Yesterday, I went over to Shraddha’s place for lunch. I walked in to find a cute teddy bear on the couch with a note saying, “Dear Ria, Big hug to you on this Teddy Bear Day! –M”. The roses were still fresh and the house was full of reminders that February is the month of love and romance. Ria has grown up to be a gorgeous young lady. I could see pride in her mother’s eyes, whenever she spoke about her.
But, today Shraddha rather seemed a little tensed and handed me a diary. I hesitated before opening it as it belonged to Ria, who is a teenager.
But my friend said, “Honestly, Shree, I feel it’s the only way I can understand what’s going on in her life. She has taken to silence recently and it’s difficult to bring her to say what’s disturbing her.”
I flipped the diary open to the bookmarked page.
“Well, I do want to agree to all positive preachers who say that we can survive with self-love alone, but at the same time get really affected by my mother’s solitary status. Valentine’s Day is around and she is all alone, she is either baking for us or sitting at her desk working. I am going out with school kids. M will be there too. I am excited but also feel selfish. Earlier, I used to stay with mom and enjoy the cuddles and kisses, gifts and surprises but these days I am sort of occupied with my own things, leaving no time for her.
I wish, my dad had cared enough, I wish my mom didn’t have this higher vision of saving the earth and for once would have thought of saving herself from solitude.”
I closed the diary and looked at the downcast face of Shradha, who is otherwise a positive and strong person. She is a social activist and a single mother. She has never complained about her life situations but at the same time she has lost herself to the roles she is playing in life.
This was an effect of transition and her adolescent daughter felt guilty of being happy with her newfound amities. She felt the responsibility of being a lone companion to her mother. She was filled with self-reproach and that might interfere with her own relationships in the long run, this worried her mother.
Shradha and I reflected upon the situation, as I nibbled at the chocolate ice-cream she had served with rainbow sprinkles and red hearts. “We always focus on the solutions more than the troubles when well fed,” I said. She chuckled and got out of her thoughts and licked a spoonful of the vanilla cream she had brought for herself.
The best way to handle the change and relieve her daughter would be to simply come out of the cocoon Shraddha had gotten in for years and enjoy the world outside of goals, work and family. I appealed to her, “For once, walk the talk. Show her the magic of self-love and at the same time make her value intimacy with others by remaining open to it yourself.”
I suggested her to go on a solo vacation and pamper herself on Valentine’s Day. Reward herself with something she always kept postponing. Reach out to friends and relatives, as the more we shrink our support group, we fall prey to loneliness and before we realise our depression spreads to those we live with and gnaws at their little happiness reserves.
She realised that she had closed herself from the pleasures of companionship and, her daughter’s reflections were just a message for her to open her heart to love and smiles.
Denial of emotions can aggravate the situation; rather experiencing the pain and letting it go can completely release us and open us to newer possibilities. I believe we all have one person who would always be there to raise a toast, when everyone else has gone, and that person is the Self. It deserves to be brazenly celebrated.
Rejoice with folks but also warm up to yourself on the love day that’s upon us. Love begets love. You owe a big one to yourself. Cheers!
Happy V Day!