Love is a double-edged sword that can cut as well as heal. If we are under the illusion that love is some external commodity available for consumption, we may fantasize that perhaps someday, someone will manage to package it into a free, small, plastic gizmo that we sometimes find at the bottom of a cereal box!
Possessive love stems from insecurity and greed. There is a wish to swallow, to consume and to own the person or thing. The strength or intensity of desire is a reflection of what we think we are currently lacking. This is not love but an expression of our desperation to feel whole. Attempting to take something and make it ours is aggressive and violent, for it is about subjugating another soul to boost one’s ego. It’s unhealthy, it’s bad karma, and it will only bring about suffering. Those who try to put a leash on another’s freedom are not free themselves. It is possible that many of us know people who have been in such relationships, have perhaps been in such situations ourselves and can see that these are not unions but a chain-gang of two!
If we have lost touch with ourselves and the true nature of the world around us, we will feel empty, and we will constantly be searching for something to make us feel whole. If it’s love, then love becomes a commodity, a scarce resource, something that we try in all sorts of different ways to get. Often we have pushed true love so deep down inside ourselves that we can no longer even recognise it. Love then becomes something that we lack, and therefore something that only someone or something else can give us.
A man once went to the Buddha and asked how he could achieve enlightenment. He was desperate to do so, and wanted Buddha to guide him. Buddha told him to go out in the countryside for a week and think of anything except the white elephant. ‘Easy enough’, thought the man to himself and for the next week tried his level best but unfortunately, he was not able to think of anything but the white elephant. The man went back to the Buddha and explained his predicament at which Buddha simply smiled. Indeed, you can spend your entire day searching for something you think you have lost, only to find the same in your pocket, at the end of the day.
When you are in a comfortable and loving relationship, you feel free to experience togetherness when you want it and free to get some distance when you need it. If it’s a solid relationship, there’s no harm done or offence taken, as this is a natural balancing act of daily change. Unless you are good at it, ESP rarely works. When there’s no communication between two partners, the karma starts to fly. Confusion begins to grow from the weight of so much doubt and mistrust in the air. The lack of understanding plants the seeds of frustration, and thus of suffering.