There are so many kinds of love. Family love, friend love, romantic love, etc. There are so many shades and levels of love: fling, infatuation, crush. It is a wonderful and beautiful feeling that any being is lucky and blessed to experience.

It is hard to love someone right. And ironically, it’s the ones you love the most that will hurt you the most. I guess we must know pain to appreciate love, just like we must know sorrow to know happiness.

Five languages of love

Love is a hard thing to figure. You get hurt but you keep loving. You love different people differently. Everyone has a unique way to express their love.

In a book titled “The five love languages” by Gary Chapman, he mentions that everyone has a primary love language, and it is important that their partner knows it to love them right and keep their “love tank” full. Five love languages are identified as:
1. Words of Affirmations
2. Quality Time
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical touch

I think these five love languages can be used in not only romantic love but also every type of love to a certain extent. However, I think one of the most important factors in expressing any kind of love is genuineness and mindfulness.

The most important ingredient of love

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a book called “Silence – The power of quiet in a world full of noise” in which he mentions four mantras that help you look deep into your presence and your relationship with yourself and your loved ones.

The first mantra: “Darling, I am here for you.”
The second mantra: “Darling, I know you are there, and I am very happy.”
The third mantra: “Darling, I know you suffer, that’s why I am here for you.”
And the fourth mantra: “Darling, I suffer, please help.”

When you practice these mantras, you must make sure to calm yourself and all the noises going on in your head. You must be present and really there with your loved ones. With love comes suffering, love and suffering always go side by side.

What is important is you genuinely want to be there for your loved ones, to heal one another, to help each other through any pain and suffering. It is vital that you are calm, genuine and mindful, only then will your loved ones feel truly connected with and loved by you.

I think, in any relationship, there should be “alone time” every now and then. It’s not just alone time for the couple, but also for the individuals. In modern society, we rarely get a chance to be alone and quiet with ourselves.

We are always too busy with work, with events, with constant sound and images of media and advertisements around us; or we are always stressed and worried about something, our boss, our jobs, our debts and all the burdens and pressures society places on our shoulders. We rarely get a chance to slow down and reflect on ourselves in silence. And I think it is toxic, not just for ourselves but also our relationships.

When you get a moment of silence and mindfulness, you can look deep in yourself, your mind, observe your thoughts, reflect on your emotions and question yourself, are you truly happy? What can you do to improve your life, your relationship and make you happy? And then you can ask your loved ones for help and support on your journey.

I feel life goes by faster and faster day by day in modern society and people just get swirled in that madness. By the time we realize what is really important to us, it might be too late.

I think it is not your new car or your social status that makes you happy, but your loved ones and the memories with them that you hold dear in your heart. In the end, we all can’t bring our house or our car with us when we lie down with mother Earth; we can’t leave anything either as we go on to the other world. It’s how we have lived, how much we’ve loved, and the memories that we have left, that really matter.

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Posted by:Hanh Lam

I am a young Vietnamese woman with a passion for development work and social change, a desire to explore the world and a love for storytelling.

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