In the afterglow of our recent “Tuesdays with Alran” last Thursday, I have been mulling and ruminating over what he shared with us from his recent life experience.
In the end, all that matters and all that gives meaning and purpose to life are our relationships. Wealth, fame, and achievements fade away and may eventually be forgotten. But relationships remain till the very end; and the currency of all relationships is love.
I have heard and read this truth so often. I have accepted it in my mind but I have difficulty implanting it and making it grow in my heart. And somehow hearing it from an esteemed mentor has made me realize even more deeply its relevance and import in my life.
Love can be the most thrilling and exhilarating of all human experiences. What people would give just to experience it truly even just but once. But what happens when the thrill and the joy of loving fade away? Does the love pass away too? For some people, it does. Those who have found true love learn soon enough that pain and suffering also and often accompany true love. It is the pain and the suffering that confirm the love and bring it to a higher and deeper level. It is the sacrifices that one willingly goes through that strengthen and validate love.
Does that mean then that to love is to suffer? That the happiness one feels when is love is but transitory and even illusory? But isn’t it happiness to be able to do things for the loved one – be it big or small, difficult or easy, fleeting or lasting? And what greater happiness than the thought that there are our loved ones who would do the same thing for us? Happiness then, like love, is a decision. It is something I make happen, not something that just simply happens in my life.
Love happens in the here and now. Memories of love are precious; but they become alive only when remembered, reminisced and repeated in the present. Dreams of love and for the loved one are ephemeral; they only become a reality if and when we act out of love in the present.
These thoughts and feelings, gleaned from our one afternoon with Alran, somehow give me assurance and deep satisfaction as I face what is yet to come. And like Alran, I am still expecting that the best is yet to come. As we were parting, he said to me, “Maybe what you need is a little anger in your life.” I sometime fancied myself as a firebrand in my younger years. But now, I cannot imagine myself going in a blaze of glory. I rather picture myself as a dying ember: glowing bright in a dark cold night, giving off warm and comforting warmth to those around me and those I have loved dearly. Some the fuel that keeps that ember burning is from all those Tuesdays with Alran