Practically everyone knows that using the “I love you” in a relationship is a big step; however, how can one tell if it is the right move to take. How do you know if you actually mean it and more importantly, how can you tell if they are saying it for you and not for themselves?
Well, the Zen Master Buddhist master Thich Nhat has discussed this extensively in his book “How to Love”. In this book, we were able to pick out a portion that tries to explain why “I love You” might not mean what we think it does or what we want it to mean.
Here’s what it really means
In this book, Nhat teaching tries to explain that understanding is a synonym for love and as such, you have to fully understand his or her suffering to love them.
He also explained that most f the people who say “I love you” subconsciously focus on the “I” which is self however, true loves has to do with letting go of ego and trying to understand that we are in this together. In his words:
“Often, when we say, “I love you” we focus mostly on the idea of the “I” who is doing the loving and less on the quality of the love that’s being offered. This is because we are caught by the idea of self. We think we have a self. But there is no such thing as an individual separate self.
A flower is made only of non-flower elements, such as chlorophyll, sunlight, and water. If we were to remove all the non-flower elements from the flower, there would be no flower left. A flower cannot be by herself alone. A flower can only inter-be with all of us… Humans are like this too. We can’t exist by ourselves alone. We can only inter-be.
I am made only of non-me elements, such as the Earth, the sun, parents, and ancestors. In a relationship, if you can see the nature of interbeing between you and the other person, you can see that his suffering is your own suffering, and your happiness is his own happiness. With this way of seeing, you speak and act differently. This in itself can relieve so much suffering.”
True loved involves two people willing to become one.
There is no I when it comes to true love however, it entails you realizing that together, you have become one according to Thich Nhat Hanh. In his words:
“In a deep relationship, there’s no longer a boundary between you and the other person. You are her and she is you. Your suffering is her suffering. Your understanding of your own suffering helps your loved one to suffer less. Suffering and happiness are no longer individual matters. What happens to your loved one happens to you. What happens to you happens to your loved one.
There is no separation or discrimination in true love. Her happiness is your happiness – his happiness is your happiness, likewise suffering. There is no such thing as “that is your problem” instead, it becomes our problem.