“If you love a flower, don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up, it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.”
This week’s quote about love was chosen in honor of Valentine’s Day. While it is nice that we have a holiday dedicated to love, it is also somewhat confusing. Afterall, we aren’t celebrating love as the fundamental force that created the universe. This isn’t about honoring love as the very fabric of our existence. Instead, we are being sold the romantic version of love- the version that includes attraction, infatuation and possession.
In today’s consumerist society, the idea of love is often confused with that of ownership. Our popular love songs, for example, have lyrics like, “I’ve got to have you,” or “I’m going to make you mine.” We are led to believe that love means holding onto someone tightly and never letting them go. This tendency towards ownership and possession of another can be the cause of great suffering, especially since you can only lose someone if you are convinced that this person actually belonged to you in the first place.
There is nothing unnatural about wanting to hold onto that which you find attractive. Whenever you see something beautiful, you naturally want to possess it- to make it yours. Perhaps you think that its beauty will reflect on you. That is, by owning something beautiful, people might think that you are beautiful too. However, contrary to popular belief, true love is not about holding on, it’s about letting go.
As Osho points out, the moment you pick a flower, it stops being what you love. In the same way, loving someone is not the same thing as owning them. The best way to love someone is not to limit them or control them, but rather to give them all the space and freedom they need to grow and blossom. So, don’t get too caught up in trying to make someone your Valentine this year. It’s far better to appreciate the one you love than to possess them.
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About The Author
Nick Hughes is a massage therapist, yoga instructor and co-owner of Well Being. Influenced by the ideas of Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, and Deepak Chopra, Nick presents his unique take on human existence with the goal of helping others live a happier life.