Love Without Possession

That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it. ~Paulo Coelho

I have been doing a lot of thinking recently about the concept of home and the emotion of love as well as the combination of both of them. “home is where the heart is,” true, however, the heart is where home is too. We distinguish what home means to us and where it is depending on our feelings, our comfort, where we exist as we truly are. Therefore, home can constantly change because we carry it within us. It can be found wherever we go and felt wherever we are. Yet, when you find a particular place that brings you back to where you have always been, a place that feels as though you never left, where your soul flies, your heart dances, and your dreams are realized, then you have come back to the place you knew you would return to someday. There will be no doubt when you arrive at that place, all of your senses will be alive, your essence truly aware of its existence.

Many months ago, perhaps about 6 or 7, I wrote a poem and there was a line within it that spoke to me. As a writer, I know that there is a significant importance of reading one’s work after it has rested a while, for one discovers something about oneself in the process. Time allows for growth and change, going back enables the soul to remember and understand where it was, where it is now, and where it wants to go. The line is, “Recognize it when your heart tells you it is home.” These were words that I needed to hear now, as well as then, though it echoes more profoundly within my heart now.

In The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho says, “You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his Personal Legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love, the love that speaks the Language of the World.” We misunderstand love. We enter into relationships with the fear that we may lose the person with whom we are sharing love. We also believe that we must spend a lot of time with this person, that time is essential in order for us to get to know each other, that if we are to have time away from this person, it will only jeapordize the relationship that has begun. However, this is not love, love would never hinder another person from life’s journey, and part of the journey is following the path of ones dreams. Jealousy and fear are not friends of love. They are not present where true love resides. Society has instilled within us since early on in our learning that possession is a part of love, that to be in a relationship, (marriage being the ultimate commitment), we possess that person, they are ours. This is false. True love requires two people to come together who have similar values in life, truly deciding to live life in a way that coincides with the other, and both people are happy on their own, but they choose to be together for their love and respect for each other strengthens their happiness. It does not make them happy by itself. Happiness comes from within. It is in the hands of the individual. It will never require or expect another person to give up anything to be in love, most especially any dream that the person is holding with his heart. Love only encourages and there is no trace of fear, of getting hurt, of losing the other.

When you have found that special love, you will know, and you will also know that you can begin a relationship with that other person one day, be away from them for a period of time shortly thereafter, and nothing will change when you return, nothing changes while you are away. Rumi writes, “Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they are in each other all along.” It is this recognition that people talk about when meeting their ideal person. Knowing is a remembering. When you recognize this person, when you know this person, when you remember this person, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have to wait to be with her until you have the time to spend to devote to the relationship. Don’t make the mistake thinking that it isn’t fair to her if you have to be physically absent for periods of time. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have to sacrifice what you truly love to be with someone for you are already connected to that person, you are already communicating with that person, the physical contact is just the recognition of that other side of you. Be open to the possibility and the truth of ultimate love.

Something to ponder:

Does a soldier go to war in order to kill the enemy? No, he goes in order to die for his country. Does a wife want to show her husband how happy she is? No, she wants him to see how devoted she is, how she suffers in order to make him happy. Does the husband go to work thinking he will find personal fulfillment there? No, he is giving his sweat and tears for the good of the family. And so it goes on: sons give up their dreams to please their parents, parents give up their lives in order to please their children; pain and suffering are used to justify the one thing that should bring only joy: love.” ~Paulo Coelho

9 comments on “Love Without Possession
  1. Neige White says:

    I found your words and thoughts to be true and profound. Keep it up!

  2. What if love IS your personal legend? If “love never keeps a man from pursuing his personal legend” then what good is it for the world, if a man pursues a personal legend instead of pursuing and growing in love…love for the world, love for a woman, love for God? Will he not love much more fully if love IS the legend? Wouldn’t THAT be the type of man you’d want to be friends with?

  3. Gabriella says:

    Josh, I agree with you, that love is an important part of pursuing and growing in love as well as within oneself. Love is a powerful emotion that does drive one to keep a hold of the passion of living within one’s heart, love of anything really. I do like to ask someone what they are passionate about, because if you do that, you see how their face becomes animated and their eyes are shining…as they talk about what they are passionate about…so love is an inspiration for living and allowing the soul to feel alive…love, and feeling alive, that is the reason why we chose to live right? Yes, one will love more fully if love is the legend that one chooses to live and act from…it can be a powerful journey in that regard, ah, ain’t it grand?

  4. Thanks for the wonderful post…

  5. Priestess Kimberly says:

    Dear Gabriella,

    Thank you so much for this insight. As I am opening my heart again to love, this brings me great understanding. It is a brave thing to love without possession. This is something that I have never done. In reading Kahlil Gibran on Love from “The Prophet” I have made the choice to follow love though “his pinions may wound you…and his voice may shatter your dreams.”

    With Much Love and Light,
    Priestess Kimberly

  6. Gabriella says:


    It is such a joy to share in this beautiful tribute to what unconditional love is. I absolutely love what Kahlil Gibran says about love and marriage. His poem on marriage is what I shall have read at my wedding when that moment comes, because I truly feel that love is shared between two people who are connected with the love within themselves, and as they connect to that love within themselves then they choose to share it together. They are sharing in their love while not looking to the love from another to make them happy but they love knowing that it is the love within them that brings them happiness, and they choose consciously to share this love together. To love without conditions, without expectations, with respect and appreciation…is the deepest way to be in love. To enjoy the moment together to allow for the next moment to unfold as it will…

    All my love,

  7. Zongie says:

    “…Loving without possessing couldn’t mean anything less than looking to the self and experiencing the Self in the presence of another. Often times, we look to the other person – what is it that their doing, saying and offering in order for us to define love. When all that their doing, saying and offering doesn’t size up to our expectitions we feel offended, less loved – which leads to the deterioration of the relationship. The secret is in experiencing the Self that love with expectations.

  8. Zongie says:

    Correction: The secret is in experiencing the Self that loves without expectations.

  9. Gabriella says:

    I absolutely agree with you, that we have passed the responsibility and blame onto others in relationships and that is the old way of relationships. The new way is being self aware and looking within for answers, looking within to know that there is something that may need to be released, and that what others do or don’t do is not personal against us. Relationships are mirrors for us to see ourselves more clearly, our beauty and what we may want to shift. Yes, when we place expectations on one we are sharing love with instead of taking our own action within ourselves, we can create unnecessary drama in the relationship. The thing is absolutely to be in the space/vibration of love with oneself and then sharing that love with another. You would enjoy reading this article about sharing your completeness with another: Sharing Your Completeness

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