Love the Verb
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Of lately I have been questioning about love and what does it really mean, as humans we seek external love, yet we fail to seek it from within, I mean we are constantly seeking external validation rather than turn inwards to ourselves. After reading “How to be Love(d)” by Humble the Poet, what stood out the most to me was “Love the Verb”.
Not only does it imply to romantic love, but also that love from a parent. As a child my image of my dad was always of fear, he scared the sh*t out of my siblings and I. He has never been one to show emotions, and when he did he had to have a few drinks to express himself, even then those were rare moments because as soon as dad came home we would run to our rooms and not show face.
At the age of 12, my dad gave me a magazine for young adults between the age of 12 to 17 years, this magazine had stories, quizzes, paintings and art work. And the magazine was addressed to me, and each month I would get a copy, what baffled my mind was, I did not recall ever subscribing to the magazine. However, I accepted it graciously and would thoroughly enjoy reading the stories shared in the magazine.
At the age of 15, my dad gave me an envelope addressed to me from Sweden, I did not know anyone from Sweden and who would send me a letter from there. It was from a girl the same age as me responding to my pen-pal advert and wanted to be my pen-friend. Again I did not recall ever putting an advert for a pen-pal, admittedly I used to read the sections of pen-pal in the newspaper imagining what it would be like to have a pen-friend from another country. But we carried on writing to each other, and my dad would post out the letters for me.
If I wanted to go out, asking my dad for permission was like being in an interrogation room with all the spotlights pointing at you, waiting for a series of questions to be asked. It would begin with “Dad can I please go to x,y,z” and his response always used to be “ask mummy?”, then you would go to your mum and repeat the same thing and her response was always “ask your dad”, parents loved playing this game with you, making you ping pong between each other asking for permission to go out. “Mum said to ask you”, and then a series of questions would begin, “how are you going? Who is going to be there? Whose daughter, is she? What is her dad’s name? Are boys going to be there?” the questions were endless.
In the recent years when we had a reunion after being estranged from my dad, he expressed his feelings and it was the first time he said he was proud of my siblings and I. Imagine how hard that might have been for him to express himself, I wonder sometimes what would it be like if I had known what I now know and understand the actions behind that love.
In my household these were some of the occurrences that happened, as a grownup and having had all the understanding and wisdom, its has made me realise that the way my dad showed his love was through his actions, getting that magazine, getting me to correspond with a pen-friend, asking all those questions, never hearing the words “I am proud of you” or “I love you”. Expressing love through actions has enlightened me to have a deeper understanding of Love the Verb!
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