Have you ever been in love, the feeling of anticipation, exhilaration and the butterflies in your stomach? You have a smile plastered on your face and everything is fine and nothing deters your happy mood. Your family and friends can get away with basically anything as you are very pliable and easy to get to.
However if the same love decides to disappoint you, then rue the day they were born as the dark clouds start gathering on the horizon.
Being in love or being around people in love is an amazing and exhilarating experience but when things go sour it is often a very unhappy state of affairs.
Often when we sit and talk with couples whether they be together for love, for lust, for a merger or through arranged traditional protocol, the one and only cause of the sad affairs is usually the lack of trust!
This five-letter word is the other side of the coin when dealing with the four-letter word love, but how conveniently people forget it when they are courting, getting to know one another and eventually end up being married.
Once the ring is on the finger then the trust issues begin to surface and statements such as "I never knew he or she was like that" or "he or she never used to be like this".
It is interesting though that all relationships whether it be marriage, friendship and even professional relationship are about trust yet when in the courting stages this is often placed on the back burner as we try to reconcile emotions.
Trust is an essential component in any given relationship and without it the ride is going to be very bumpy.
As we prepare for the constitutional submissions and as we set the platform for the new Fiji, there are many partnerships being formed or forged and all have a stake at hand in national issues.
Some might just be in love or some might be fixed or arranged or some based on an issue or even on a gut feeling but just like marriage, the relationship, if it is to work, must be based on trust.
Decisions when made or when discussions are held must be made on the premise of honesty and trust whether it be to join a political party, make contributions to the constitution, have issues on youth, women or disable tabled.
The voter registration exercise has started and already the issue of trust is being raised. Do we wait and see that the decisions made are going to be made on the premise of trust or should we start questioning, and like the distrustful spouse gather imminent storm clouds and kick up a tantrum without hearing the explanations?
When women or youths or marginalised communities meet, do we trust that they are actually talking about issues stated in their permits or do we assume the worst. When groups make submissions, do we receive them based on the premise of trust or do we assume that it is prepared in the hope of destroying team building or nation building.
A colleague once stated that peace is maximising people's ability to work together for a common goal and it made me realise, isn't that how we initially start a love relationship, a marriage or a political endeavour?
We usually fall in love peacefully and we see stars and the comets but when we have overcome the initial emotional high, the issue of trust sets in and we then start questioning a lot of decisions and plans.
In Fiji right now there are many forums, dialogues, marriages and people that are going through the courting stages. Everything is seen from rose tinted lenses and it is a good time to be engaged in activities that spell nation building and moving forward.
We need to be mindful also that we deal with the trust issues so that we do not disappoint others and ourselves after the initial hype has died down.
We need to ask questions like how realistic is the human rights issues going to be included in the constitution?
Are there going to be sections on women, youth, disabled, marginalised communities addressed and highlighted or will there be a gloss over.?
Will the decrees all be removed, will the boundaries be realistic?
Will all organisations be allowed to meet without any restrictions?
We are all in love now, we love the idea of a nation moving forward, we all love the idea of contributing to our constitution, we all love the idea of building a nation for the betterment of our children and children's children but can we trust each other to do this well.
Can we trust that all our decisions will be fair, inclusive, democratic and from a humans rights perspective?
Will we be able to live with ourselves and claim that we are not just being biased in our decision and engaging because we love the idea or are we making decisions that are based on trust, realistic expectations and truthful analysis of our potential, our strengths as well as our expectations and fears?
If we are able to do this, then we as a nation are truly moving forward.
Let us all then contribute to the constitution, let us all build a nation free of all the past challenges and let us be transparent, accountable and put our thinking caps on while moving our love relationships and political marriages as equal citizens forward.
Let us enjoy relationships, do away with the mistrust, dispel our fears and move Fiji forward!
* Fay Volatabu is the general secretary for the National Council of Women Fiji and a regular contributor/columnist to The Fiji Times. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or ncwfgs1@gmail.