Love Lessons | Paulo Coelho Love vs. Possess

"Love one another, but let's not try to possess one another. 
I love this man...because I do not possess him and he does not possess me. 
We are free in our mutual surrender..." 
Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

I just finished reading, Eleven Minutes this week and decided to pull this week's love lesson directly from the pages of Coelho's book. Possession is a concept we learned early in our childhood years, when we learned how to say the word "mine" and realized the meaning behind it. The word was likely followed up with a defiant gesture of some kind, like pulling whatever it was you were declaring as "yours" closer to you. Prior to reading the above quote, I had never looked at possession, love, and relationships in the same context. However after some reflection I realized it's practically the basis of how most of us look at our significant others and the love that they give us. 

As the quote implies, love is a surrender. It's a mutual decision and an act done willingly by both parties. Just like with any gift, the love someone decides to give you is theirs to give. You can't and don't own someone else's love. You can't control it and you don't decide for them who they give it to and for how long. However, this thought process would explain why we feel so hurt and broken up when a relationship doesn't work out. It's because we feel we were robbed of something we possessed when it ends as if it were ours to begin with.
I could write on end about this, but to simply things a bit, let's just look more closely at the words themselves and let them do the talking.

Merriam-Webster's definition of possess (v.):
1. to have and hold as property: own 
2. have complete power over someone
3. to seize and take control over
Synonyms: dominate, obsess, haunt, consume

Merriam-Webster's definition of love (v):
1. take great pleasure in
2. to like or desire very much
3. to hold dear
Synonyms: appreciate, treasure, value

Wow! Just glancing over the list of definitions for each, it's clear to see that love and possession are not one in the same nor are they similar or related in any way. Love is a gift. Love is sacred and should be treasured and valued. It's not something that you're entitled to and you can't control it or the person that has decided to share their love with you. When you do, you can rest assured it means trouble and the end of the relationship sooner rather than later. This perspective on possessing someone's love is ruining our relationships, ruining perfectly good potential mates (because after you've been hurt so much, you naturally become jaded) and standing in the way of authentic connection and real love in it's original intent. More in depth post to come.

With Love & Gratitude,
~C. Nzingha