That we feel love- is a unanimous fact.

But how it prompts us to act and react seems to be individually determined. My state of mind determines whether I perceive love as a need, as an attachment or as pleasurable affection.

Does everything good, pleasing and gratifying indicate the presence of love and all that is painful, difficult and demanding- its absence? Why do we forge relationships out of love’s will and end them on ours? And then, why is every love story- with fiery, passionate beginnings- fated for an eventual separation, either physically or emotionally? Does a long-standing relationship indicate love’s blessing and a short-lived one its curse? And when our ‘affairs’ end, what changes mark our new beginnings? These questions that we frequently ask, indicate a need to assess our understanding of what love is and to stand enlightened about its place in our relationships.

How disintegrated and complex is the adult human heart! And in true inverse proportion how simple and effortless are the ways of children! Why is it so easy to love a child and so difficult to love an adult?

Children make no ‘conditions’ by which they shall ‘trade’ love. They don’t set out to make its laws; neither do they contemplate them; they simply follow them. And one of the most fundamental laws of love is ALIGNMENT. Children simply align themselves with their parents or environment in an unconscious bid to grow and be nourished. Adults, on the other hand, have developed a mind and the mind as such, is characterized by memories, ideas, needs, desires and attachments. Adults NEED love for other reasons-primarily for SELF-FULFILMENT. As we grow, so does our sense of lack. As adults we have unwittingly programmed ourselves to act to fulfil our ‘needs’. We’ve never really taken the time to discover our fullness. We enter into relationships to fulfil our needs, not realizing that the person we seek fulfilment from, is himself/ herself seeking fulfilment. How can someone who himself feels denied or deprived fulfil the needs of another?

To love another adult requires a constant examination and purification of one’s emotions. As adults, we feel loved when we are understood, respected, trusted, attended to, wanted and desired. Yet, if each is focussed on his/ her own demands to be met, the relationship can only end in tragedy. However, love- if we allow it to have its way- will eventually re-acquaint and align us with our own hearts.

Love’s fulfillment lies in two becoming one whole and then eventually, one whole realizing that it always was, is and will always be- All. For the individual, that love is true that fulfils the needs- not of the ego, but of the soul. Love, in the adult human mind, begins as a furtherance, an extending out of your self; and is experienced as a fuller presence. In wanting to repeat and recall the experience of that fuller presence, we embark on a journey that is more often than not, marked with rejections, trials and antagonisms. In and through those experiences, through every changing emotion, through every triumph of the spirit, we stand re-acquainted and fully aware of our essence. Love extracts out of you your full worth.

Which is why, sometimes even after a relationship has ended, your new beginning is marked- not with a sense of loss, but with a sense of gain. You sense a growth, re-discover your self-esteem, develop greater self-reliance, become more responsible, realize your faith and cultivate the ability to endure, tolerate and be patient. You plumb your depths and find within you unbelievable strength and courage. Love’s path is an upward path. Falling in love is a weakness of the human heart and rising in it- its strength. Love begins as affection and is fulfilled with realization of the Self. When you discover and realize within you- self-confidence, courage, faith, independence, tolerance and patience- then only do you gain a full awareness of love within you. Love then, ceases to be a thirst and becomes the fountainhead of every action that flows out of you.  The difference between falling-in-love and rising-in-it is that in the first condition, it begins as a ‘need to receive’  and in the second- as a ‘need to give’. Simply put, love must GROW. It must  transform from being needy to now being abundant.

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