Do not make anyone the source of happiness

Do not make anyone the source of happiness

As mentioned in Why do we feel so good when we are in love? and True love comes from your own source energy within, when we are in love, we align with our source energy. We naturally feel wonderful because we are in alignment with source, not because we are in love with a special person. The source of happiness lies in your union with your own source.

Unfortunately, many of us are unaware of this. As a result, we cling to the object of love and develop attachment. Many of us tend to erroneously associate attachment with love. Many of us would love to hear somebody say that he or she cannot live without us. Many of us would like to “possess” the other person. When love becomes attachment, it cannot help but undermine our own power.

The following is a tragic love story of King Gongmin and Queen Noguk which is a pretty well-known story in Korea.

source of happiness

King Gongmin and Queen Noguk

King Gongmin ruled a Korean kingdom called Goryeo in the 14th century. When he was young King Gongmin married a princess of the Mongolian Empire who became Queen Noguk for a diplomatic reason.

Nevertheless, the king was deeply in love with the princess and his love toward her remained passionate all along the marriage.

Unfortunately however, a tragic event happened to the royal couple when Queen Noguk suffered from a hard labor and died as a result. The death of Queen Noguk devastated King Gongmin so much that he ended up withdrawing himself from politics. “My queen, where are you? Why did you have to leave me alone?” His heart wrung with grief, the king mourned over her death everyday.

After entrusting a Buddhist monk named Shin Don with the political power to govern his kingdom, the king sought to find solace from his sorrow. He began to delve into paintings and resort to Buddhist prayers for some inner peace. Nonetheless, he would never be able to recover from his inner pain. For the rest of his life, King Gongmin remained uninterested in politics. As he was certain that no other women would be able to replace Queen Noguk, he distanced himself from women, venturing into homosexual relationships.

Meanwhile, the absence of the king in court drove the country into chaos. An increasing number of bandits despoiled villages, while pirates began to frequent the Korean seashores.

Even after the death of King Gongmin, his trouble-laden kingdom continued to go downhill. Goryeo, which had ruled the Korean peninsula for over four centuries, finally collapsed in 1392, only two decades after the death of King Gongmin.

Reflection on the story

King Gongmin made Queen Noguk the source of happiness and well-being. Therefore, when she died, the king completely lost zeal in life and continued a downward spiraling life pattern.

Was it his love toward his wife that destroyed him and contributed to the melt-down of his kingdom? True love is always empowering. It never torpedoes our strength. It is only when love turns into attachment that it begins to undermine our power. Do not make anything/anybody outside of you the source of your happiness and well-being.

When we are in love with someone, many of us — especially women — make that person the source of happiness. We subconsciously try to possess that person, and he or she turns into an object.

In the process, we also create much fear, becoming more vulnerable to disappointment and distress. It is only when we give up our attachment that our relationship can burgeon into a truly fulfilling one. We can love this person unconditionally, but we can also make sure that we will maintain a total equilibrium of mind even when that person is no longer present in our lives. As long as we remain aligned with our source energy and create love internally, there is always going to be someone who is going to reflect it.

However, when we are attached to another person, our emotional well-being hinges on what is outside of ourselves. And it can give rise to much distress in life because everything changes in the outer world. It is as if we were handing over our power to something that is totally unreliable, designating it as the source of happiness.

The source of happiness lies within, not without. Everything we need is already with us at this moment. We are already perfect as we are.

Korean Zen

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