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All about love

5 Things that reshaped my perception about love as a subject

A concoction of books, lectures, poetry, podcasts, TV series and music

Hi readers!

It seemed easier in my head when I thought of writing a blog on love (cuz Valentine's happened last week) but noooo it isn't. It's almost inexplicable.

Having been in a few romantic/toxic relationships, I understand some dynamics of it, parts where I could have been more gentle or where I expected too much or where I needed to step up and respect my feelings more, yada yada yada


Love teaches you a lot of things as you evolve with your partner and all this while, all those relationships made me what I am today - layer by layer (so, no regrets there). I started reading a lot more about love and human psychology last couple of years and it solved a lot of things for me.

Here are some resources that might help you as well :)

 

The world is sick for a surprisingly modest reason: we don’t understand love – and yet we are rather convinced that we do. Society is subtly highly prescriptive in this regard. It suggests we should ‘love’ in a very particular way: we should be constantly thrilled by our partner’s presence, we should long to see them after every absence, we should crave to hold them – want to have sex with them every day or so.


In other words, we should follow a script of Romantic ecstasy throughout our lives. But that's where it goes all wrong and no one describes the subject of love (critique on romanticism) better than Alaine De Botton.


1. How Romanticism Ruined Love by The School of Life (Lecture)


Alain explores how the classic Romantic model has sold us on a number of self-defeating beliefs about the most essential and nuanced experiences of human life: love, infatuation, marriage, sex, children, infidelity, trust.


Philosopher Alain de Botton has devoted the lion’s share of his life to exploring the complex psychoemotional machinery that, despite our best intentions, inflicts the wounds of love upon us and our partners.


Supplement it with his intellectually astute meditation in his book 'Essays in Love'. Highly recommended for anyone before/after/while they are in a romantic relationship. A hip, charming, and devastatingly witty rumination on the thrills and pitfalls of romantic love.

“Perhaps it is true that we do not really exist until there is someone there to see us existing, we cannot properly speak until there is someone who can understand what we are saying in essence, we are not wholly alive until we are loved.”

 

2. Love After Love by Derek Walcott (Poetry)



A poetic Ode to relearning to be at home in ourselves after a heartbreak.

The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror, and each will smile at the other’s welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.

 

3. This is Us on Disney Hotstar (TV Series)


Perhaps that one TV show which made me teary-eyed the most. Unless you live under a rock, you must have seen someone gush on social media about This Is Us.


OMG YOU GUYS “THIS IS US” IS SO GOOD. Sounds familiar?!

If you don't believe the reviews, trust me IT'S SO GOOOOOOD. But why is it so popular?


The answer is simple – in the TV landscape where monster-fighting kids, and AI cowbots leading revolutions in corporate dystopia, This is Us took TV back to basics and instead focused on the characters and their own personal journeys.

It’s a simple premise, following the stories of three siblings told at different points in their lives. Love is a central theme that runs throughout.


It will make you relate so many things (and cry at the same time) and I vouch that you will end up recommending it to all your buds. Also, probably a series with the best soundtrack.


Love is an impulse which springs from the most profound depths of our beings, and upon reaching the visible surface of life carries with it an alluvium of shells and seaweed from the inner abyss. - José Ortega y Gasset
 


In a country where conversations about sex are flagged as taboo, Seema Anand does a splendid job on explaining the history of sex, sexual expectations and how they are shaped from both male and female perspectives, how to make our sexual lives more enriching and much more.

Don't forget to follow her on YouTube and Instagram for bite sized content.

Love is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real. - Iris Murdoch
 

5. Love Lexicon by Esther Perel (Podcast + YouTube video)


Esther Perel has a private couples and family therapy practice in New York. She hosts two podcasts, Where Should We Begin? and How’s Work?

The psychotherapist Esther Perel has changed our discourse about sexuality and coupledom with her TED talks.


