Love makes the world go round, goes an eternal English song. Certainly love is a great motivator and all the world loves a lover. But love is also a precursor to many of our problems.

To be technically correct, our problems lie not in love or the act of love. Love is a very selfless state of being and it is one of the rare times in our lives when we are happier while giving, rather than receiving. When you love someone, you are prepared to wit for hours on end at the coffee shop or at the mall……

But, the flip side of such love lies in expectations, which arise in us over time. We start expecting- maybe loyalty, maybe understanding-from our partners and others too. Sometimes these expectations are too irrational or just get too much to handle. We expect our loved ones, our relatives, to forgive us our frailties, and when love meets with disappointment over time, it boils over.

Love also leads to attachment. And tht attachment is actually a comforting illusion since all attachments will pass away and lead to a sense of loss. If there is an attachment to an object, say, a painting or a rare watch, it stirs a material craving in us, then pride over the possession and finally worry- whether it would be lost or damaged over time. Most of the collections you read about are people who are more worried than happy!

So, what is the point of their possessions? That is why all the great sages have advocated alife of detachment along the quest to spiritualism.

The moot question is: can detachment and love co-exist? To a large extent, and in a balanced mind, they can. Ad why should they not? It must be remembered that detachment does not mean neglect; it means letting things be. I agree that it is easier to give up our attachments, gently for material things. We can give up luxuries and be more basic to our wants. However, the true test lies in detaching ourselves from our near and dear ones.

We can start by not interfering in their descisions and by loering our expectations from them. We can then focus on spending our time for larger and more general causes, such as education and poverty reduction.

Gradually, we can give a new focus to our lives, one that I slightly removed from family and friends.

You may say that this is easier for those who have the means to be independent, but you will be amazed at the number of people from humble abodes who strive ceaselessly for social causes. Ironically, if you observe, the solution for gtting out of this love/attachments syndrome is just another version of the same. It is in giving unto others rather than ourselves, just like lovers, that we will get redemption.

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