I don’t know about now, but this used to be a common line in movies and soap operas. Usually expressed when the other party has a change of heart, falling in love with another person.
If one’s heart is unchanging, then it would have been impossible for the two parties to even start liking each other. With the first change of heart, there is interest. With the second change of heart, there is liking. With the next change of heart, there is love. We like these changes of heart, but when the change of heart results in a fall out in the relationship, we fret. We are unhappy. We throw tantrums. We scorn at this change of heart.
We ridicule it, calling it heartless to have such a change of heart. We cry. We lament. We shout! We are angry. We are sad. We cannot understand how this is possible. We start to question. We question the other person. We question ourselves. We question the neighbour’s dog. “Doggie, do you know why? Was it because of the way I eat? No? You saw another person with him / her didn’t you?” We question the ants that crawl through the vents in the wall. We try to pry an answer from them but to no avail.
We question the aunty pushing the carts in the streets. We question the bus driver. We question our little niece and nephew. No, that is not your nephew, but your stranger’s son. We question. We doubt. We wonder. We ponder. We want an answer.
But the answer was always there.
If we care to listen. If we care to be quiet for awhile and just watch and observe. Right from the start, the heart was ever changing. No, there was no start. There was always a preceding moment. Obfuscated by our limited senses, we cannot phantom the preceding moments before our birth or our conception in our mother’s womb. But the wise one shared us a peek and let us in on the secret. That life is a continuum of mind and body, with one preceding the next. If we were to observe closely enough and were to watch really mindfully, we will see the truth in that.
That the mind is in a constant state of flux. The heart that is. The way the heart-mind 心 is, is to change. And it changes according to conditions, not according to anyone’s whims and fancy. So how can there be unchanging love?
And yet, there are numerous accounts of love-lorn pairs who remain faithful to their dying days. There is something sadistically beautiful about the human idea of love. We admire two person being tormented their whole life, apart from the one they yearn. If one party were to have a change of heart and actually be happy with someone else, we may even frown upon it! How strange this “love” is!
And yet, if we do have true love that is unchanging, then what value is it? If your partner has no choice but to love you, would that not cheapen it? Isn’t it greater when your partner has a choice and yet chooses to
love you, to be faithful, to honour and cherish you. Not because you are the best or the loveliest, but because he or she loves you? But we want to believe that we are the best in our partner’s eyes. And sometimes it is. For some days anyway. But perhaps it is when on the worse days, when your partner sees the worse in you, when he or she has a choice to choose better, and yet despite these, he chooses to remain faithful to his choice, that makes that fragile, changing love even more meaningful and worthy.
Love. Dependent on conditions it arises, without which it ceases. Fragile. Destructible. Ever changing. Empty of any inherent, substantial existence.
It is precisely because it is dependent arising, empty of any intrinsic substantiality, that makes it so precious and unique. Knowing thus, we should not and do not take it for granted. We cherish it. But at the same time, we know that it is subject to change, so we do not affix to it any fixed form or state. It must be like this or like that. This love between us and the joy therein must be so and shared between us only. Forever. No, we stop making such internal dialogue. We realise that this is impossible. We do not cling unto such deluded distorted fantasy.
We know that love must be nourished and sustained. And it will change. So we do not hold onto it and try to shoehorn it into a size 7 glass sandals when it is bursting to become the size 10 that it has become.
We learn to love and not hold onto love. We learn to care and not wait for care to come to us. We seek the welfare and happiness in others that we love, and not cry for the world to hold and love us.
Oh, my heart has changed, has been changing. Have yours changed?