Attachment is a sort of blind feeling that tortures the soul and accomplishes nothing. Attachment is not love. Real love is happy only in the happiness of the beloved. You say that you love your wonderful friend, that you enjoy his company and love to serve him. Then he leaves you. If you are miserable thinking of your loss, you are foolish.
That attachment will do neither you nor your friend any good. Rather, you should wish your friend happiness and tell yourself that some day you will understand why he left. Whatever is God’s will, and whatever is best for your friend—that should be your wish.
“I am happy for his sake”
It is important never to be too seriously attached to anything or anyone. A mother should train herself to say, “When my child grows up and moves away, or even if he dies and is taken away from me so that God may glorify him, I am happy for his sake.”
When a mother can withdraw her natural human attachment, she will understand what true love is. Attachment cannot foster that love. Rather, it destroys love and is the source of much misery.
Personal love is selfish
Why does Nature cause us to love some people so dearly, only to snatch them away from us, at least from our view? Divine Love says: “If you love Me, you will love Me not in one being, but in all. Though you try to cage Me in one person, I will destroy in the end the body-frame which holds him, so that you may learn to find Me in all.”
Personal love is selfish and considers its own comforts, often at the cost of everything else. Divine love is unselfish; it seeks the happiness of the object of its love, and is not partial or limited. All those who aspire to know Him must prove to Him that their love, like His, is for all.
It is natural, but ego-inspired, to love those who love you. To love those who do not love you, or who even hate you, is to see God in all. When a soul proves to the Heavenly Father that he loves his good and evil brothers equally, then the Father will say: “My noble son, I accept thy love for thou lovest all with My love, even as I do.”
You belong to no one
Reflect always on this deep truth: You belong to no one, and no one belongs to you. You are on this earth for only a little while. Your family claims you as its own. Should you die, however, and be reborn next door, will they love you? Will they even recognize you?
Your friends claim you as theirs, but if you cease in some way to please them, perhaps even by some trivial misunderstanding, how many of them will remain loyal to you? Not all of them, by any means. People say that they love others, but in fact they love themselves. For the love they feel for others is only to the extent that others please them.
Only our love for God is ever fully requited—indeed, far more than requited, for God understands us when all others misunderstand us. God loves us when others turn against us. God remembers us when everyone else forgets us. We are God’s, and God’s alone, for all eternity.
Feel with the hearts of others
To feel God, you must extend the territory of heartfelt feeling itself. You feel, at present, only with your own heart. Each day you should also try more and more to feel with the hearts of others. Feel their woes, their struggles, their joys, their fulfillments.
Begin with sensitivity to the needs of one person. Day by day, widen your circle of sensitivity to include more people. Let your feelings for them be active, not merely passive and sentimental. Try to love them actively by helping them every day, especially those who love you.
Keep on acting in this spirit until you can do the same for those who care nothing for you. Finally, let the feeling of love, good will, and spontaneous helpfulness expand to enfold those who don’t know you and even those who hate you.
This is a practical way by which the soul can expand its victories from heart to heart, ever enlarging its boundaries until at last it recovers its rightful kingdom in the hearts of all creatures. As you recognize the God-love burning secretly in all heart-lamps, you will realize that it is God’s love alone flowing through everyone and everything.
Every time you meet a receptive human being, show interest in his physical, mental, and spiritual welfare. Never neglect to do whatever you can for yourself in the forms of others.
The only purpose of life
All things are held together by the bonding force of God’s love. All love, in its native purity, is God’s love. The laws of God are the laws of brotherhood and love. The only purpose of life is to find that love. There is no greater tonic. It beautifies man in both body and mind. That love cannot be described or defined. It can only be experienced, as a deep feeling.
Man’s love is born in his human relations and in recognition of mutual usefulness. Pure love, however, becomes freed from every condition, including the condition of mutual usefulness. Although love is born in that sense of usefulness, in pure love, one ceases to be aware of any such outward condition.