Since I was a little girl, I had always loved stories, but my most favorite stories of all had always been Love Stories. I don't just love Love Stories, but I was obsessed about Love, everything about it. Maybe because I never really understood or felt the kind of Love I wanted to feel.
Coming from Malaysia and from an Asian family, Love is not expressed the way that it's expressed on television or movies or how the Western culture expressed Love, well I can't say it's just a Western Culture, I think maybe only Asian Cultures do not express Love like the rest of the world. It was more about responsibilities, what is right and family pride.
As a child, I never heard a single I Love You from my family, being the only daughter to me was quite a nightmare, full of responsibilities and rules of how to be a proper girl and how fragile my honor as a girl and a woman is.
The hardest part was, I had always been an independent thinker, vocal on my thoughts and philosophies and disagreed with most of what was told to me as a child, I was never a submissive, obedient little girl. I was very helpful, I loved to help, I did all the work I was supposed to do as a girl, the cleaning, ironing, laundry, all of it all since around six years old. To top it off, because I look like my grandmother, my father's mother, my mother did not show any affection toward me, I think it took her a very long time to have any real Love for me, maybe after I am a young adult after I moved away.
When the first time she said I Love You, I did not know what to say or how to respond.
And my father was so fearful of me growing up to be one of those girls that he was so strict and controlling that I felt suffocated and I could not wait to leave home (I probably ended up being one of those girls, too many boyfriends!). My whole teenage years, all I could think of was to leave home and how could I escape the prison I was in.
I craved for their approval, I craved for their hugs and Love and to hear the three magic words, "I Love You". I never did. Not until I left home and when my wings have grown so large that it keeps wanting to fly further and further away.
Away from where I came from, to start fresh with a clean slate where I dictate the story, where I am in control of where I am going and will go. It's not their fault, that was how they were brought up, so they didn't know any better.
Safe to say, my journey for Love was a very very long road, lucky, I was born with very strong instincts, a little psychic to keep me safe from the crazy men. Being on my own as an 18 year old woman felt like I was thrown into a shark infested water, they kept circling around waiting to take a bite, men..they'd say anything to get what they want fortunately, there are many good men out there But finding the One, the One to have as a partner in crime, partner in life is not easy and far from simple.
From my journey in searching for Love, I learnt that, the most important Love and the first priority before finding a partner in life, is Self Love, to build a strong relationship with self, to enjoy a company of no other than self and once that strong foundation of Self Love is built, then you are ready for outwardly Love. Otherwise, it will never be enough, the yearning will always be there deep within even though, you have the best person on the planet. Because, happiness can only come from within, only from Self Love first, if there is no relationship with Self, there is nothing in this world can make you happy. So that's what I did, after a few relationships and a few breakups.
Often times, when we are in a relationship, we tend to forget our self. We tend to be barnacles and stick to each other like super glue, obsessing about what the other person is doing when he or she is away. That is not Love. It's obsession and fear, completely different emotions.
So on this Valentine month or time, I wish for all of you single people out there, to enjoy your own company and build a strong Self Love, the best company is yourself or have fun with your best mates.
And for the couples, never take each other for granted and give each other a tight hug every day, today is the most important day to profess your love, never wait until tomorrow, tomorrow might never come.
Grinningcatmag.com Mama Bear