We have all wondered: What does love mean? Does it represent an emotion? An activity? Or something that we cannot describe?
Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist master, believes that love is a way of living.
Actually, it is a simple, but deep message. According to Hanh, love is a complicated and heartwarming experience.
He also believes that the nick name of love is understanding.
Otherwise, to love someone means to understand her / his pain. He also thinks that we all need understanding.
However, as he said, it is hard to fully understand other people. He adds a metaphor as an explanation to this:
“If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform.”
Then, we ask ourselves: In which way can we understand other people’s pain? Hanh believes that it is connected to our happiness:
“When we feed and support our own happiness, we are nourishing our ability to love. That’s why to love means to learn the art of nourishing our happiness.
Understanding someone’s suffering is the best gift you can give another person. Understanding is love’s other name. If you don’t understand, you can’t love.”
However, Hanh believes that we should also learn the complexity of love:
“If our parents didn’t love and understand each other, how are we to know what love looks like? … The most precious inheritance that parents can give their children is their own happiness. Our parents may be able to leave us money, houses, and land, but they may not be happy people. If we have happy parents, we have received the richest inheritance of all.”
Reference: The Power Of Ideas