I’ve always chased after love, since the day I was born in fact, but it turns out I’ve been looking in all the wrong places.
I kept on believing that I could only love if the woman I believed I loved would love me back. When women didn’t respond the way I wanted and expected, I beat myself up about it and stopped loving. I decided that I was unlovable, and on top of it all, I blamed my body for women not returning my love. In reality, though, I am here in this world to experience love. Now I think about it, I was like someone who begins a fast with a determined heart, but toward the end, he or she is bothered by the hunger and begins to criticize people who eat, counting down the minutes until the fast can be broken. I am like that person. I try to unite with the source of love through fasting but ultimately become obsessed with eating when I feel hunger pangs from my stomach. It was with this hunger that I lashed out at women. I would flirt with them, court them, and have sex with them, all while believing it was out of love. I only had one aim, however, which was to satisfy my hunger. I felt full for a while with what I gained, so I became calm, but the hunger in my soul was never fully abated. I’d lost my focus, so I had no idea where to look…
It later turned out that love is everywhere, literally everywhere. As I write this article, I’m inhaling and exhaling love. I had been surrounded by fountains and rivers full of fresh, crystal-clear water, yet I was still crawling around with thirst and begging for water. I failed to notice the abundance of heavenly water around me.
This naturally brings a question to mind: What is the meaning of love when it’s felt toward someone you find physically attractive? If love is all around, does it mean we should hit on everyone we meet? Of course it doesn’t. Love is not something that other people can offer us—it’s more like a spring whose waters flow everywhere. Sometimes it comes to us through a person, sometimes through a pet or even a favorite plant. Sometimes it may come through an experience or even just through breathing. Now this doesn’t mean you should aim to live your life without a partner. You may meet an amazing being, someone you can share life’s experiences with hand-in-hand, body-to-body, in a way that would be impossible alone. It’s just like adding milk to your coffee. You are the coffee, and your partner is the milk. You each have your own tastes when drunk alone, but when you are combined together, you carry a completely different taste. Yet you will always still be the coffee, and your partner will always be the milk…
Your partner reflects you to yourself. You will grow together, and you will share in everything. You should not ask for such a partner, though, if it’s just to satisfy your craving for love. Imagine meeting the love of your life, but all he or she thinks about is eating and drinking, constantly begging for more food and drinks with pleas of “Give me food! Give me water!” You would only tolerate it for a few days at the most, maybe just a few hours, before running for the door. In some cases, both parties may be begging from each other, yet neither has anything to offer the other. They would end up killing each other, or maybe they would fall into a dependent relationship with both adopting the role of victim and lamenting how no one loves them. All the while, the fountain is right there, ready to satisfy their thirst.
Just because I say this now, it doesn’t mean that I’ve been breathing love for years. Not so long ago, I was crawling on the floor and calling out for love, without noticing how the fountain was right next to me. There was a rumor that many people talked about: “The love you seek is inside you,” but I never imagined anything other than organs like the kidneys, liver, and stomach inside me. Someone then whispered something in my ear: “It’s everywhere! Just look around you. The world is filled with it.” I stood up and looked around, and I saw the fresh water and delicious food all around me….
I’ll now feed myself as I begin to walk my path and share my life with love. I’ll share it with the entire world…
Hasan Sonsuz Çeliktaş
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