To have unconditioned happiness,
have unconditioned love
for one and all.
There is a great conversational gem in the underrated film ‘Adaptation’. In it, Charlie spoke of, to his brother Donald, a time in high school, when he was watching him talk to a girl called Sarah, whom Donald had a crush on. Though she appeared sweet to Donald, when he walked away, she made fun of him to another person. Being twins, Charlie felt bad for both of them, though Donald seemed so happy then. To his surprise, Donald revealed that he did hear them making fun of him.
Puzzled, Charlie asked why he remained happy despite the ‘betrayal’. Donald replied that he loved Sarah. ‘It was mine, that love. I owned it. Even Sarah [who didn’t appreciate it] didn’t have the right to take it away. I can love whoever I want.’ Charlie retorted that Sarah thought Donald was pathetic, to which he said, ‘That was her business, not mine. You are what you love, not what loves you. That’s what I decided a long time ago.’ After some thoughtful pause, Charlie thanked Donald, for his invaluable sharing.
Why let others define how you should feel? You are the one who decides. Let no one hold your happiness ransom. Be in control. As Master Cheng Yan taught, ‘To be angry is to let others’ mistakes punish yourself.’ Why not just do what is appropriate to right the situation? If not possible, why not just move on? Hearing that a friend’s spouse of many years suddenly exclaimed that he never really loved her, I shared the dialogue above with her. As long as she was true-hearted over the years, she should have no regrets – because she is blameless. No one should destroy her faith in her true love – not even a lost love. Why let the heartless break your heart? Like Donald, just smile and move on!
To be enlightened is to be so big-hearted,
so embracing of all,
that the heart has no place to break.