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What Love Really Means…

What Love Really Means…

I am sure that many of us have grown up reading and hearing about the term ‘once in a lifetime love’. It may be an ancient adage, however, I believe it’s true and definitely possible.

Love may acquire various forms, be it parental, siblings, family, friends or the romantic types. However, foundation for love remains the same.

In Indian history, the love between Radha and Krishna is immortal. Krishna was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who came on earth to free the world from evil and to establish ‘dharma’ or righteousness on earth. Radha was an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi on earth, in the form of a cowherd girl.

Radha and Krishna were childhood playmates. Of all the cowherd girls, Radha was dearest to Krishna as she was devoted to him. When Krishna played the flute, Radha sang and danced with him.

Their love was truly divine and unconditional. It was at a platonic level.

After spending 11 years of childhood together, Radha was cursed to bear separation from Krishna for 100 years!

Meanwhile, Krishna fulfilled the purpose of his incarnation on the earth. Radha’s devotion to Krishna was unprecedented. She was a part of his soul.

After 100 years, they did reunite and spent 14 years on earth, before returning to their heavenly abode.

We aren’t even capable of imagining the amount of pain and emotional turmoil she must have gone through during their period of separation.

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    In today’s age when lust is perceived as love and ‘out of sight’ means ‘out of mind’, one would find it hard to imagine back then how pious and pure Radha’s love was!

    That is the reason that even after thousands of years, we still worship Radha and Krishna together. The name Radha-Krishna is inseparable.

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    Another story goes as:

    Once Lord Krishna had a terrible stomach ache. He said that only solution to this problem is ‘charan amrit’ i.e. drinking the water with which the feet of his true love have been washed.

    All cowherd girls refused to give the Lord water with which their feet had been washed, since it would lead them to hell.

    Radha was the only girl who readily gave him the water since she felt that it is better to go to hell instead of seeing her Krishna in pain.

    This is truly what love really means! :-)

    Love means.. A soulful connection with your beloved

    It is said that the hearts of people in love are very close to each other, hence lovers speak very softly.

    At times, no words are needed when eyes do the needful.

    Love means… Selflessness

    True love is all about giving without expecting much in return. It is beyond materialism or any conditions.

    Seeing our beloved happy is blissful indeed!

    Love means…. Madness

    Love is about giving in to that awesome power that brings two people together in the craziest ways!

    Have you ever blushed thinking about your loved one?

    Or found yourself smiling do no reason at all?

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    Traveled miles (or even oceans) just to catch a glimpse of your sweetheart? :-)

    Love means… Loving with all your heart!

    It is said that part of staying in love is believing in it.

    We genuinely care for someone; feel elated seeing them happy;

    feel restless or even have our mood off knowing that they’re sad.

    What love really means is pouring our heart out and loving them!

    Love means… Acceptance

    We are all human beings with various flaws. It’s perfectly alright.

    True love would overlook these flaws and love the other human for the gem of a person they are!

    That too, in the strongest way possible and complement them.

    A quote I remember goes like, “I chose to stay with him for all the things he did right and not leave him for one thing he did wrong.”

    Love means… Being yourself too!

    Agreed you have given your heart wholly to your beloved.

    How great would it be if you are able to retain your individuality even while being together!

    Because in the first instance, it was the original independent YOU that was so adorable for someone to fall for.

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    Love yourself!

    Love means… Courage

    In some unpleasant situations, love could lead to disappointment. It may make you realize the hard way that though you wholeheartedly desire, you can’t make someone love you.

    Standing the test of time is essential; true love wasn’t achieved overnight.

    Take a chance, be enduring and courageous.

    Love means… Hope

    A quote that has captivated my mind is that,

    “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it’s destination, full of hope!”

    Hope, even in the darkest hours, makes the happy ending worthwhile.

    Love means… Humility

    True love would be about zero ego; placing your beloved and his priorities above ours, thus being really humble.

    Love means… Tremendous Patience

    Some confrontations or misunderstandings with our loved ones tend to anger us.

    However, it is at ‘this’ point that one needs to have tremendous patience. It is like waiting for sunrise after the onset of night.

    Have faith in yourself that the end of this process would surely be worth!

    Give time some time for things to fall in place.

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    Love means… Trust

    Trust yourself and your loved one.

    One should not rely on constant contact with your sweetheart, either in person or via text, just to feel secure.

    Instead, set it free.

    See how beautifully it comes back to you! :-)

    A verse from the Bible says,

    “Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous.

    Love is never boastful nor conceited. It is never rude or selfish.

    It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasures in other people’s sins but delights in the truth.

    It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, to endure whatever comes.”

    Need I say more? :-)

    Featured photo credit: Pixabay: meineresterampe via pixabay.com

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    Last Updated on March 30, 2020

    What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

    What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

    Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

    You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

    This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

    What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

    According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

    Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

    There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

    How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

    When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

    Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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    1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

    One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

    The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

    Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

    2. Be Honest

    A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

    If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

    On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

    Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

    3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

    Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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    If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

    4. Succeed at Something

    When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

    Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

    5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

    Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

    Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

    If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

    If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

    Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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    6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

    Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

    You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

    On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

    You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

    7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

    Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

    Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

    Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

    When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

    Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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    In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

    Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

    It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

    Final Thoughts

    When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

    The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

    Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

    Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

    Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

    More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

    Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
    [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
    [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
    [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
    [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
    [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
    [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
    [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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