“To love without knowing how to love wound the ones we love”
I just finished reading a book written by the father of mindfulness Thich Nhat Hanh who is known as Zen master, writer, poet, scholar, and peacemaker. This book is one of his 70 books (the number might be higher than that). This book is just what I was looking for, it mainly talks about love, the true love and what it means and how to build a strong and true relationship. It teaches you not only how to love the other half but how to love yourself and live by love.
I got many lessons from this book, it helps me to be clear about my values and the qualities i am looking for in a partner. And above that, it teaches me to start from myself, to love myself and to make a channel to my heart by healing my soul, clearing my mind and my heart from any past hurts in order to receive abundance. Before i read this book, i know that as a human being i should be more understanding and compassionate to others, i should be kind, and loving, however, this book gives examples, it justifies why we need to live by love, and what difference love makes in our lives. I am more convinced that living by love is the best way to live my life by.
So here are some of the lessons i jotted down while reading the book;
There are five elements of true love, if we live our life according to these elements, it will give our lives the sense of holiness. These elements have the power to heal our souls and transform any life event, it will give us the true meaning of our lives. These elements are;
1. Loving kindness
Be the happiness to another but first be happy within. You can not offer something you don’t have. Practice mindfulness, stay grounded, heal your inner child, accept yourself and create your happy moments. Then spread the kindness you have in your heart, always be the sunshine in others sky.
Start with yourself, be compassionate by understanding yourself and understanding your pain. If you fully understood yourself and your suffering, you can then understand others’ pain.
Joy is something that brings happiness and delight, be the joy to someone !
You need to have the ability to generate joy, but first, spread joy within your heart, look for the things that fill your heart with joy, be mindful and enjoy the moments. You can also be like a beautiful fluffy cloud in someone life, and colorful flowers in someone’s garden. Be the joy that everyone want to have in their life.
This refers to calmness, present mind, and non- discrimination. Here, there is no place for ego, it is about inclusiveness, it is not me against you. It is me and you, your pain is mine your happiness is my happiness. Matters are not individual anymore. What happens to you happens to me.
5. Respect and trust
This implies having trust in others, being able to TRUST, this indication of having a confidence in myself. Love without trust and respect is not love. Trust yourself, respect that you are a loving, kind, genuine person, and transfer this trust to the loved one. If you are pure, trust that your loved one is pure too and have some trust. This is love.
Your body is your home!
love your body, accept it, nourish it. Respect your body and your mind, feed your body and your mind with nourishing thoughts. Give your body some rest when it is needed, and peace to your mind when it is needed. Practice mindful eating and mindful meditation. If you take care of your home “your body”, the calmness on your appearance and on your face will make you more beautiful.
You are a flower from a beautiful garden
we born to be different, to be unique, the society may trying to convince us that there is something wrong in us, trying to sell to us the idea that there is one bunch of standards of beauty. This impact the way we look to ourselves, it activates the critical voice in the head of each of us which speaks always negatively about us. We need to acknowledge that we are all flowers in a garden, we were created to be different, embrace the uniqueness and don’t buy the idea that tells us there is only one face of beauty. You don’t have to be someone else, we are not meant to look the same.
Water your flower
Tell the loved one what you love about them, water your flower. Tell him/ her the things you appreciate about him/her. Your flower needs water to stay fresh, colorful and beautiful.
Hugging meditation, is a combination of East and West. You must hug the person you are holding. You have to make them very real in your arms, and breath consciously. Hugging with all your body, heart, and spirit.
So the idea is while the loved one is in your arms,
Breath in “ I know my dear one is in my arm, alive”.
Breath out “ he is so precious to me”
The breath must be deeply. The energy of love, care and appreciation will transfer from you to him/her, and he/she will be nourished and bloom like a flower.
Body and mind
Body and mind are not separate. What happens in one would have an effect on the other. When you love someone you respect her body and her mind because they are not separate. Mind relies on the body to manifest and body relies on the mind to be a live and to make things happen.
spirituality is not religion where you blindly believe. Spirituality is a practice, a daily practice that brings peace and relief, that makes transformation. Spirituality reflects in our communication, our behaviors and our way of living. Spirituality has to do with soul other then unconscious practices. Life would be difficult without spirituality. With spirituality, you have hope, you have faith in tomorrow, you are happier, you are free of fears and anxiety. Spirituality includes way of thinking and physical practices that can be through breathing, walking, practice mindfulness. Spirituality helps with dealing with our suffering and pain, help with managing our emotions. If we have this capacity then we can develop a real and lasting spiritual intimacy.
