The Buddha’s question “How well did you love?” is the key to the answers to the other questions.
In my experience, nothing else determined so fully how much life was in my living, or how real was the letting go, as did Love.
I don’t mean, pink fluffy love, or “need you” love, or “you complete me” love. I mean love that fills your being to overflowing, that feels like it’s opening your heart wide because it’s so big you can’t even begin to hold it in.
I mean love that is full of joy and delight at existence itself, as much for your own self as for everything else, and ultimately there is no difference.
Every thing, and every one, that I have loved, I have had to be willing to let go. The depth and clarity of that love has been the measure of how deeply I needed to let go, for love of my own self.
It didn’t mean that there was never pain or uncertainty over the possible outcomes. Lives end, lives go on. The paradox is that the more clearly and lovingly I let go, the more love flowed in: the more real relationships became, even when I was not physically in them any more.
That’s not an impossible dream. You can know that experience, because it is yours to have, the essence of your being.
The Buddha was asking the questions to plant a seed, to lead those willing to hear the question behind the question, into the possibility of going for it.
Believe, be willing to take a risk, and keep on being willing no matter what. You can do it.