What exactly does love mean? Many psychologists have formulated different philosophies, formulated different theories, and still failed to define them. Anyone who has ever made this leap in faith wholeheartedly knows that love remains a mystery – perhaps the mystery of human experience.
The three words, I love you, when pronounced in a relationship, are a big step and bring a lot of responsibility and commitment.
But how do you know if starting your relationship is the right step?
I mean, how do you know if someone is really serious?
And more importantly, how do you know they are telling you and not themselves?
This is exactly what the Zen Buddhist Thich Nhat Han discussed in his book “How to Love”.
Below we found a passage where he explains why “I love you” may not mean what you think it means.
What “I love you” really means
At the heart of Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching is the idea that “understanding is the other name of love”. In other words, loving someone means fully understanding their suffering.
Thich Nhat Hanh says that when people say “I love you” they get caught up in the idea of ”self” and focus on “me”. According to Thich Nhat Hanh, true love means letting go of the ego and understanding that we are in this relationship:
“When we say“ I love you, ”we often focus mostly on the idea of the ‘I’ who loves and less on the quality of love that is being offered. This is because we are caught up in the idea of self. We think we have a self.
But there is no individual, separate self. A flower consists only of non-blooming elements such as chlorophyll, sunlight, and water. If we removed all non-blooming elements from the bloom, there would be no bloom.
A flower cannot be alone. A flower can only exist together with all of us … humans are like that too. We cannot exist alone. We can only be with each other. I am only made of non-me elements like the earth, the sun, parents and ancestors.
In a relationship, when you see the nature of being together between you and the other person, you can see that their suffering is your own suffering and their happiness is your own happiness. With this point of view, you speak and act differently. That alone can alleviate so much suffering. ”