Frida Kahlo once said, “Take a lover who looks at you, like maybe you are magic.” Shama Sikander and James Milliron’s love story is perhaps one of the most heart-touching examples of a love like that.
Love was never a battlefield for them. It is a silent rivulet of certainty, that flows through their lives from the very beginning of their journey. Forever began, when their souls responded to the magnetic pull they felt for each other from the very first day they met. In a heart-to-heart with WeddingWire India, the couple unfolds a lesson in true love and talks about understanding each other’s love languages, the power of true love, and how authentic love can play a significant role in the journey of battling Bipolar Disorder.
Watch the entire interview here -
Read excerpts from the interview here -
Communication is Key
Rumela S: The two of you are breaking cultural barriers and setting an example together. What is your love language, and how do you continue fighting the odds?
Shama Sikander: Our love language is simply ‘Love’. It’s not complicated honestly, it’s very simple and easy! We are in love with ourselves, and we are in love with each other even in our lows and highs. Love has never been out of the picture. When love is the base of your relationship, a lot of problems can dissolve very quickly. We both are very easy people, and I keep emphasizing ‘easy’ because when you have easy fundas, an easy way of handling circumstances, you always end up having an easy life. You will have challenges, but when you have an easy outlook, your challenges will become small and disburse really fast. Most of our challenges in life become really big because we make them big in our minds.
James Milliron: We made a commitment to be really good communicators. Even in times when it is uncomfortable to do so, we found that just laying out all of our feelings, emotions, ideas, and things we are hesitant about has been really important for us. Communication is one of the biggest challenges most couples face. Sometimes there’s one partner who might be feeling guilty about imposing their decisions on others and that creates a communication gap.
Shama Sikander: And a lot of people find it difficult to express love because of the conditioning they have come from. They have not had the chance to break the barriers and start a new cycle of love. They don’t know the love language. There are so many different ways in which you can express love. We express love with our words, our bodies. Just by a touch, or a look we are constantly telling each other that I am there with you, you are loved and you are appreciated. You do not have to say it verbally every time but it’s in your body language and a lot of us lack that body language. There are people who have a lot of love to give, but they don’t know how to, maybe because their families have not been very expressive, so they don’t know how to hug a person or how to be intimate with another person or express their emotions.
The Strongest Pillar of the Relationship
Rumela S: Would you call strong and free-flowing communication the strongest pillar of your relationship?
James Milliron: That, and we made a decision to be committed to each other and we have been. You know you have a person who is going to be there with you and you have talked about where you want to go in life and all of those things.
Shama Sikander: There are no doubts when you are sure about your partner. That surety is very important.
The Beginning of Forever
Rumela S: How did the journey begin for the two of you and what was the first moment like?
James Milliron: There was a mutual friend who invited us both to come out to dinner once. We still don’t know to this day if it was an intentional setup, I am not sure if it was. It started very simply but I think there was some kind of mystery between us that started growing over the course of that evening. The more time I spent with her, I felt like even if she was not standing in the direct line of my sight, I would still know that she was there. There was something special about her presence. I knew from the first day that I met her that she was a very honest person, and very true to her nature and I fell in love with her very quickly.
Shama Sikander: I also felt this immense magnetic pull towards him, and it was very weird to me because I had met the person for the first time. I was in a phase of life, where I had no plan or inclination toward meeting a guy or dating somebody and I was fully in love with myself for the first time. The pull was not simply physical, it was a blend and the whole of me was being pulled by this man. After that, we kept meeting every day and we realized we were spending a lot of time together. We realized we were overflowing with love for ourselves and we were ready to give that to the other person.
Role of the Universe
Rumela S: Wow! You sound like there were bigger forces behind this union. Everything you said, gives a hint that you are a believer in the Universe.
Shama Sikander: Yeah, I would just ask the Universe “How do you know this is the guy for you?”. I had seen the movie ‘How do you know’ and it revolved around the girl’s journey to finding the guy and it got me thinking! I had fallen in love before, but I never had that surety that this is my man. But when I met James, within the first week, he told me he loves me and it didn’t feel odd. It was so easy and so genuine - pure innocence, pure vulnerability, pure love, and this realization blew my mind.
Rumela S: I love how you said ‘He proposed in a week’. James, I get that Shama is a believer and she has probably manifested this beautiful relationship, but what about you? Are you also a believer and did you simply know that the Universe has sent this woman for you?
James Milliron: I was looking for the woman I could spend the rest of my life with and it’s funny because the rest of my life just kept passing me by! Neither of us met when we were 18-20 years old, we met much later in life. I have always been looking out for the right woman who completed me or was my other half. I always felt that there was somebody out there I could spend all my time with, who could be my best friend and we could eventually marry, but I spent a lot of time looking. When I met her, I just knew! We are very much a reflection of each other in the best ways. I told her that I loved her pretty early in our relationship and it’s because I meant it.
The Certainty of Love
Rumela S: I am just spellbound and all I can think of is ‘Wow’! I think in this generation the biggest problem is the ‘ifs and the buts’ and here I am talking to a couple who were so sure of each other from the very beginning. Congratulations on finding something so special.
Shama Sikander: Whatever time we spent to find each other, life made sure that we were in love with ourselves. And once we loved ourselves fully, we were able to love each other like this. We respected who we were and we knew what we wanted. I feel the relationships made out of need don’t last as long as the relationships made out of choice and want. Needs-based relationships end as soon as your needs are met. Your choice is always a forever living thing you see? You have the power to choose yourself, so you choose the right partner for yourself.
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An Intimate Wedding
Rumela S: Was it because of covid or did you choose to have an elegant and intimate wedding because you didn’t want a loud celebration?
