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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Love vs possessiveness

When we tell somebody, "I love you..."
Do we really love this person? Or we love the qualities in this person that we like and agree with? Or we love what we like and want from this person?

And when we tell this person whom we love, "I want to be in a relationship with you..."
Do we really just want to be with this person? Or we want to possess this person to be 'mine'? Or we love what we like and want from the relationship with this person?

x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Out of 'love' towards a person or an object, naturally we (the ego) will have the desire to 'own' this person or this object to be 'mine'.

Out of this 'love' or more accurately, possessiveness, we will have fear of losing this person or this object.

When somebody or something comes in between this person or this object and 'I', 'I' will be very unhappy and angry.

For example, if we are in a relationship with somebody, and one day our partner fell in love with another person. He or she desires to be with the other person and doesn't want to continue to be in the relationship with us anymore. Or there's no third party, but just simply because our partner stops having passionate love feelings for us.

Our mind is being conditioned to react in certain ways. We (the ego) might feel hurt, disappointed and sad, and we might do something ignorant that will hurt ourselves and some other people. Or we will feel very hurt, disappointed and angry, and have anger and hatred towards our partner for stopped loving us or being 'unfaithful' to us, and be angry and jealous towards the other person who has 'taken away' the person whom 'I' love very much, and we might say or do something that will hurt ourselves, and hurt our partner and the other person.

As our mind is being conditioned to think how a relationship should be like. We expect the person in the relationship with us should be faithful and loyal to us, or there should be some sorts of commitment between the two of us, and we should be faithful and loyal to each other.

Our mind also being conditioned to think that if we don't 'love' our partner so much, we won't be feeling so unhappy, if our partner wants to be with another person. And because we 'love' our partner so much, that's why we feel so hurt. People like to say, the stronger the love is, the deeper the hatred will be. But this doesn't seem right. Why?

If we truly love our partner, we love him or her unconditionally, without expecting him or her to love us in return, or love us the way that we want them to love us. We will only wish him or her happiness. Even if he or she chooses to be with another person and not us. We will let go of him or her in peace, as he or she feels that to be with the other person is more happy than to be with us. We wish him or her peace and happiness for being with the person that he or she loves, if we truly love him or her unconditionally.

There won't be any disappointment, anger, hurt or jealousy if we truly love somebody unconditionally. As if we are over-powered by anger and jealousy, we might say or do something that will hurt our partner and the person whom he or she loves. Then how can we say we 'love' our partner, if we will do or say something that will hurt him or her, and the person whom he or she loves so much? It clearly indicates that we don't really love our partner, but we only want to possess him or her to be 'mine'. And if somebody is going to take away something that belongs to 'I', 'I' will be angry and unhappy.

Out of attachment and possessiveness towards the relationship and the person in the relationship with us, we feel the need to 'protect' this relationship, we will have fear and worry of losing this person and the relationship that we have. We might do something that will hurt ourselves, or the person whom we think we 'love' so much, and those whom he or she loves so much, when things don't happen the way that we would like them to be.

This type of 'love' is purely egoistic selfish passionate possessiveness and attachment, with selfish desires and expectations. This type of selfish love only bring unhappiness in ourselves and in the person whom we think we 'love' so much. We are being not free to love somebody, full of doubts, jealousy, fear and worry all the time, and the person whom we 'love' also is not free being 'loved' or 'possessed' by us.

Only unconditional love without expectation will promote peace, happiness and freedom in ourselves and in the person whom we love.

If we need to change ourselves to be 'somebody else' whom we are not, or do something to please someone in order to have him or her to love us in return, then this also doesn't bring peace and happiness. As he or she doesn't really love us the way as we are, but will only 'loves' us when we behave the way that he or she likes and agrees with. Or else he or she doesn't want to 'love' us anymore.

We need to allow the other person to be free to be who he or she is, without expecting he or she to be the way that we would like him or her to be.

