Gautama Buddha stated attachment to loved ones are causing us to suffer. When some people hear this they say things like, ‘so I can’t love my family, friends or children?’ They say this because they are getting attachment and love confused. They really are not the same thing.
Of course we should love and have compassion for our families and friends, in fact we should love and have compassion for everyone. Gautama Buddha wasn’t cold-hearted or a killjoy, he was stating a fact of life, holding onto people causes us endless suffering. Love people, for sure, but what we shouldn’t do is hold onto them as though they belong to us and they are going to be around forever. It is this holding on tightly, and thinking people are permanent, that is causing us to suffer.
We think this person is mine and I will always have them. So when they die, leave us or simply stop caring for us we are not mentally prepared for it and we invariably suffer. This is attachment, it is not love.
If we understand that things change and nothing lasts forever, we will be able to love without attachment, and in my eyes that is true love. Enjoy the people around you at the moment, but keep in mind that someday they will not be there. This is love.
There is a fine line between love and attachment, but if you can separate the two, you will be able to cherish the people around you without causing them or you suffering.
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