“It’s okay to care.”
Buddhism says: let go of attachment. But is it okay to long for love? Is it okay to care deeply about issues?
Buddhism is well known for the “three poisons”: aggression, ignorance…and craving, or attachment. In case you didn’t guess by their moniker, the poisons are…not something we want to be full of.
But if we’re not attached, what about love? What about longing? What about desire? What about joy? Are we supposed to be detached, nihilistic cold cucumbers?
I just sat with my dear actual-real-life friend Brandi last night for a video convo about Buddhism, and being of benefit. She and I discussed attachment vs. love, and love vs. nihilism.
I want to be clear, here, since I’ve received some caring DMs to the contrary, saying, you should let go of wanting to be a dad, of wanting to fall in love and be in a loving, communicative, teamplayering relationship where listening and communicating and effort and respect and patience and growth all can take place…I want these things. I know I want them, I’m aware I want them, and yes, I like myself without those things, and I practice maitri when I’m sad, but I’m also okay being sad.
I’m okay not being okay, sometimes.
It is okay to care, in my experience. I do care, and I’m open about that, about falling in love, about partnership, about getting the honor to be a loving dad somewhere down the road.
It’s okay to care. Not all caring is attachment, though I never mind the reminders from you all, again, I appreciate your DMs. I may be sad, sometimes. I may be vulnerable, too often. I do want to fall in love and raise a loving family, very much. But I do take care, too, to be kind and honest with myself, both. I love listening and learning. I am suffering with a wounded, sad heart, and that’s not the fault of anyone—it’s an opportunity to learn and grow and find someone who does want to be a partner, a teamplayer, with me, in this life. Mwuah.
It’s okay to care. But, too, we need to keep our hearth fire burning.
Attachment is a problem if we’re hooked. It pulls us out of our own lives, and into a realm of fantasy or nightmare. Hungry ghosting our way forward is no way to live.
But, too, not caring is no virtue. Nihilism is craven and cowardly and worst of all, lazy.
The simple trick is to come back to our present, to our hearts, to dare to feel the sadness or the longing, and to ground and open, both. It’s okay to care—in fact, it’s our Buddha Nature, floating up up through the confusion like a rubber ducky in a bath.
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