Claustrophobia of the Heart

Shevon Mendis
Mar 1 · 5 min read


Before I indulge into my analysis in the phenomenon, I would like to inform you, the reader, that I am not expert on love, nor have I experienced romance in its entirety. This is simply my view from what I’ve endured through falling in love and my belief in what love should entitle.

To start with, we must attempt to answer the universal question: What is love?

Is it called love when someone lies to you to protect your feelings?
Is it called love when you’d let someone win a game rather than letting them wallow in the depths of loss?
Is it called love when she looks across a crowded room and returns the smile that you initially posed for her?

I urge you to answer these three questions for yourself after reaching the end of my soliloquy while I promise to answer the main question myself. But until then, I ask you bear with me as I express my take on love.

For the longest time, I chose to not fall in love. Relationships seemed distracting and led me to assume that I would not be able to accomplish my educational feats if I pursued one. With that in mind, I was successful at pushing aside all romantic feelings towards another individual. That method was effective but turned out to have an expiration date. So now, much like many of my friends before me, I too have become a victim of love.

To be completely honest, I find that liking a girl is more arduous than one may expect it to be. The questions of doubt start flooding into your head like consumers when a store has its winter sale on. You tend to ask yourself whether you would be the ‘Right Man’ for her and more importantly, whether there would be any possibility of her ever liking you back in the same way. Much like the dreams, which bring us momentary happiness or sadness, these questions cause the greatest impact. They limit our willpower and detour our concentration. They make us more susceptible to pain.

I have noticed, however, that love is a path to expressing your true self. For when in the pursuit of love, I have watched as people whom I considered my closest friends turn into strangers, making me question if I had ever truly known them at all. Despite this, we must learn to accept the fact that this can and may happen to any of us because much like anything you are to achieve in life, fulfilling goals come with sacrifice. For when we are blindly in love, we tend to do things that we do not fully premeditate the consequences to, especially towards the people closest to us. And we won’t really understand it until we are in the backseat of that scenario, watching nostalgically at a previously familiar stranger in their pursuit of happiness.

I believe however that the hardest period you can endure is when you are in love, but you cannot express it. She may be unavailable. She may be beyond your romantic reach. She may never consider you to be the ‘Right Man’ for her.
And so we fail before we are given the opportunity to begin. Because we hold in ourselves the fear of never being loved back.
However, if we spend our lives in the constant evaluation and expectancy of probable consequences, we deny ourselves of finding what we want most in this world.
We deny ourselves of love.

That’s how it starts. The desire, the pain, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men into something they often are not. But how could you refuse this transition? How could you when every time you look in her very direction, all that you ever seem to notice are her perfect imperfections? The way her hair graciously nests round her flawless face, the way her beautiful smile makes you mirror her gesture, the way her eyes shine with promise. The promise of hope that you want to hold in order to consolidate your future; a future where you could be running towards her and she towards you, on a beach, all while the Chariots of Fire theme plays in the background. The scenario may be a cliché. But the moment will not be. Not to you, anyway.

Another problem is the belief that love can only come through romance. Personally, I find that when we can’t find that perfect person for us, we give up on love all together and believe that our creators have made us ‘unlovable’. It is then that we find ourselves neglecting the love surrounding us and instead focus on finding it on barren land. Because although we cannot have the person we want in our lives, we forget about those who have done so much and those who continue to do so much for our sake.

With that in mind, we must never stop searching because if she is, in fact, the ‘Right Woman’, you will eventually find each other and it will be worth all the pain you’ve endured. And if this should not happen, we must not forget that we still have our friends.
We still have our families. We still have those who love us dearly.
So, now that we’ve come to the end of this soliloquy, I will fulfil what I promised and answer the question. Once again,
what is Love?

Love is when a mother and father stare back at the eyes of a baby they had just been blessed with.
Love is when you’d die for someone without ever expecting him or her to do the same for you.
Love is when your world is ending and someone holds you tight and assures you that everything will be okay. Because that’s the truth. Because no matter how bad anything seems, in the end,
everything will be okay.

And so we climb on until we reach the mountaintop, where we scream so loud that the Gods can hear us. We demand that we receive the love that has been seemingly denied to us. Little do we realise:

We exist because of Love.