Are you vitamin L-deficient?

By Suresh Pattali

Published: Sat 18 Jul 2020, 12:32 PM

Last updated: Sat 18 Jul 2020, 2:54 PM

Dear Mr Suresh,
I happened to read your last column headlined 'Reading between the lines and emotions'. It's a reasonably good article that gave a wider perspective about some quotidian English phrases that carry profound meanings such as 'I love you' and 'I miss you'. I'm glad you handled a topic that deserved a rethink given the unwarranted pervasiveness of digital technology in our lives.
Dear Suresh, I'm Zubaida. The mere mention of my name would offer a throwback to the eighties when we both studied together and you were my crush. It was great fun chasing you like a demented dog on the campus and outside. Your latest column offered me a chance to realise your perceptions about life and love have finally taken a U-turn, but it's so sad it took a lifetime. You had always been a slow learner. Your column would go down in the chronicles of love as the greatest hypocrisy or audacious confessions of a pathetic lover.
Reading between your lines and emotions, I get the throbbing message that you're in the critical stage of vitamin L deficiency. Psychologists say vitamin L deficiency manifests itself in adulthood when it is too late to correct the problem. That research, I believe, is unfounded. Listen dude, the world is not love-deficient as much as I could see. You look around, you will find it, far or near. The problem is when you expect love to be served on a platter. What do doctors advise if you are vitamin D-deficient? You will invariably be asked to step out into the balcony and soak in the sun. It's as simple as that. Love is in abundance, like the omnipresent sunshine, because the world will be fraught with hatred if humans are love-deficient. You only have to open your eyes to light up your heart.
From your many articles, one gets the impression that you are a soul living the life of a hermit and writing is your sole activity. Dear friend, life within four walls won't take you anywhere. You are like a frog in the well. You need to emancipate yourself from your life-long incarceration and open the floodgate of love. Let emotions flood your life. You need to be in it to win it. Onlookers are perennial losers.
Earth, water, air, and fire. Dear Suresh, I hope you remember the four elements we learned in high school classes. Food, water and oxygen. I also hope you remember the basic needs for a human to survive. Love is an appendix to those lists of things that make up the earth, life and human existence. And it manifests in your thoughts, words and deeds if the level of love sinks below the required normal. Constipation of thoughts is one of the first symptoms.
Philosophically speaking, I remember reading somewhere that love is energy and you are only part of a wider consumer grid. The more energy you bring to the grid, the more others can share it. In other words, if you want to feel or take more love, you need to give out more. It's more of a barter system that involves millions of like-minded people.
After reading Ross Rosenberg, psychotherapist and educator; and Erik Erikson, renowned developmental psychologist, I believe that your love deficiency has its roots in your early childhood. They have theorised that the vitamin L deficiency disorder is caused when a parent, during their child's formative years, deprived that child of ample and unconditional experiences of safety and nurturing love, respect and care.
Dear Suresh, remember, love always starts with you. It's obligatory to love yourself and groom yourself as worthy of love before learning the act of giving. You are wasting your life if you sulk in a pupa, blaming your fate or personality. One has to make a move. To attract love, you need to stretch out your arms. Do you remember how cruel you had been to me? Your procrastination finally ruined my life. But I don't intent to blame you because in love-deficient patents, their intentions to recognise another person's love, respect, and care are thwarted by deeper psychological processes. According to Rosenberg, one of the solutions is to remove the trauma scar tissue that is blocking the absorption of the available vitamin L supplements.
Psychotherapists generally advise to eliminate or pull back from relationships that do not have vitamin L reciprocity, one of the reasons I finally gave up on you and took a different route in life. I'm not delving into the right or wrong of that decision. But it's important, according to Rosenberg, to get daily doses of vitamin L by surrounding yourself with loved ones who take part in empowering, affirming and personally connective relationships.
But the fact is we are not ready to make a start. We pretend to be too busy to take the daily dose of medication. My daughter's boyfriend sends her hundreds of forwards every day but has no time -- zero, zilch -- to punch in an 'I love you' message. When was the last time you told someone 'I love you'? Your wife, your daughter, your son, your mum, all could be waiting to hear it. You are able to shout hundreds of profanities on social media or in real life, but can't utter the harmless three words in low decibel.
Do you have someone in your life who you can call a soulmate? Someone who you can ring in the middle of night and say, you want to cry. After an acrimonious divorce, I still have someone to call by that name. It's a feeling, a confidence, a pride that can drive you through any terrain. Do you want to know who the person is? My ex. He is still my soulmate.
Have a heart,
Enigmatically yours,

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