In this lovely animated adaptation of her On Being interview, exploring the essential elements of love as a practice, the delicate relationship between play and risk, the cyclical nature of passion, the osmosis of desire and self-worth, and how the concept of ambiguous loss illuminates the modern experience of loneliness.

Where the myth fails, human love begins. Then we love a human being, not our dream, but a human being with flaws. - Anaïs Nin
 

Other links I found useful

On finding solace and marveling on being single while cultivating mindfulness


A spiritual handbook, weighty with platitudes, yet refreshed with some thoughtful analyses that offer seekers a way to explore love’s meaning, (or meaninglessness).



On a real scientific event and inspired by a beloved real human in the author’s life, this is a story about science and the poetry of existence; about time and chance, genetics and gender, love and death, evolution and infinity.


One of the wonders of snails is that they can make babies without a mate, because every snail has a body that is both male and female.



Illustration art by a couple and their dog on everyday life (Super cute stuff!)


 

Quotes that made me go W--A--A--O--O--W


Child of Glass by Beatrice Alemagna

I want to learn how to speak to anyone at any time and make us both feel a little bit better, lighter, richer, with no commitments of ever meeting again. I want to learn how to stand wherever with whoever and still feel stable. I want to learn how to unlock the locks to our minds, my mind, so that when I hear opinions or views that don’t match up with mine, I can still listen and understand. I want to burn up lifeless habits of following maps and to-do lists, concentrated liquids to burn my mind and throat and I want to go back to the way nature shaped me. I want to learn to go on well with whatever I have in my hands at the moment in a natural state of mind,

certain like the sea.

 

Songs that I'm listening to



 
How did you spend Valentine's? Do you have any resources to share on the subject of love? Feel free to connect :)

As always, I appreciate your feedback (suggestions, critiques, positive reinforcement) as well ideas that inspire you, reading/podcast recommendations etc.

You can write to me on bhumikasankhla12@gmail.com. or connect with me on IG at _i__cook or use the comment section!

 




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6 Comments


Sapna Devi
Sapna Devi
Feb 23, 2022

All about mastering love life ~Sapna


People should choose to see love as a skill that can be mastered over time.


Avoid judgments, just like a parent, you must understand that, you are still growing up together in your relationship each day.


Romanticism is not "Ik everything about my partner"

Romanticism=How much more i want to know & learn about my partner!

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Sapna Devi
Sapna Devi
Feb 23, 2022
Replying to

Just like we continue to educate ourselves throughout our entire life about business, strategy, & skills we need to succeed in our career, we need to also make it a lifelong practice to continue educating ourselves about love.


Thank you so much for coming up with this bold topic. Looking forward to more blogs from Bhumika about love as we all continue to educate ourselves about love!

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Guest
Feb 22, 2022

I stumbled across your blog sometime last year and boy, am I glad. I wish to live life with as much depth and genuine curiosity as you do. :)

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khushboo solanki
khushboo solanki
Feb 21, 2022

I loved this blog Bhumika ❤

While I looked at the topic, ofcourse, expected references to Bella Hooks, "All about love" and Seema Anand's stories...but your blog has more amazing references to understand love and relationships!

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Krishan Taneja
Krishan Taneja
Feb 19, 2022

While I am learning to let go (worst month), reading this wonderful piece on love feels like a soothing breeze that makes you want to close your eyes and brings a smile on your face.


I think with so manyy recommendations, am pretty sure till the time I am done with these, I might have someone to share it with.


Quiet night, 'anyone can cook' by Michael Giacchino on loop, Hummingbird posts and your own wandering thoughts. Can't beat that!!


Our own Maria Popova ⚡⚡

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Bhumika Sankhla
Bhumika Sankhla
Feb 21, 2022
Replying to

I think I am gonna screenshot this just to read it later whenever I feel not motivated enough to write. Thank you so much!

Haha I hope you do find someone real soon. *Manifesting it for you*


Listened to 'Anyone can cook' - such a soothing track. Thanks for mentioning it :)


Nowhere close to Popo but that's the aim 🙈

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