Shama Sikander: We don’t have a loud personality. We both have very content, easy, and confident personalities. And, I never wanted a large wedding, in fact, I didn’t want to marry at all because of the people I had met earlier. I don’t know how they were ok to live a superficial life, or how they were ok to live with their doubts. I am not ok with doubts, I will fight for it, meditate on it, or even go climb a mountain to find an answer. This is because I want clarity in life, and I am very passionate about my being. I don’t allow negative energy around me. To me, the union of love was more important than anything else, and why would you invite the whole world for that? We always wanted to have an intimate wedding and celebrate our love together with our loved ones.
James Milliron: Thankfully it turned out to be beautiful. We did decide to celebrate with close family and friends and because of that, it created an environment of pure love. Typically, you find people at weddings grumbling about the food or their convenience. We didn’t experience any of that because there were only people who really love us, and we love them very deeply as well.
Giving Love All That It Takes
Rumela S: Shama, I think it takes a Queen to battle depression and come so far that today you do not allow any negative energy in your aura. Thank you for setting that example for everyone.
Shama Sikander: Thank you, It’s just respect for my being and nothing else. I really respect myself a lot. I feel that utmost respect comes to you from others when you respect yourself. It’s not ego but if I don’t serve energy and it’s different from me, I might be disrespectful to that energy as well. I just need to find my tribe that matches my energy and helps it grow.
Rumela S: James, what does it take to love a woman like her?
James Milliron: Haha, I never thought about that before, that’s a great question. I think it takes everything to love any woman, and for a woman like her - a little bit more than everything. She makes my job as a husband very easy. You know how there’s a concept of a typical nagging housewife, she doesn’t nag about anything. My whole funda in a marriage is that you should give your 100% to your partner, and if both the partners can accomplish that, neither of us will ever feel empty.
Shama Sikander: So we are very selflessly selfish people. We do it for our own joy, but our joy is to give our 100% to each other. I always wanted a love like this. I used to think that I just need somebody who can love me the way I have the potential to love. Like James rightly said, if both the partners can give their 100%, if they can both achieve that, there’s nothing better than that.
James Milliron: And I really wish they could! If I could change anything in the world, relationship-wise, I would go around to every human being in the world and drill it into their head, that they should just give everything they can to a relationship. Wouldn't that be a fantastic world to live in, where everybody was just ready to love?
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Shama Sikander: What are mental health issues? Nothing, it’s just feeling loveless!
Rumela S: People are talking about mental health now, more than ever! But people are still scared to own up to it, and partners are sometimes scared to love someone who is going through something difficult. Do you have a message for these couples?
Shama Sikander: When people are going through mental health issues; I don’t like to call it illness, because it’s not. They are just patterns - Patterns that have come to us from our previous generations and we think it’s an illness because these patterns become daily activities in our lives. Unfortunately, all human beings are a product of bad conditioning, nothing else. I remember when I was a child, my parents loved me immensely, but they didn’t know the physical language of love. Growing up, I was a very blunt child. I always had the courage to speak the truth so one day I told my mom, ‘you don’t love me, because you don’t show me any physical love’. As a child, I did not know there are so many love languages, but a friend’s mom once hugged me and it felt so good that I pointed it out to my mother. My mother being a conscious person, immediately put it into practice. Now that I have grown up I realize, what are mental health issues? Nothing, it’s just feeling loveless. When you feel no love within, and you can’t find it around, your mind and your whole system go for a toss. The love that you are looking for outside, is not going to satisfy you. Your own love for yourself is the only cure. Once that starts to happen, the world will change, and you will find people who will love you. They will come because now you are attracting love.
Shama Sikander: I remember a moment from our relationship in the beginning when I was still going through the dips of depression and out of the habitual pattern, I got low and I shouted at him and I asked him to go away and leave me alone. He went to the door and I was thinking, now he’s going to go away too, but he turns around and looks at me and says, “No, I am not going to leave you.” That meant so much because he was ready to be there for me in spite of my lowest phase. All he did, was stayed back and hugged me and I slept in his arms but that healed something in me. Love is the only phenomenon on this planet, that has the potential to freaking change everything. Real love has no fear, and if you have fear, it’s not love at all. When you love somebody, all kinds of fear disappear. Your love overpowers those fears. It just makes you so strong and courageous. I have never seen love destroy, ever in my life.
Rumela S: There are not enough compliments in this world that I can give you right now, just a heart full of gratitude for sharing this because a lot of people who watch this video, will be inspired. James, would you want to add a partner’s perspective here?
James Milliron: When you are with somebody who is going through a dark time - it could be depression, it could job loss, death of a family member, there are a lot of different circumstances that can drive your partner to be low; it creates a lot of confusion sometimes. There are mixed signals and y our partner may communicate things to you that are opposite of things they actually want. It is important to take a breath, take a pause before making any rash decisions, and ask yourself what is really necessary for this situation. Ask yourself, “what can I do to make this person’s life a little bit better at this moment?” What was necessary for Shama, was to not be alone and have somebody by her side.
Rumela S: A lot of times, when couples talk about not understanding each other, I tell them, to read ‘The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman’. People mostly don’t, because it takes a lot of effort to understand that your love language might be different than your partner. What you are bringing to the picture through this interview, is how important it is to understand that two people can be very different and their love languages can be very different.
James Milliron: Words of Affirmation, Quality time, Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical touch - five different ways you can give and show love. You should definitely know your partner’s love language, how your partner receives love, and how your partner prefers to give love and know that about yourself as well.
If you have any questions about being an emotionally matured partner in your relationship or understanding different love languages, start a conversation on WeddingWire India Community today!