You are in a troubled situation: if you don’t give freedom, you start suspecting your love; if you give freedom, which you cannot give…. The ego is very jealous. It will raise a thousand and one questions: “Are you not enough for your lover or beloved, that she needs freedom – freedom from you to be with someone else?” It hurts, and that’s why you start feeling, “I am putting myself second.”
Giving freedom to her you have put somebody else first, and you have put yourself second. That is against the ego, and it is not going to help in any way, because you will take revenge for the freedom that you have given. You would like the same freedom to be given to you – whether you need it or not, that is not the point – just to prove that you are not being cheated.
Secondly, because your beloved has been with someone else you will feel a little strange being with her. That stranger will stand between you and her. She has chosen someone else and dropped you; she has insulted you. And you have been doing so much; you have been so generous that you gave her freedom. Because you are feeling hurt, you are going to hurt her in some way or other.
But the whole thing arises from a misunderstanding. I have not said that if you love, then you have to give freedom. No, I have said that love is freedom. It is not a question of giving. If you have to give it, then it is better not to give it. Then remain the way everybody is. Why create unnecessary complications? – ordinarily, there are enough.
If your love itself has come to that quality that freedom is part of it, that your beloved need not even ask your permission…. In fact, if I was in your place and the beloved was asking my permission, I would be hurt. That means she does not trust my love. My love is freedom. I have loved her; that does not mean that I should close all doors and windows so she cannot laugh with somebody else, dance with somebody else, love somebody else – because who are we?
That is the basic question that everyone has to ask: Who are we? We are all strangers, and on what grounds do we become so authoritative that we can say, “I will give you freedom,” or “I will not give you freedom,” or “If you love me, then you cannot love anybody else”? These are stupid assumptions, but they have dominated humankind since its very beginnings.
And we are still barbarous; we still don’t know what love is.
If I love someone I am grateful that that person allowed me, my love, and did not reject me. This is enough. But I don’t become an imprisonment to her: She loved me, and as a reward I am creating a prison around her; I loved her, and she, as a result, is creating a prison around me. Great rewards we are giving to each other!