"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds." - Shakespeare
I think I will be correct in guessing that most of you will have heard the phrase 'love hurts' before. But I wonder how many of you will have stopped to think about, and perhaps challenge this widely accepted notion.
I would like you for a moment to consider the possibility that this notion is entirely false and that love never hurts.
"That's rubbish!" I hear some of you saying. "Of course it sometimes hurts. Perhaps you have never been in love, Pete! Perhaps you are too busy just writing about it."
Now just hold your horses a minute! Give me a chance, will you? Let me explain a little further.
I am not trying to say that there is never any pain involved in romantic relationships. On the contrary, rare and precious indeed is the relationship in which there is not at least some pain and heart ache. My point is that the pain is never caused by love and that if you are loving in the true sense, then there cannot be any pain. Pain arises during the times when our attention moves away from love and focuses on something else.
Think about some of the times when a relationship has been painful and you will discover that at the root of the pain always lies not loving, but wanting.
Perhaps your love is unrequited and you want it to be requited. Perhaps your lover disagrees with you about something and you want them to agree. Perhaps you feel your lover does not understand you or show you enough respect and you want them to do so. Perhaps your lover has gone away for a long period and you want them to be home with you. Perhaps the excitement and passion in your relationship is not what it once was and you want to return to the past. Perhaps your lover has left you for another and you want them back, you want revenge, you want it all never to have happened.
Want, want, want.... the antithesis of love. Love desires nothing. Love is unconditional. The fulfilment of love is in the loving. It is in giving love, not getting what you want. You cannot love and want at the same time.
When we enter relationships we tend to bring with us expectations (conditions) and if these are not fulfilled, we feel disappointment and pain. But by its very nature, love has no expectations, no conditions. It is unconditional.
Love loves, regardless of circumstance, and in doing so is free from the pain that wanting or desire always brings as their shadow.
Of course, if we all start adopting the phrase 'wanting hurts', corporations relentlessly pushing consumerism might have a little more difficulty weaving it into their want-mongering advertising propoganda.
"Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods." - Socrates
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