Adapted from Living Affinity, by Hsing Yun (Lantern Books, 2004).
Love certainly can be confusing: some kinds of love are “healthy,” others are “unhealthy;” some are “giving,” others are “possessive.” Love has its pluses and minuses.
Sometimes we could all use a little clarity around the whole issue of love. Find out what this wise Buddhist master has to say about it, and then pass it on to someone you love.
From the perspective of its minuses–
Love is like a piece of rope: it can be binding and restrictive.
Love is like a lock: it can shackle us and make us restless.
Love can be blinding: it can keep us in the dark without any awareness that we have compromised our principles and standards.
Love is like the honey on a sharp blade: it can entice us to lick the blade, even at the risk of cutting our tongues and risking our lives.
Love can be like a sea of suffering: its turbulent waves can trap us in its depths.
From the perspective of its pluses–
Love gives us the strength to make sacrifices, to give, to encourage, to connect and to be compassionate.
Love is like a road map: it gives our lives direction and we can see our destination with clear visibility.
Love is like a blanket: it provides us with warmth and security.
Love is like a box of chocolates: it is sweet and full of surprises.
When we love properly, we expand our love for a few to compassion for all. This love can help all beings to live with happiness and freedom, and it is anything but small and powerless–it is the reason for our existence!