I just finished this incredible book by Osho called ‘Being in Love’. It made me think a lot and question my intentions and reconsider what is driving me when I meet new people. Am I looking for something in particular? Do I judge at the speed of lightning? Am I just a simple animal looking for someone to fulfill my needs or do I actually love truly? What does love even mean? Did I misunderstand that completely?
When I was younger, and up until recently, actually, I thought lust equaled love. I thought the presence of lust would automatically mean that there was love between two people. I will go as far as to say that I have judged quite a few relations on that parameter. I still think passion is crucial, but is passion the same as lust? Lust means having a strong sexual desire for someone while passion is a strong and barely controllable emotion.
We should be able to feel the difference between the two, shouldn’t we?
But honestly, I am still struggling on that. I am confused as to whether what I am feeling initially in a relation is lust, fascination, attraction or love. Do I have a desire to possess this other person? Make him need me? Make him unable to live without me? Is that what I really want? Someone who is depending on me to be happy…to have his life fulfilled.
Hell no! That is by no means what I want. But you know what? That is what I have been doing. Unconsciously, I have been making men need me. I have been tricking them into believing that I was this wonder woman (and trust me, some of them would still claim that I am…. *sigh). I have been hiding the real me behind this beautiful facade, making them feel safe and comfortable – and there you have it! Comfortable! Yikes! Comfortable is the worst thing that can happen and I caused it all myself.
If I had been honest and open and courageous, I could have taken it all on myself and admitted to my stupidity. I could have told them that all this need they have for me is choking me and that I need to get out before I stop breathing. I could have told them that it was all my own fault because my ego was so obsessed with attention and making them love me that I forgot to listen to that little girl inside who loves her freedom, her independence.
What usually happens is that I start feeling guilty. I try to get the initial feelings back, but they lost the battle with pity and my experience tells me they will never come back. So I start getting frustrated. I start picking on this poor guy who thinks its just a phase I am going through, or PMS that I never used to suffer from before and I keep pushing him to realise that I am not that great. Could he just understand that and leave me so I don’t have to hurt him?
Because love doesn’t hurt
It is my dishonesty that hurts. My reversed possessiveness. If love had been there, there would have been no hurt. I would have been able to tell him what was going on inside me. I would have been open. I would have let him be strong on his own, independent of me, in no need of me.
I believe that in order to experience true and deep love with another person, both have to be totally and completely content about being alone. Neither of them should have any need for someone to complete them or fill out any cavities. If we join with someone in the search of happiness and we think that this other person will bring us happiness, we are loading a huge responsibility onto their shoulders. You are actually making someone else responsible for your own happiness. It is not fair. Nobody should be responsible for your joy and happiness but yourself. You.
What Osho is basically saying is that there are three kinds of love. Most of us live in love one, which is not the most evolved and deep state, Im afraid..
The first love is object oriented. You see someone you find beautiful or sweet or wonderful and you feel attracted to this person, you think you are falling in love. You feel a need to possess this person. How can you make this person yours? Have him or her to yourself? The relation is dominated by lust and it is often misinterpreted as love.
This love one has been very present in my life. I am sure most of you recognise yourselves in this. I don’t know if this is what we have been told love is. I guess the film industry has helped this belief along quite a bit. If you have a relationship in love one, you will most likely assume that this person is yours because he or she has promised to be yours. Unconsciously, you are limiting the other person, restricting, telling them what to wear, when to be home, how to behave etc. At some point one of you or even both of you are fed up and want your freedom back – or your life together turns dull and grey because netiher of you can breathe. Needless to say this happened to me more than once?
As Osho says, love one is good for the person who has nothing to begin with. But love one is not the goal – not at all.
Love two is subject oriented. You are overflowing with love – not only for this one person, but for everyone and everything around you. You have found love inside of you and it is bubbling and spreading all around you. You want to give the one you love the greatest gift of all – the gift of FREEDOM. In love two, love between a couple is a luxury, not a necessity. And because you want to give your beloved freedom, there is no room for jealousy or fear. You are enough when you are alone and when you have company, you are being spoiled and you enjoy it. You feel grateful for the time you have with someone, but you don’t feel betrayed if they fly off and enjoy their time with others.
This ‘love two’ can seem very frightening to most people. If you read it like I read it the first time, what he was saying was basically that we need to have open relationships and that our love will make it possible for us not to feel anger or pain in the process. But this is not the case, really…
He is not saying, go out and cheat all you want and nobody will get hurt. He is very clear throughout the book about the fact that it is hard work to be in a loving relation. It is hard work because OF COURSE emotions will come up. How will it ever be wonderful to hear your boyfriend say how beautiful he finds the lady across the street? But in order to be together in love, we should be able to share how we feel and be honest about our desires. Otherwise, we will be lying to each other.
For the girls, this means no more saying “yes” when you mean “no” and “no” when you mean “yes”. Say how you feel, but be prepared, because the outcome may not end up as you wanted it. He may actually go to that soccer game even though you were honest and said you wanted him to stay home. That’s freedom and respect. Because if you need a day to yourself or some time off away from him, he will let you do that too without feeling offended.
If you do love two well, you will both grow and grow. You will expand your love and be able to hold space for each other and other people. You might even be able to reach love three.
In love three there is no object and no subject. You are simply love. You and your beloved are one. This is what is termed unconditional love, divine love. God’s love. Whether you believe in it or not, it is the feeling of infinite love. It doesn’t stop and never will. It is there and it is unconditional. There is no real object to be loved and no lover to do the loving.
The way I see it is that this unconditional love is always there. It has always been there, but we have covered it up and limited it. The thing about love is that it is not scarce. So by loving my mother, I don’t love my sister less. I can love endlessly. The more I love the greater it gets. But for love three it goes even deeper than that, because there is no object or subject of the love. It is just there, ever present.
Any of the three types of love is suitable to where you are in your life. If you feel love one for someone, you should not feel ashamed to pursue it, just because it hasn’t reached love two yet.
Freedom is the greatest gift
The reason I am sharing this is that it made me realise something about my own patterns and how I keep getting stuck in love one when where I want to be is in love two or three. I have occasionally been experiencing love two and I guess that is why I am moving away from love one, since it is no longer interesting to me.
I hope it will make you think about your patterns and maybe make you wonder if you are actually suffocating the one you love because you want him or her so badly that you can’t stand the thought of letting go. Remember, freedom is the greatest gift you can ever give (and get)… It all comes back to you!