ARE YOU IN-LOVE? … OR ARE YOU IN-LOVE WITH “LOVE”? (ON THE DANGER OF TOO MUCH LOVE-SEEKING AND OBSESSIVE CRAVING TO BE LOVED)
By: Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu
Novels dealing with the subject of love, romantic TV soap operas, and drama tele-series dealing with romance are very popular among us, because as human persons we are by nature, loving; and deep within our hearts, we long to establish ideal relationships to people we love. Last month, I went to National Bookstore at SM-Cebu; and I saw on the bulletin board that the bestsellers among non-fiction books for the past 6 months were those dealing with the topics of love and relationship. Non-fiction writers wrote treatises about what they think to be the ingredients of “real love”, analyzing and philosophizing upon it; and from their reflections, they give us practical “tips” on how to be successful in our love-life and in our relationships. “Self-help” books abound in bookstores: telling us how to find love, how to cultivate ideal love, how to be a good lover, etc, etc. These give us the impression that love is something very elusive; that we need to seek for it, strive to find “ideal” love and relationships, and that having found the “real” and the “ideal” in a relationship, we expect these from others. If we have this “need” of too much longing for love or an obsessive craving to be loved, I feel that we need to pose these relevant questions to ourselves to diagnose the aim in our love-seeking; “Am I in-love or am I just in-love with “love?” Is my obsession to be loved by someone a type of egotism or neurosis for self recognition? Am I in love with the concept “love”—is my cerebral obsession to find the essence of what I consider to be “ideal love” only a convenient escape for me to face the “real thing”, i.e., the practical dimension of the act of loving itself; which is loving real people in real life situations? I believe that it is about time to change our unhealthy penchant for love-seeking and obsessive hankering to be loved. We oftentimes use “love” as our mask for our egoism and as our convenient covering to hide our own self serving ways!
Why do we seek love? Love is all around us! The Lord has put Love within our very being. Love is all around us! The whole universe is pulsating with love—it is love that moves the whole universe. So, why do we obsessively seek for it? Instead of seeking for love and instead of too much craving to be loved, we should simply respond to the all-pervading presence of love in our lives by removing those barriers that can discourage its coming into our lives. “Your task is not to seek Love, but merely to find and break all the barriers within yourself that you have built against Love.”; so said Hazreti Jalaluddin Rumi, the 12th century Islamic Sufi mystic of Turkey. I believe that when we are able to destroy the barriers that our egos have created to isolate ourselves from others, barriers of fear and distrust which we have created for our own false sense of security; then we will be able to realize the all-pervading presence of Love in everyone and in everything around us. These barriers can manifest as feelings of dislike for another person, division, mistrust, fault-finding, hatred, envy, jealousy, insecurity towards others, etc. Having diagnosed these paralyzing barriers within our own “self”, and taking utmost efforts to extricate ourselves from the negativities that these barriers have produced in us; then we will be able to find the pathway to pure unconditional Love so that we may able to experience its altruistic manifestation in our lives. By choosing to love unconditionally and unreservedly, we will be able to realize that Hazreti Mevlana Rumi is right: “Love is all around us!” We do not have to seek for Love: we simply have to be worthy to welcome It to enter into our lives; by getting rid of all those egotistic barriers that hinder pure Love to fully come and occupy our very being. We can therefore choose to follow the way of unconditional Love; or we can choose to remain “in-love with the concept ‘love’ ” or to remain “in-love” with our own narcissism, or continue to be “in-love” with our self-seeking egos—making us forever locked inside the prison-barriers we made for ourselves, and thus continue to live in the delusion of isolating ourselves from others and from God. We have to choose which pathway to take… It is all up to us! (Written by: Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu; on May 22, 2012 at 7:42 AM.)
This is my philosophy teacher: a chubby but down-to-earth person I really adore :)