Love. What is it. Is it an illusion? A foolish choice? A lie? The best thing since sliced bread and fresh air?
Different people will always have different interpretations of this fundamental human drive.
To me, love is a pulling force, a want. A driving force.
This realisation came about when I had spent some time musing on the idea of wants. By wants, I mean the concept of wanting something – be it a hamburger, a bigger paycheck or a soulmate.
Are there different kinds of wants? Do some come easier than others?
After looking back at my own life, well the last 10 years of my life, I am more convinced than ever that yes, there are different kinds of wants and some come easier than others. I also realized that some should be taken more seriously than others.
When I was 15, when I was 20 – I wanted more than anything to be wanted by the masses. I wanted to be the life of the party, to be a leader of a clique and to be the friend everybody thought was cool.
In short, I wanted to please everybody.
And after reflecting over the last five years, I’ve come to realize that what I was so hard-up for was what I call a mind-want.
A mind-want is a situation where my mind became so fixated on an ideal that it shut out my heart.
The result of this is that I was driven to please everyone to an extent I wound up hurting those that mattered to me to please friends I thought mattered as much as the people I should have stood up for, the people who genuinely loved me.
As such, I learnt that mind-wants are dangerous and for want of a better word, hurtful.
However, I feel not all wants should be shut out, as some wants come from a far better place- one’s heart.
I love these little heart-wants that come daily, and I make an effort to listen out for them, as I believe it’s God’s way of reaching out to touch us.
It’s the want I have to devote my life to my better half, Keisha. It is the longing and emptiness I feel when I can’t see her. The feeling of emptiness when I’m somewhere and she’s not by my side.
It’s a quiet want, whispering inside to remind me that life is about receiving and giving love.
Whispering that life is not spent surrounded by a crowd of hi-bye friends, but beside someone real and genuine. Someone you want to give your best for, your all for.
That’s the heart-want.
It is the sense of yearning to open your life to sharing, to giving. And I love how it feels when a heart-want is satisfied by giving to another.
To see that person happy and successful, comfortable in their life because you gave something of yourself up to make that happen, and to not just know, but sincerely feel that their smile is payment enough to you.
That is a heart-want. And more than the satisfaction that comes from good food, a good book, looking smart, partying or being cool, I’ve come to yearn that satisfaction that only a heart-want can give.
To all my dear friends and readers – listen closely, listen and chase your heart wants, and yearn for them. Yearn to satisfy them and to build your life around them.
I end with a passage I learnt from Keisha, the special woman in my life. It’s one of my favourite passages in life and it pretty sums up what love is to me.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Tan Yi Liang is a journalist writing on events in and around the Klang Valley. When he’s not doing that he’s a simple man who enjoys the company of his better half, a good read and good food. He is passionate about many issues- race relations and the rights of the differently-abled being top on his list.