it has taken two people to make this one whole person. This one whole person consequently has two heads, or egos. Both people want to run this whole person they have created and so both people want to command the other, as if the other were themselves. This kind of illusion of completeness always breaks down into a power struggle.”
Love is not when another completes you but when you are already complete and you share that completeness with another. When you are complete, you love without expecting anything in return. What would you expect when you don’t need anything?
We’re all here to complete our own circles of growth and then share that completeness with others. To become complete, what you need is a fulfilling relationship with yourself. Once you’re complete, you’re so full of love that you simply give it—you’re not really bothered whether the other deserves it or returns the favour.
Now imagine two complete persons coming together to share their completeness with each other. They create magic. And that’s what love is: magic.