Human beings have defined love in a thousand quotes. Their approach to love varies depending on which perspective they use whether it be romantic, parental, platonic, spiritual, or friendship.
It is hard to define love in one universal way as everybody is in different stages with regards to the kind of love they are presently feeling. Others may express love through the eyes of gladness, others through the pain of sadness, while others through the lessons learned.
The environment also plays a role in how you perceive love. Media, TV or movies may influence you or may leave you biased.
Whatever is the case, love can be best seen through the eyes of ascended masters. Thich Nhat Hanh, a famous Vietnamese Buddhist monk, helps us see love in the right perspective by presenting the four elements of love.
The Four Elements of Love:
Loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and inclusiveness or equanimity.
Love cannot manifest itself alone. It goes with specific qualities that need to be learned and applied on a daily basis. If you have these qualities, you are experiencing true love, according to Buddhist teachings.
Loving-kindness is being kind and considerate of others. When you make people cry or make them feel bad about themselves, you are not really loving them.
Conflicts are inevitable in a relationship. But when you put your needs above others, placing them below you, you are not actually loving them, instead, you are using them to fill your needs.
True love should generate joy and not pain. True love should make others feel important, cared for, and yes, loved.