Falling in Love!
A few weeks ago, as girls do when you leave them alone together, a very dear friend and I got chatting about love and marriage. The conversation, ... erm, deteriorated and the next thing, we were shrieking with laughter figuring that with all the affairs going on in the world, it’s only fair that we at least get an offer or two. Of course, we planned to refuse, it’s just the being wanted we were after!
Affairs truly are no laughing matter. With divorce rates sky high, we can probably all agree that marriage is tough and brings many challenges with it. Fidelity being one. As anyone who has experienced infidelity will know, it’s incredibly painful to be cheated on. And yet it happens. A lot.
For most of us, there is something very enticing about the surge of emotions physical attraction calls forth in us. That ‘something special’ can be very hard to resist, and the urge to dive right in and indulge can be overwhelming.
It reminds me of an article I came across years ago when I worked for Hospice. It's titled, ‘Loving with an Open Hand,’ and is particularly relevant to Hospice and they work they do with death and dying. It’s about learning to love without clinging and holding on to what you love. After years of attempting it, I have to say, it’s no small undertaking.
So how do we do it? Is it even possible to love without holding on? For guidance, let’s turn to Buddhists; experts in understanding the truth of suffering and the way to happiness. Buddhists believe that one of the root causes of suffering is attachment or desire. We see something, we want it and we usually want it now. Pretty much falling in love, in a nutshell! Buddhists suggest we examine whether the things we ‘think’ will make us happy, actually ‘do’. Make us happy, that is.
They are also incredibly optimistic about human nature. Buddhists believe that, fundamentally, at our core, we are inherently good. This means that something that brings us happiness but causes harm to others, may gratify us in the moment, but cannot, and will not, lead to long term happiness.
It’s food for thought and certainly useful in helping us pause for a moment before launching ourselves into the romantic fray. Resisting temptation is difficult. As hard as it may be, there is a lot to be said for learning to love with an open hand. It’s kind of like Gregory David Roberts says above, it’s breaking our heart, in the right way!
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I'm a Personal Development Life Coach who specialises in L.I.F.E (Living Into your Fullest Expression). Based in Richards Bay, on the East Coast of South Africa, I live with my long-suffering husband, (his description!), two much-loved dogs and care for my elderly father who has Alzheimer's.
Read more about me here.