The way I see it:
Love -True Love- has been one of my main topics forever, but even more so since I got married last year and made the commitment, in front of my friends and family, to "Love Well". Big deal.
But what the hell is "loving well"?
Loving seems easy, natural, an effortless feeling, especially if we don't understand what it implies. But to love well entails a lot of reflection and very intentional personal work.
In our contemporary society, we always center the equation on how we want to be loved, on how we need to be loved. The radical change of paradigm here is getting "you" out of the question, translating it into: How do you want to love the other?
For the Buddhist tradition, True Love relies on 4 aspects:
- Maitri: The ability (and not only the willingness) to make the other happy, which directly requires understanding the other and what makes him/her happy.
- Caruna: Compassion. Which begins with self-compassion and the capacity to love oneself. Indispensable.
- Mudita: The capacity to create joy, which can't happen if you are not there for the person you love. If you want to create joy for the other you have to be present.
- And Inclusiveness or Equanimity: No discrimination. We are all worthy of love; your pain is my pain too.
Master Thich Nhat Hanh explains it in an easy and fun way in this short video, but at the same time with the depth and wisdom that characterizes him.
Stop now and reflect: Do you practice any of these principles when you love someone? And if not so much, what will you do to change it?