This morning, after aerial yoga class, Jen and I were talking about forcing tulips.
One of the other women said, "Flowers. Who cares?"
Another woman agreed. "I never really notice flowers," she said.
How do we feel when someone doesn't care about our loved one? When our neighbor doesn't love our dog? Our parents don't love our husband? Our husband doesn't like our friends?
Usually, we feel personally insulted, as if their lack of love is an attack on us. Actually, it's our attachment that is under attack. The other person's lack of feeling for our love object has nothing at all to do with us. It actually has nothing to do with our loved one either. It's all about them, the one who is lacking in love.
I could have blurted out "But I love flowers!" and laid the groundwork for a little civil war between us. "Well, i don't." But what is the purpose of that conversation? Why argue with reality?
Hatred never ceases through hatred, the Buddha tells us.
Hatred is healed only by love.
This is an eternal law.
Dislike (theirs) never ceases by dislike (ours).
Irritation never ceases by getting irritated back at them.
The war within ourselves or with someone else never ceases by making war on them (or our self).
Can I open my heart to the non-lover of flowers?