Expressing emotions and feelings, especially the complex emotions associated with love, can be challenging. I may not fully capture the depth and purity of their love due to my limitations in observing human emotions. Nevertheless, I have endeavored to convey their love through words to the best of my ability.
Last year, I had the privilege of spending time with my beloved uncle, who was hospitalized due to pancreatic cancer. This experience had a profound impact on my perspective and way of thinking, as it challenged my previously held beliefs and opened my eyes to the power of love and human connection. Before I share the precious moments, I witnessed during my time at the hospital, let me provide some background on my uncle's life.
My uncle was a polygamist, having two wives - one from an arranged marriage and the other from a love marriage. I distinctly remember that when he married his second wife, our family was unsupportive and even stigmatized her, subjecting her to social harassment and discrimination. Despite facing immense pressure and negative reinforcement, my uncle and his second wife stood their ground and persevered.
After nearly a decade of his love marriage, my uncle was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He fought against this deadly disease for about a year, and during this time, I had the opportunity to serve him and support him alongside my two aunts at the hospital. I spent approximately 2 to 2.5 months by their side, assisting in any way I could. Looking back, I believe that these two months were a turning point in my life, shaping my perceptions in ways I never imagined.
As someone who had previously believed that my uncle was wrong for choosing a love marriage, my perspective was challenged every day, every hour, and every moment I spent with him. Despite being a student of psychology and having knowledge about emotions and human psyche, I couldn't fathom the depth of love my uncle and his second wife shared. It shattered my preconceived notions that love ceases to exist after marriage, and I realized that love can thrive anywhere and everywhere. Witnessing my uncle's smile on a ventilator, amidst immense pain and trauma faced by other patients, left me in awe of the power of love.
Furthermore, my uncle and his second wife proved me wrong in another aspect. I used to believe that individuals suffering from chronic or deadly illnesses fight their battles alone, with their families offering sympathy or empathy but not truly sharing their pain. However, my uncle's second wife demonstrated otherwise. Despite having no history of chronic health issues, she experienced physical symptoms like sweating, high blood pressure, and panic attacks whenever my uncle was in pain, even when she wasn't physically present with him. I couldn't comprehend how she knew or how her body reacted to his pain, but it was a testament to the deep connection they shared.
As I was about in my thirties with 16 years of education in philosophy and psychology, and over 7 years of professional experience, these 2.5 months spent with my uncle and his second wife completely shifted my perspective and belief system. Previously, I had revered my parents as all-knowing, as they had nurtured and protected me since birth. I trusted their decisions, including the one to choose my life partner, as I believed their intentions were always pure and they knew me better than anyone else. However, this experience made me realize that while my parents love me deeply and have valuable life experience, they may not always know what's best for me when it comes to matters of the heart.
With good intentions and one-sided knowledge, cultural and societal norms may work to some extent, but they can't always dictate our choices. It's essential to understand ourselves, explore our own emotions, and make decisions for our own happiness. I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to reflect on my own beliefs and values, and I now firmly believe that I am the one who knows myself best and should have the agency to choose my own life
I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to explore and understand myself, aided by my education in psychology. However, I also recognize that not everyone has the same privilege, and not everyone has the knowledge of human nature and emotions to make informed decisions about their own lives. This experience has also made me realize the importance of helping others understand and navigate their own emotions.
This realization has led me to question how we can change these societal patterns. How can we empower individuals to understand their own emotions and make decisions that align with their true selves? How can we challenge traditional beliefs and promote individual agency in our society?
Be the first to post a message!