This is a deep dive into the one word that may be more confused or have a greater subjective meaning than any other in the English language: Love. So what does it really mean?
‘Take it that you are not going anywhere but here, and that there never was, is, or will be any other time than now.’
– From Tao: The Watercourse Way
There is no other version of you other than the one you are right now. Your past may have shaped you, but the current you, the thoughts in your head, the things you do, the way you treat people and try to connect with them is the only version of you there is.
So what’s that version like?
It’s possible that the only way you can truly love someone, and truly want the best for them (no matter how it affects you) is if you are completely and deeply content to not be with anyone at all.
There can be no dark without light, no pain without joy and similarly no possibility of wanting the best for someone else (and loving them) without first doing the best for yourself and loving yourself.
A contentment of who someone else is, and a true desire for their comprehensive happiness may only come as a result of cultivating (or wishing) that upon yourself. This kind of love –one free of possession, jealousy, repression, selfishness which impinges on the other’s freedom or joy etc.) may only be possible with a friend. A friendship may be the only type of love where you wish the other person to fly where they want, even it means you’re left on the ground.
But it’s that love of oneself, and an acceptance that this right now is the only reality that exists, this version of you is the only true one, and the acceptance that it could be the only version you want to exist, that may ironically lead us to find the people we truly love.
Whether they became friends or lovers.