Love Without Expectations

Can You Love Without Expecting Anything?

To love and to be loved—is the deepest longing of the human heart. Nothing can satisfy our soul like love can. No matter what we have, without the sweetness of love, life is like a barren desert. That’s why, deep within, we all seek love. 

But to love, one needs to have great maturity of being. The shallow and shoddy ‘self’ that we have, is incapable of love. A self that is not circumscribed by its own pettiness and limitations, that can go beyond its corrupt desires and hankerings, only such a heart is capable of great love. 

The self must die to know what love is. 

As long as this self exists, all the self-centric activities also exist. And as long as we’re caught in this self-centric movement, we cannot experience love. 

What Is Self? 

The ‘self’ is the center of our being, built up by thought-stuff. This is the ‘I’, the ‘me’. And what is this ‘I’ made of? Desires, fears, sanskaras, knowledge, experience and conditioning— ‘I’ is the result of all that. 

Whatever ‘I’ wants is its desire to be fulfilled and complete. ‘I’ says, ”I want love”. It is for the pleasure of ‘I’, isn’t it? When we say “I love you”, what does it mean—have you ever wondered? 

The ‘I’ is only concerned about itself, not about the other person. This is selfishness, self-centric desire. So, how can ‘self’ love ‘self-lessly’? If the whole concern is only to satisfy this greedy self, can there be love? 

To love, one has to go beyond the self, has to surrender itself, has to dissolve. Only then there is merging, union.

Love is essentially this: the longing to be one. This state of oneness is love. 

Love & Expectations

Every act of ours is actually the projection of our desires and expectations. Whatever we do, we have expectations behind it. This is so with love also.

We love with the expectation that we’ll get love in return, no? Everybody loves like this. But, is this love at all? When we want something in return, it’s not selfless. It’s a kind of deal we’re making. If we cannot give something without expecting anything in return, how miserly we must be‽ If we always think “What will I get?”, we can never even remotely experience the true benediction of love. We have to drop this thought. 

That’s why, so much emphasis is given to bhakti, because unlike other paths, the path of bhakti is a simple one. If we can drop just this one thought and can surrender totally, God-realization then becomes almost guaranteed. We just have to go beyond the self. And love can easily do that. And this is the most beautiful and ecstatic way to reach God. The other paths are relatively hard and dry. 

Expect What?

What will you expect anyway? When we’re in love, we don’t expect anything. All expectations evaporate like dew-drops upon sunrise. When the dazzling light of love shine in our consciousness, all petty desires and expectations melt away. And if it is not so, you are not in love! You are merely projecting your desire as love. 

Last Words

If you must love, love as if there’s nothing to gain, only everything to lose, even your ‘self’; nothing to expect, only tears of ecstasy to shed…

Note: I have delved deep into the subject of expectations. The post is titled The Truth About Expectations. Do read it and share your views. 

Thank You 🙏

Image Credit: pexels 

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Alok Singha

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