The world comes falling to your feet when you’re in love. But how much do we know about keeping it together, joined and carefully sewn with the thread of peace?
noun [ U ] UK /piːs/ freedom from war and violence, especially when people live and work together happily without disagreements.
The word ‘peace’ has many meanings attached to its string. Peace is that little latch which locks the thin wooden door against the world outside. Peace is feeling your beloved’s back against yours when you wake up sweating from a nightmare. Peace is the exchange of unspoken ‘I understand’ between two people when something goes south. Sadly, most of our relationships suffer from the ‘Gone Missing Syndrome’, as I call it. Once the peace is gone, the relationship begins to experience a major missing. And, this missing takes the whole space in the closet of our hearts, bringing an abundance of vulnerability, sadness and emptiness. The venom of such toxication then begins to oxidise the relationship, leading to its collapse. Creating your own guard-wall is a piecemeal process and requires gathering the scattered pieces of Patience, Consistency, Acceptance and Efforts times two.
A replica of ‘love’ can be found in the little pieces of a five-year-old’s 2000-piece jigsaw game. The pieces are tiny and scattered but, you know where to look for them in the end. It is more than a coincidence that the words peace and piece have similar pronunciation, at least in our lives. While trying to complete a puzzle from a happy picture that you have been painting since your teens, you know you’ll both stumble upon frequent fights. At times, you’ll both connect the pieces with ease and pace. On other times, you will find yourself struggling to find what connects to finish a beautiful smile while the sand continues to drop in the timer. In this process of connecting and ripping our half-lying jigsaw, we tend to forget that our roles are ever-evolving. One day, while my troubled husband Abhyoday turned to finish his errand of hovering the carpet, the vacuum-head of the cleaner gulped a few parts from the tilling puzzle, I had spent days looking for. Much like our story in real life, they were chewed by our cocker-spaniel love in an attempt to soothe his growing teeth.
On a continuing week of the fight we had picked last summer, I saw my lover’s footsteps in the light lurking from beneath our bedroom door. The deafening tumult from the ripping tape brought a twinkle to my groggy eyes. I knew what the morning was going to bring me – a small but significant, completed-section that I had failed to join. My skin absorbed a coat of realisation that it takes two to tango, literally. That, I have been wrongly crediting myself alone for maintaining our marriage and that, it was time I learnt to add the missing pieces of peace. In the end, it is not just you making the effort of adding these pieces. Madonna sang this right, “You only see what your eyes want to see”. We only choose to see our attempts. Efforts ride the sine wave of emotions. Either they climb uphill with you ensuring all in your power to right the wrong or take a steep dive letting you leave all to hell. The key to peace in such circumstances lies with acceptance. 50 shades of our ego abstain us from accepting our better halves as they are. It is during these times when we must embrace our responsibility to work ‘for it’ rather than walking away ‘from it’.
Exclusion runs through our veins as denial is fed to our systems. It comes wrapped in superficial forms of self-respect and self-pity. We tend to exclude all the factors responsible for making us swim in the doldrums and begin to play the blame game without facing the music. This walk on eggshells brings fights and petty quarrels to relationships as we exclude to acknowledge the power of time. Real partners understand each other well because they understand that the concept of acceptance and patience together germinate into peace.
As the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi says, “Patience is not sitting and waiting, it is foreseeing. It is looking at the thorn and seeing the rose, looking at the night and seeing the day. Lovers are patient and know that the moon needs time to become full.” For the moon to appear full even the earth needs to complete fourteen days of rotation. Every time I scream from the pain of being hurt, Abhyoday develops a zen-skin. This has annoyed me for life, but I have finally understood his embodiment of handling quarrels and, vice versa. Two screaming mouths only lead to broken hearts and frog-eyes. Denying to accept each other in their natural anatomy not only disturbs your partner but also breaks the harmony of your peace. A walk on the path of unwavering patience gradually makes you embrace each other’s shades of Yin & Yang.
With a different set of DNA in our bodies, we are part black, part white. While this is what sets us apart from each other and the crowd crossing the signal, it is also what defines why an individual behaves differently than the other. Each has been carved from a distinct mould. It is imperative to learn that your beloved may or may not behave the same way in a situation like you. Adapting to this aspect helps us forget and forgive in our journey as partners, creating more space for peace. These hidden gems of peace build content in our lives, leaving us feeling protected about our relationship.
The paradox of choice in relationships exists in its true form. Finding someone is easy but finding ‘The One’ is no picnic. Hold on tight to your ‘The One’ and remember to feel gratified for each other’s presence, rowing your boat together into the sea of happiness. Peace may be a mere piece to your lifelong jigsaw, but it is what brings content to our toffee-wrapped hearts.