“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu
This takes me back to a thought that often plagues us in our lives. When is enough? When is loving enough and when do we tell ourselves its okay to stop now? Is it courage then, that gives us the strength to say I have loved and lost? Or loved and it’s time to let go?
As far back as I remember, The need to be loved was always akin to a precious gift, one that I always aspired to achieve and never came naturally. To acquire this gift, I have traversed through relationships that have taught me courage and some I have wondered what really did I learn. The beauty of life is that, each day teaches you, if you care to learn, and learn I did.
Many years past, I was reading a story to my then three year old son, the story of The Little Pink Elephant, and, an excerpt in the story pulled my attention, in a way, that, put everything for me in perspective. It goes this way: In a family born was a young elephant, quite different from the rest of his family, for he was pink. To him this was him, there really wasn’t anything different that he found from the rest of the other baby elephants, he loved the same things, hurt the same way and laughed at the same jokes and loved the water as much and more. To him he was just a regular baby elephant. In time his friends around him began to question him, who he really was-his identity so to speak. “You aren’t the same way we are. You are pink. You aren’t like us”. After much anger and frustration, the pink baby elephant began questioning himself as well. Who was he? And if he were, did he have the courage to love him self? and down this curvy road of his thoughts came another “Am I worthy of loving myself?” A simple innocent story made me look at myself and question my world and me.
In our small worlds of being different from one another, we begin looking at loving ourselves differently as well. We look outside for love and aching to be told we are loved and worthy. Don’t we? This precious gift that I was aspiring to achieve of being loved was well within my reach it was simply me. I was my gift to me, I realised. Weaving this pink elephant into our lives we need a reminder to tell us how wonderful it is to love, and it is when you love deeply you discover a beautiful part of you too.As I remember the little pink elephant, my Artist Babu Xavier comes to mind, he paints these wonderful elephants and often streaming from his paintings is the feeling of love. The courage of pure love. in his words he says “Here it is opposite but the spirit is same. here I organise the drawing first. in this particular painting it is so tender which I could feel when I use this conventional nib & ink. I make no pencil sketch etc.. just spontaneous and freehand drawing. I do no correction, nothing. Lines are definite and permanent. At times you can notice proportions are not correct etc..but I don’t care.. here the final feel is the main thing. For that you must see the original itself. I give a lot more attention on the eyes, to love and togetherness. “So when I see Babu’s painting I remember to love and accept being loved.
The little pink elephant finally stood up and told his friends “hey, this is me, I am no different from you, do you know why? For there is a common thread we all share with each other. That of love, so then how are we any different?”
Artwork by Babu Xavier