The book also talks about the three kinds of intimacy;
This part of the book is very important, i have seen many people look for one type of intimacy and when the relationship failed, they blame the other person! The lack of knowledge about the components of intimacy cause many of the relationships to fail.
Physical, emotional, and spiritual, these are three intimacy that should be combine together to achieve true love. To have an intimate relationship, these three elements have to be together. Ideally, we seek first emotional intimacy, to get to the physical intimacy. Emotional intimacy can be achieved through good communication, communion and understanding. The harmony that is between two people is important. When these three kind of intimacy is there then the physical intimacy will be healthy and healing. However, some may seek physical intimacy first, and they expect the relationship to be the best, you can not have physical intimacy if your partner is emotionally thirsty !!
Sexual desire is not love! This is what it is called empty sex. Satisfying the body without satisfying the heart and the mind is not what true love means. Making love is when you feel whole and connected to your partner. When all of the body mind and heart are satisfied. Sexual intimacy comes when both partners are in harmony with each other and when they are both deeply with each other.
Saying no !
loving someone doesn’t mean losing the right to say no when you don’t like something. Knowing yourself and what your desires are is very important, loving someone doesn’t withdraw your right to say no. Don’t put listening to yourself and knowing what your needs in the buttom of your priorities. If you are not happy within, you cannot love, you cannot make someone feel loved and cannot have full intimacy.
When the beloved one is having a difficult time, in pain or suffering, they might not have the energy to calm you or make you suffer less. They may not have the energy to take care of you and your needs. So, you might get disappointed, and think that this person is no longer helpful in your life. You may started to question and count that if you even love this person. Patience is the secret of that, be patient and understanding. Take care of yourself and the other person, you may discover good things in you and in the other person. Taking care of yourself in this case is important so you can embrace your loved one and reestablish the joy in your relationship.
In every one of us there is a deep thirst and un fulfilled desires. We feel empty, we want to love and be loved. And with the feeling of emptiness we could find the object to love yet we still feel that our expectations and hopes haven’t been met yet. And we keep searching and searching whereas what we should do is to go back to ourselves, understand ourselves and our desires.
Before committing to another!
Look deeply into yourself, to see if there is any fears or unsolved issue before you commit to another. If there is anyone with whom you still haven’t reconciled, it can be yourself who you want to reconcile with. Reconciling is important and without it, true happiness is impossible
Starting a family
Unlike obtaining any degree in any science, having a child doesn’t required any training. However, it is an immense responsibility that many may underestimate this responsibility. Before starting a family and having a child, it is very crucial to take sometimes maybe (the author recommends a year) to look deeply to ourselves, to improve what it needs to be improved. Learn how to listen, how to speak love and how to be patient. This will help us to enjoy life for, to enjoy the parenthood and fill our home with love, joy, and happiness
The practice of Metta
Metta is the loving and kindness meditation. This type of mediation helps to touch our deepest aspirations and accept ourselves.
Communicate your anger
When you are angry at the loved one, he/she is the last one you want to talk too. You may act aggressively which worsen the situation . Learn to communicate your anger, talk to the one who made you angry. Approach them, ask for help, tell him/her how he/ she made you feel, open your heart to her/him.
“ i am suffering, i am sad and i need your help”
How beautiful this is !
If you cannot tell the one you love about your true feeling, it means you don’t trust them enough to open your heart, this is not true love that is based on trust and respect.
Be in a friendship with your loved one. A romantic crush doesn’t last forever, but friendship, kindness, understanding can grow to be something meaningful.
“Ask yourself who can i make smile this morning? This is the art of creating happiness”
Be an example to your children, teach them love by letting them see love it their home. This is the best inheritance that parents can leave to their children. Even if our parents could not create the loving home for us, we can do better to our children.
These are some of the lessons i jotted down from this brilliant book, it teaches me a lot about true love. Not only the love between partners but also sharing love with the world. Love without respect, without trust is not love. Love cannot be existed with fear and ego.
Love is the best word we can use as a theme of our lives, Live by love 💕
Tons of love 💕