Are you yearning for someone to love? Or are you in love and want to be sure it will last and grow deeper and richer with time? These are wonderful goals—and so few people achieve them! You can be one of these lucky ones if you don’t fall into the hidden traps that make loving so difficult. For that you need to bring your understanding and practice of love to an entirely new level.
Most people’s ability to love is held hostage by their egos. It’s a sad story: they may have moments of tasting pure, unconditional ecstasy in their hearts, but then, almost immediately, their desires take over. Now they want to possess, control and manipulate the object of their desire. They become frustrated, angry, distant and cold and conflicts abound. Unconsciously they do everything that obstructs—and may even kill—the impulse of love that for a moment so inspired them.
Others don’t even get that far. They begin with trying to manipulate their potential lover and if they get from them what their ego wants they call it love. This is very confusing. They think they are in love but they are suffering from ego inflation. Their ego swells because their lover makes them look good, provides for them, gives them comfort or sexual thrills, or helps them forget that they don’t feel good about themselves. They think it’s all about their lover, but in reality it’s all about them.
Of course there is nothing at all wrong with any of these benefits—when they come as a byproduct of real love. But when they are the main purpose for a relationship, true love is dead, you’re using or being used, and soon enough an inevitable frustration and disappointment will set in. ‘Love’ based on getting what you want is a balloon that will pop sooner or later. We call it ‘falling out of love,’ but it’s really falling out of self-deceit.
What remains is a yearning for something else, something deeper, something lasting and meaningful. This can blossom in a relationship only after your understanding and skill of loving are at a higher level. This requires a spiritual view which usually begins with disillusionment. This is a great thing: “dis-illusionment”. It means that you are losing your illusions. Only once your illusions about love clear out you have a chance to learn to love the right way, perhaps for the first time. Disillusionment means meeting reality. Congratulations!
You meet reality when you realize that what you’ve been doing about love can never work. You’re like the beggar who complains about his cruel life every day as he puts down his head to sleep on a hard brick he has rapped in some cloth. Only after he dies someone removes the cloth and realizes that unknowingly the beggar has slept every night on a brick of pure gold. This beggar in you has to die so you can realize that you have a Heart of pure gold and can learn how to use it!