- What is Love?
- A World of Delusions
- I Loved Him/Her: Why Didn’t He/She Love Me Back?
- Attractions and Attachments
From a WikiHow on the subject, Love is expressed as an action and experienced as a feeling. Yet, love has an essence that resists defining in any single way — it encompasses compassion, determination, tolerance, endurance, support, faith, and much more.
noun \ˈləv\ a (1) : strong affection for another…
In the stories about Mara, the lord of demons, one story tells that he sent three alluring and lovely enchantresses to Shakyamuni during his “sitting under a Bodhi tree” period (his early 30’s). He basically replies to their requests for attention with “…eventually everyone grows old and dies. If you base your attraction on something without permanence, eventually it will go away, and you will feel suffering.
Basically, since so much of our lives is spent trying to conquer and prevent something we fear (no money, no love, no food, no answers, etc.) until we accept simply the way things are and move forward from fears, we feel bad every time one of those needs and wants are left unfulfilled. Or conversely, we spend a lot of time and effort accumulating so much excess, that we ultimately are drinking water from a bucket with a hole in it (neverending desire.) This is why the human potential movement always stated, “you can only love someone else, if you love your Self, first.” Without appreciation and respect for what you are, all faults included, there’s still a hole in the bucket (Dear Liza, dear Liza… : from a very old folk song o/~)
Whether Erikson’s definition of a need for intimacy (versus isolation), or Maslow saying once you are sure you won’t die, you need friendship, intimacy and a sense of belonging, you can realize that all of these “needs” are based upon your own beliefs and perceptions. You either feel you have friends, or you don’t. You feel you have your fill of closeness to others, or you feel isolated. These psychological observations of our behavior are the continuing explanations of what ultimately stems from what you actually believe. We used to simplify this as “you are what you think.”
noun: /dɪˈluːʒən/ 1 : a belief that is not true : a false idea
From an interesting poem on the subject:
Since you are bound by delusion,
This world becomes full of restraints.
When you are enlightened,
You are free from boundaries wherever you may go.
Because there was no east nor west originally,
How could either north or south exist?
But as we know, having really good intentions and beliefs doesn’t really have any impact if you don’t DO something differently. This is the “actions speak louder than words… and also thoughts, wishes, hopes, dreams, inspirations, education, knowledge, understanding, et.al” concept. Remember the funny paradox of someone who proclaims, “I am humble.” — you either are, or you aren’t. Announcing the intention is an action that counters it. Try not to make the hole in the bucket any bigger as you try to fix it.
- not returned or reciprocated
Most painful of the emotions are those associated with emptiness. The key here is to learn to appreciate the absences, as well as the fulfillments. That sense of relief you get when you’ve worked really hard and finished off a great pile of work and savoring the lack of more to do is what you can nurture to bring your appreciation of every situation and circumstance to fruition. A song is more than the notes – it is also the silences between the notes.
Let’s say for example, you really care about someone. You give more of yourself to this other person than you ever thought possible. But the other person simply ignores the effort and walks away. The perceptions at play here are that you believed your emotional transfer to this other person was invaluable and priceless. The other person didn’t perceive the same value. So is the other person responsible for the pain and suffering you feel as a result of someone thinking your efforts are without worth? You still cannot change the other person; you can only change your expectations. This would be like offering English language lessons to someone who only speaks Swahili – unless there is a compelling reason to learn English, it really doesn’t have immediate perceived value. But when you come upon a person who really wants to learn, you become invaluable. Learning to see the true situation and lessening the coloration from your own expectations allows you to begin appreciating the truth, or the silence in-between the notes.
Or perhaps, your hopes for being valued were left unfulfilled – you were left thinking, “if that person was a good person, they would have noticed me and returned my affections.” Strangely enough, that’s like the person who studies religion, attends services regularly, and always talks to others about the way things should be, never noticing the imbalances and troubles in their own lives, nor working towards correcting those first. We can become attracted rather easily to delusions because our own minds are creatively empowered to imagine and dream. And yet, when those dreams become fantasy, we can become determined, or even obsessed towards something, or someone who is not what we want them to be. And the more we try to shape and mold our fantasy into what we think we want, our delusion becomes stronger. Try not to take your bucket of fresh water to the oceanside and toss it in, expecting that the ocean will become magically drinkable, especially if you keep doing it over and over again. That is truly an attachment to a delusion.