I was rather surprised 97 year old recommended children should be taught love. Doesn’t Love naturally get learnt? She sure changed my view.This personal experience of mine will also change the way you look at this world.
Few years back I had a very interesting encounter with a lovely lady. As I was flying to visit my Mom, I had just opened my laptop when I saw this utterly attractive woman with sparkling eyes sitting next to my seat. She gave me the broadest smile and I was immediately glad for her company. As it is I hate flights, so it was big relief to have somebody to talk to.
She appeared to be in her 60s or 70s but was extremely active taking out a novel to read, I noticed it was Gone with the Wind. She did not wear glasses. This surprised me a bit.
As the flight took off we got chatting and she disclosed that she was actually 97 years old and had kids who were in their 70s. My mouth literally fell open. No…. I said it can’t be. She just smiled and said it’s true and I don’t intend to go anywhere for lot many more years.
I was totally bowled over. I mean she was travelling alone, needed no help and was in perfect health. I wanted to know all about her lifestyle before the flight landed. Not much time I thought so I decided to be direct. What do you do to stay like this? And do you wear contact lenses? Rather can you wear contact lenses if you are 97 !! What is your routine? What are you doing so right? Please please tell me!
She burst out laughing, it was a joyful, mirthful, ringing kind of laughter, strong and loud. I loved the sound of it. Hmmm you want to know it all? She asked. I nodded, eagerly waiting. She said I LOVE and I LOVE unconditionally.
Oh how lucky she is, I thought to have someone special at this age too. As if reading my mind, she said beta I stay alone. In fact I have been staying alone for past 35 years, ever since my youngest kid left the nest. What about your husband? I said. I lost my husband when I was 52 she replied.
What? But you look like you are in Love, I exclaimed. She just smiled mysteriously. I was intrigued as hell.
She started her story, her name was Maya and she was born in Ratlam, a small town in Madhya Pradesh. Her father was lawyer and her Mom was an artist. Both parents were very fond of socialising, doing social work and attending cultural events. She had 4 brothers and three sisters. Growing up was lot of fun as there was so much laughter and music and discussions. Maya told me that her parents were very liberal and positive. As she grew she saw her parents place great emphasis on love and bonding between siblings. They themselves always supported and stood behind their kids no matter what. They just loved kids and family.
When Maya was 18 she fell in love with a guy. Unfortunately, the affair had to end when guy’s parents moved to Germany and he had to marry the girl of their choice. Maya was heartbroken, more so as she felt betrayed. Nonetheless her family stood by her like a rock and she was able to overcome the emotional crisis. Maya then decided to become a doctor and started her medical studies in UK. Completed her MBBS and enthusiastically looked forward to setting up her practice in India. She opened her little clinic and got married as per her parent’s choice.
Much to her shock, her husband and the in laws turned out to be abusive and the marriage had to be annulled within months. She felt devastated. She felt she could never be happy again, she immersed herself in her work and her family. It was hell.
Maya said one fine day she woke up and looked at herself in the mirror, she looked terrible, sad and broken. However hard she tried she could not find the bubbly cheerful Mayu she had known all her life. This shook her soul. Has she allowed herself to get completely lost? How has she reached this state? She decided to pull herself out of the abyss.
I was rather hooked and asked Maya, were you able to? Just like that? She smiled and said, yes, because of a friend, who said Maya you are so lovely, but you don’t love yourself enough. You are so harsh with yourself, causing yourself immense pain by constantly thinking about useless people. From then on Maya started to care for herself, appreciating herself and looking at herself through the eyes of her parents, siblings and friends. She loved what she saw and fell in love with herself hopelessly and completely.
It changed her life, she was happier, she felt free and soon she realized she could feel love for other in a very strong way. It gave her immense joy, so she actively started practising love for people around her, for flowers, the birds, her house everything.
She started feeling magical, such was her joy! Maya said over the years things happened she fell in love, got married, kids happened but she never stopped loving herself unconditionally. She said this enabled her to love others unconditionally too.
Circumstances kept changing for good and bad but her ability to love no matter what, kept her strong and happy. And of course, Young!
I said Maya ( she insisted I call her that) why do think Love made so much difference? And do you wear glasses?
She said no I don’t wear glasses occasionally my eyes get tired but that’s it. I am healthier than most 50 year olds coz I carry no resentment, regret or emotional history! I just go on sending love to everybody I meet, see or chance to pass by, even strangers. I don’t wait for others to send or return love to me. I like to be the flower which just gives fragrance because that’s the flower’s nature. I know not everyone is fragrant and its OK. And it makes so much difference because Love creates all the right chemicals in the body, love allows yourself to become bigger, lighter and ageless! It is like a magic pill. I looked bit baffled, Maya said why don’t you google it? I made a mental note of it.
Maya looked so passionate when she said you know I feel children should actively be taught how to experience, share and send love. This was new, Teach Love to kids? How Maya? I exclaimed. She said we look at love only as a romantic love or love with strings. Kids should be taught how to simply , unconditionally love for their own good. More often than no we mould our kids to love in an if then kind of way. Love cannot be a calculation it has to be your very nature. Be love , give love because that’s what you are. We must focus on kids developing a healthy love for themselves too.
Then she gave that twinkling smile and said I have devised a way! I looked at my watch 45 minutes to touch down……..I could not miss this. I said please Maya share your secret with me.
She agreed and said, Do as I say.
Sit back , close your eyes and relax. I did. Then she said concentrate on your heart and imagine love fairies, the Elfies’ flying in from all directions. Allow them in your heart and when your heart is full, which it will soon be if you love yourself, send the Elfies to others. The people, the nature, the things everybody. Just Elfie them!!!
I did as told and trust me I had never felt so much love and joy. When I opened my eyes, I realised it was fun to send elfies to everyone. It was simple and it worked. Kids would love to elfie! I myself now try to Elfie everybody, everyday! My kids love it too.It has made me so much happier.
I looked at Maya in amazement, love flowed from her eyes and she smiled at everybody, I noticed whoever saw her somehow felt good. It was unbelievable.
Flight was about to land and I said Maya, I am so honoured to have met you, I still can’t believe you are 97! Maya said BTW I forgot to tell you, I send gifts to myself every Valentine’s day!
Oh dear, How awesome I thought!
The Flight landed and we walked out of the airport together, I said any final advice for me Maya, she winked and said “Believe in Fairy tales, I do! “
She had Elfied me one more time and I was floored!
Wait the story doesn’t end here. I got home and being a logical thinking person I did an FBI worthy research on Side effects of Love , so there will be the final chapter to this and of course you want to know where is Maya now! Happy waiting with Elfies!!
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