And thus even though the qualities in us change all the time, our physical appearance, condition and abilities, our personality, feelings and behaviors, our likes and dislikes also will be changing from time to time, but we will love each other as we are, accepting all our changes as they are. We just love unconditionally without expecting anything in return.

If somebody doesn't love us, or doesn't love us anymore, it is not because we are not good enough. We shouldn't blame ourselves when relationship didn't turn out 'nicely' as how we like it to be.

This is our yoga practice. It is in our relationships with everyone, to love without attachment, conditions or expectation. There's no dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, frustration, fear, worry, and feelings of hurt, which derived from attachment and possessiveness.

The point is, in a true relationship, without expectation towards each other, out of each other's own free will, they will be faithful and committed to each other, and won't do anything that will hurt one another. It is not about one or both of them expect the other person should be faithful or expect the other person to give them what they want (For example, some people expect a faithful partner and a happy 'perfect' relationship that last forever). We will experience bitterness or unhappiness in any relationships is because the relationships didn't turn out the way that we expect it to be, or the way that we think it supposed to be. We are let down, or disappointed by our own expectations. It is not because the person whom we love didn't love us, or is not good enough.

We (the ego) are angry, disappointed and unhappy is because we didn't get the things that we want, or things didn't happen the way that we like it to be, or we have lost the things that we think they belong to us. It is not because our partner is not faithful to us, or doesn't love us anymore.

For example, it is not necessarily that we will be satisfied and happy when somebody gives us something. The act of giving or receiving is not what make us feel happy and satisfied if we have strong ego and attachment. We only will feel happy and satisfied when we receive something that 'we like', from anybody, or when we receive anything from the people whom we 'like' to be receiving from. Sometimes we won't feel happy and satisfied when we receive something that we 'don't like', even if it is coming from the people whom we think we 'love'. Or we won't feel happy or satisfied even when we receive something that we 'like', but it is not coming from the people whom we want to be receiving from. If somebody whom we dislike gives us something that we like, we won't feel the same as when it is given by someone whom we love very much. This indicates that we will only be happy and satisfied when we get what we want and the way that we want, it's not because the person who loves us gives us something, and it's not because the things that are given to us are something that we like. It is about the right person gives us the right thing the way that we want.

Can we see how selfish we are? We only 'love' the things that we like and want. We are happy and satisfied only when things happen the way that we like it to be. We don't really 'love' the people whom we think we 'love' very much, if we have strong attachment and possessiveness, and have selfish desires and expectations from the people whom we think we 'love'. And so, we stop blaming our partner for being 'unfaithful' or 'not good enough', or didn't give us what we think he or she should give to us, or didn't treat us the way that we want him or her to treat us, or didn't give us the type of relationship that we want.

No one is obligated to be nice to another person. If we expect everyone should be nice to one another, especially when ourselves is nice to other people, and we expect other people should be grateful and thankful, and they should also be nice to us in return, we will be very disappointed, if they don't. But if anyone will be nice to us out of loving kindness from their own free will, not because we have been nice to them, then we appreciate this loving kindness without attachment, without clinging onto this kindness, or craving for more. Without aversion or fear that this loving kindness is no longer available. As true loving kindness is not about something 'in exchange' for something. It's not about give and take.

Be grateful for other people being nice to us out of loving kindness, not because they are obligated to be nice to us, because we have been nice to them. Give without expecting anything in return, although something might come back to us naturally, but not necessarily the way that we expect it to be. Give out of love, not because we are obligated to give back something in return after we receive something. Be nice without expecting any kind of nice reactions in return. Be nice out of love, not because we are obligated to be nice in return for other people being nice to us.

It doesn't matter there's nobody shows gratitude or appreciation for what we give. It doesn't matter if other people don't like or are dissatisfied with what we give. It doesn't matter if other people criticize or condemn us after we give. We are not determined by praise and condemn, compliment and criticism, success and failure, if we know what is non-attachment towards our actions, and renounce the fruit of actions.

May all be free to love, and be loved.

Om shanti.

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Know thyself. There is no existence of 'I'. Everything is impermanent. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

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My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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