We have all wondered at least once in our lives what love really is. Whether we think it is easily defined or not is where things get hazy.
According to Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh, love is not a feeling or an action but a way of being. He says that love is one of the most complex and rewarding human experiences. Lots of his teachings focus on understanding being another name for love. This meaning to really love someone else you will have to fully understand their sufferings and pain.
He uses this metaphor to get his point across:
“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.”
We must find our own happiness before love can be achieved. Love is the art of nourishing happiness. To hear Thich Nhat Hanh speak on this himself please take the time to watch the video below. Every word he speaks hits harder than anything I have ever felt.