As a student of Buddhism I am also a student of love. I did not know how to love because well,I wasn’t taught it properly as a child. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, my parents taught me what they knew. I didn’t learn anything about how to love others or myself. What was leaned in Church was filtered through the lense of suffering. If I was suffering then I was doing something right. Love and sacrifice…sacrifice to me meant pain.
No wonder I’ve spent 25 years involved in painful relationships. How can you love someone when you don’t know how to love. To love without knowing how causes suffering. To not know what Love looks like, leads one open to misinterpreting intentions.
Matri -loving kindness
Karuna-capacity to make you suffer less and the other person to suffer less
Mudita – bringing joy
I’ve included a video to describe in greater detail.
Learning anything takes practice, soooooo…how am I supposed to practice when I’m not in a relationship? Well…I can practice these principles with myself. If I don’t know how to love myself, then how the heck will I be able to love another person??
Anything before knowing this would be grasping and asking someone to give me love (which I have done in the past) without knowing or being able to give it fully back. Now that is selfishness.
These 4 simple principles make love less complicated. Love is not complicated. The only thing that complicates love is ego.
This is why we love animals so much. They understand love better than we do sometimes. Like my cat Schumann he just curls up in my lap, brings me joy, is kind, eases my suffering, is kind.
There is some zen for you. Just love yourself and others like a cat. Lots cuddles. I’m pretty sure most everything is solveable though open hearted hugs.