How to differentiate between Love and attachment? This is one of the questions which I have encountered many times in my counselling sessions specially with teenagers, college going youngsters and people out in the world for the first time.
And this dilemma of feeling is due to the error in the definition in dictionary and our understanding of the vocabulary.
Love as defined in Webster is
- strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
- maternal love for a child
- attraction based on sexual desire
- affection and tenderness felt by lovers
which is completely absurd in my point of view.
If you are truly in the feeling of love, this question will not arise in your mind. If you are encountering a feeling, which you are not sure if it is love or attachment or affection, it is surely not love. Love is such a blissful feeling that you will feel it at once and even your social circle will also come to know. People around you who know you, will smell the fragrance of love from within you. Love is the fragrance of flower, which even the flower cannot stop from spreading.
Love is a revolution, it is the death of ego. It might be triggered by a relationship, but it is not associated with any relationship. It is a universal state of your mind.
Love is a synonym for blissful state, meditative state or devotional state. This state transforms you. It will uplift your soul to such state, that you will feel love for everyone. You will not be able to hurt anyone, or think negative about anyone. This is a universal feeling not restrained to one person, just as a flower cannot restrain its fragrance to any one person.
In other case, you might have developed strong feelings for any one particular person. You feel attracted, hurt, angry, emotionally drawn and other strong feelings depending on situation towards the other person. This is the affection mostly physical due to hormones play inside you.
Love is the way to know the God, the nature, the universe or any name you may give to the totality of existence. Love and Meditation are sides of the same coin, as one leads to the other. You will be automatically in meditative state when in the feeling of love. Or when in meditative state you can experience the feeling of love.
The idea is to be clear of what you feel, whether love, or affection or just shear attachment. We should know our feelings in and out.