Feb 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day. I am in Delhi, and tomorrow I'm heading to the Taj Mahal - they say it's a monument to love, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan after the death of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal. They had 14 children, and she died giving birth to the last one. 

So today I want to talk about love. There's a certain nice young man I'm looking forward to seeing in a few days. He's been going about his normal life at home, and sometimes in the evenings or the mornings we exchange a "how was your day?" over chat. 

Months ago he said to me, "Would you like me to go with you to India? Because I sense that this is something you want to do on your own." He knows me quite well, and he was right. 

He never said one word of reproach, never said he felt excluded, never gave me grief over it. He said instead, "I'm happy for you" when I bought my tickets and "You're going to have an amazing time" when I left.

I went to him often for help to work out my anxieties. I know he had his own fears too, but he never put them on my shoulders. Once, another friend said to him, "How could you let her go alone?” He replied that I'm smart enough, strong enough, to take care of myself. There was no question of "letting" me do anything. I don't come and go with his permission. 

I think this is an act of love in itself: to sense that your partner feels a call to do something, but understand and acknowledge that this thing does not include you. It takes a great deal of confidence and generosity and love to be okay with this. It isn't easy to offer support without becoming possessive. So I count him as wise and myself as lucky - very lucky. 

Happy Valentine’s Day. See you soon. 

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