Paint That Word by Indu Balakrishnan

When I heard the phrase ‘Paint That Word’, I was truly stumped. I thought it meant sugar coating. The thing that we do when we want to convey a message but either skirt the issue or be gentle about it. 

Example 1: ‘You are fat’ versus ‘This dress makes you look puffy’ 

Example 2: ‘Your handwriting is terrible’ versus ‘Yes, you can improve’ 

Anyway. Paint that word is not that. It is about picking a concept that means something to you and adding life to a word. And I pick ‘love’. For those who know me, please don’t roll your eyes saying ‘typical’. That is the concept of the blog. Pick a word that means a lot to you and bring it to life. Hence. 

My understanding of love 

My first book that touched upon the topic was with Rapunzel. Here was a girl, trapped in a tower for all of eternity. She was waiting to be rescued by who would later on become her knight in shining armour. And then was sleeping beauty, waiting to be rescued from a lifetime of napping with true love’s kiss. And last but not the least, Cinderella – waiting for the Heimlich Manoeuvre in the form of that kiss from her Prince Charming. 

Back then, it was always waiting to be reduced. The one that would solve all obstacles with the proverbial sword and they would then live happily ever after. It was always about that. 

My growth with love 

I grew up watching romantic movies such as SRK’s DDLJ to Julia Robert’s Notting Hill. The concept slightly changed with time. It was no longer about being saved but being loved. It was about freedom, having fun and belonging with someone. It was a nice feeling. Knowing that you are not alone. 

In time, I realised that it was also about giving, I suppose. Now this is not supposed to be a wuss blog, but I will end up stepping into that zone once in a while. Only when I absolutely cannot help it. I promise..

So what’s all the fuss about love? 

This friend of mine got married recently. It was a love marriage. All was well. Both sides were happy. Parents were happy. It was happily ever after for them. But then she said that it felt very transactional. It was going too well in a way. They didn’t bicker and fight. There was no nagging or reminding involved. They lived in sync. And she fussed about the fact that it was a perfect marriage. That there was no tingle. No butterflies in the stomach. How is it love? 

Love isn’t always about romance. It’s not always about the sweet nothings, though it’s always nice to have. It’s about companionship. Something that I learnt in my late thirties. It is about being there FOR someone, not just WITH someone. It’s about being able to share not just your day and life, but feelings, fears and fantasies. And when you find that someone, you can be transparent and honest. They are someone you will also throw the occasional tantrum at. Simply because you can. You can be weak and vulnerable. Put your ego aside and accept your faults. Or ask for favours without feeling bad. Just be yourself. The way Clark could when he found Lois. (sorry, had to add the superhero touch). 

So what does that love get you? 

That love helps you, in time, love yourself. End of the day, I believe that is the key to being zen. Being able to accept yourself. Some people say that unless you love yourself, you can never love someone else. For some, it works the exact opposite way. You are unable to find self worth until someone shows it to you. And it is not a bad thing at all. It is very much real. Just as real as if you loved the real you all by yourself. With that self love comes self care, being able to prioritize yourself and do what makes you happy. When you are able to say ‘me first’, you know you are home.

And now, when you love yourself unconditionally, and are able to accept yourself, every other piece of the puzzle falls into place. 

And that’s the love that we need to get to. So, Paint That Love!

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