LETTERS TO DUBAI: A Mother’s Long Distance Love

Dear Dubai,

Happy love month!

Busy figuring out plans on where to go for the best Valentine date or sourcing the ultimate gift for your special someone?  While swimming through the reality of this highly capitalized commercial pandemonium, take a pause and reimagine its true meaning.  If you’ll go down deep to your core, what and why are you celebrating… and is it truly worth the effort?

As I’ve grown older in years coupled with catching a pile of life’s experiences, developing maturity in understanding the various facets and depth of love as a concept, emotion, value, and choice became a given. Indeed, being in a relationship with our chosen significant other and experiencing a combination of pragma (enduring love), eros (romantic love) and ludus (playful love) provides a great high – yet are we over glorifying it at the expense of other equally meaningful love relationships that are worth celebrating too?     

Today, I’d like to remind you about ‘love from day one’ – the unconditional love from our mothers that most of us are fortunate to be blessed with.  It’s a combination of storge (familiar love), agape (selfless love) and philia (affectionate love) that is divine and eternal. It stands the test of time, distance, and circumstances – and out of 2 billion moms in the world, my relationship with my beautiful mother is one proof point to this.

Almost 42 years ago, a woman named Lorna chose to have me in her womb. After giving birth, she gave everything that she had to provide what’s best for this kid, beyond the practical material things she was never lacking in love and care. Sacrificing her own desires became second nature just so she can take care of the family. After two decades, I’ve grown my own wings and learned to fly – she then gave me the independence, support, and immeasurable love from a distance by allowing me to be the person that I am today. I’ve had my share of mistakes and omissions, but she rendered perpetual forgiveness with open arms. Thriving in her empty nest, she still talks to me everyday and never misses the daily opportunity to express how much she loves and supports me though we’re 8,207 miles apart. If this isn’t real love, I don’t know what is.

For sure, a lot of you can relate to this shorthand summary about how our moms gave their all to bring our lives to life. So, while you may be busy figuring out the best Valentine you could ever experience for yourself and your significant other, think about the mom who gave you the true meaning of love since your first breath – what are your plans for her this month?

If you’re fortunate to still be with her in our physical world, shower her with the love that she deserves. A simple ‘I love you, Mom’ peppered with a small token or dinner date will go a long way. Or if you live far from her, use the power of technology to connect – a simple call and a thoughtful delivery of flowers or her favorite food will for sure warm her heart.  

May this thought live with us all not just during man-made special occasions like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, but in our every single heartbeat. She gave us the best love, so she deserves the best of what we have become.

May you live and breathe the heartfelt meaning of love this month – embrace, enjoy, and share it!       

Always inspiring,

Joseph

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