I read this story in the book, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho:
According to the legend, Narcissus was a youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus. When Narcissus died, the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears. ‘Why do you weep?’ the goddesses asked.
‘I weep for Narcissus,’ the lake replied.
‘Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,’ they said, ‘For though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate the beauty close at hand.’
But… was Narcissus beautiful?’ the lake asked.
‘Who better than you to know that?” the goddesses said in wonder. ‘After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!’ The lake was silent for some time. Finally, it said: ‘I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.’
After reading this, I remembered a conversation I had with a friend. She had just met a guy and was in love, she knew he was “the one.” She was certain she would marry him one day. As she was talking about this guy her eyes were shinning and she had such a big smile on her face. She looked like Tinkerbell came by and tapped her with gold dust.
It got me thinking about the concept of “love.” I do understand loving parents, siblings, children and other close friends and relatives, but what makes us “fall in love?” and why do we “fall” in love?
Love has always been this mysterious and magical feeling we get when we meet the person of our dreams. Sometimes we see someone and by looking at their physical beauty we think they are the one. Do we fall in love because we find the other person just perfect? Or does love happen when opposites attract? Or do we fall in love with someone, when they see the beauty in us just like Narcissus and the lake?
I don’t know, I am human myself. My own experience of love has been pretty limited, but when I did fall in love it was because the other person saw me as a whole beautiful human being. He accepted me with my flaws and was my best friend, he cried when I was sad and smiled when I was happy. I must’ve done the same for him, and we fell in love.
I am no expert at love at all but I do feel that love comprises of many other things — firstly, acceptance of the other person is key; secondly, I think genuine concern for this person’s well-being; third, would be to trust and be loyal; and the last thing would be to be best friends forever. So love is not just looking at the other person and falling in love with their looks, because eventually the looks do fade away, but it’s the good heart that keeps long marriages together.