Advice, Attached Love, Attachment, Clinging, Human Nature, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Meditation, Quality of Life, Resilience, Spirituality, The Art of Living Well, Well Being

The Good News and the Bad News About Love

(About a 1 minute read)

The bad news is that you cannot love without risking almost certain pain now and then.  Even the most skillful and conscientious lover will now and then inadvertently hurt you. Even the greatest loves will someday come to an end — and often tragically (that is, in the ancient sense of tragedy — due to a flaw in human nature).

The good news is most — but never all — of the suffering most of us experience when loving someone comes from clinging unnecessarily to someone in an attempt to preserve the pleasures or avoid the pains of loving them.  If you can see this, and see it very clearly, you will put an end to the clinging, and with it, most of the suffering.

You need not do anything else.  You need only see it.  Once seen, your mind will reflexively avoid clinging like it would reflexively avoid a snake in the grass.

That is not something you should believe.  No matter how strongly you believe that, belief will not bring about an end to the suffering.  You must see it, instead.  You must watch it happening.  You much watch the whole process of clinging producing suffering — and no one can watch it for you.  No one can change a thing merely by telling you about it.

The way to watch it is through meditation.   Not introspection. Not contemplation.  Meditation.

Just my two cents.

15 thoughts on “The Good News and the Bad News About Love”

  1. “Love,” it seems to me, has too many aspects and ‘kinds of” to put in a box and address it TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN….save, perhaps, for unconditional love such as one may have for one’s children and grandchildren. But I gather that’s not the ‘kind of’ love you’re talking about, so I don’t what more I can say that would be relevant (though I’d love to hear what you have to say about “unconditional love”).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In this case, MM, I mostly had romantic love in mind as I wrote the post. but I think the post applies to several other kinds of love as well.

      Thanks for the encouragement to write on “unconditional love”. I have made a note to so so in the near future.

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      1. For whatever reason, my “Like” clicks on comments to your post seldom ‘take,’ and my attempts have become such a waste of time that it makes no sense to keep trying. I say this just to let you know that such absence in the future doesn’t mean that I don’t like, but simply that I ‘can’t’ “Like.”

        Will look forward to your “unconditional love” whenever you get around to it. 🙂

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  2. I don’t believe anyone can truly love without the willingness to be vulnerable. Neither do I believe one can truly be loved without the same quality. You must be willing to be hurt or betrayed or to fail. Just my opinion, of course.

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    1. Your point struck me as so true, Sharon, it almost took my breath away to hear it articulated. I especially benefited from your mentioning that we cannot allow ourselves to be loved without making ourselves vulnerable too. That, I hadn’t thought of. So true though. So very true.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh! I was watching a video on love by Maya Angelou yesterday. ‘Love liberates’ she claims in her soothing voice. It truly does in ways more than one.
    Love hurts, yes. And we cling on to hope, on to the person we love, may be that arises out of selfishness? But to love from a distance and thereby not cling is not easy for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thoughtful as ever, Parikhit. It is so good to see you again. I trust you have been well?

      I so agree with you and Angelou about love being liberating. It seems to me especially so when we love someone who loves us — but it can be at least a bit liberating just to love even when our love is not returned.

      I can’t say much about not clinging being loving from a distance. I don’t know much about that. To me, clinging actually puts distance between us and our beloved! But I could be wrong about that.

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      1. Agreed Paul. I do reckon that it can be completely liberating when your love is returned and even if it were not, may be the liberation is not grand but exists in small doses. At least you would have loved!

        I think there is a very think line with being clingy and possessive and not being an appendage. When you love someone and you are loved back, you both create a space that is common to both you of, may be another individual that coexists with the two of you (I had read something on similar lines in The Bridges of Madison County). But you have your own individuality too and so does your partner that needs to exist independently.

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  4. Oh yes, love can hurt and so can clinging, though many don’t even realise that’s what we’re doing. Is it so wrong to love and to hold onto hope that one day it will be reciprocated. Or is that in itself clinging? A thoughtful post Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an excellent question, Miriam! Lucky for us I’m a male — which means I know the correct answer, because — as we all know — males always know the correct answer. 😀

      More seriously, I don’t really know. I suppose it could be clinging to wait for someone to love you, but I can also see cases in which it would not be. To me, clinging implies some measure or degree of psychological/emotional attachment. Could someone manage to wait for someone without any significant degree of that kind of attachment to them? I could see it going either way, depending on the individual. What do you think?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure. I think you’re right, it depends on the individual but I think generally no. So here’s another question for you Paul. As a male who always has the right answer. 😁 Can a man continue to have incredible sex intermittently, over a long period of time (let’s say four years) and not feel a measure of attachment?

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