Developing Real Love ~ 17th Karmapa

We may want to do away with a problematic relationship, without addressing the underlying cause of those problems – in our own mind and heart. There is a Tibetan saying: “You are angry with the yak, but you whip the horse.” This reminds us how ridiculous it is to respond only to things that are not the real cause of our unhappiness. Love and emotional well-being rest within us, not outside of us. Therefore, in order to develop real love and to have healthy relationships, there is no way out of it: we need to probe our own mind and heart.

True love can sustain us when we learn to approach it in the right way. In order for love to be lasting and wholesome, the place to begin is by seeing the wholesome potential we have within our mind and heart. We should know both the faults and the good qualities that lie within us. This means recognizing the capacity for real love that we have, and facing the attachment and hatred that we may also have. The capacity for lasting love rests within our heart, but so do the obstacles to loving well: our self-centered habits, our attachments, our aversions, and our expectations.

17th Karmapa

from the book The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out

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