Love Through Understanding

June 29, 2018



"Understanding someone's suffering is the best gift you can give another person. Understanding is love's other name. If you don't understand, you can't love." - Thich Nhat Hanh


Whether it be failed relationships, friendships, interactions, etc- loving understanding is hard when there are feelings involved. It is much easier to demonize people and write them off, rather than to try and understand where they come from. 


I once overheard an old couple (probably in their 70's) talking to a newly divorced man in his 40's. The man asked the couple, "why is marriage so hard?" Both of them, almost simultaneously answered, "anything is hard where there are people involved."  

I was waitressing at the time and I almost laughed out loud and spilt my water- because it's so accurate! We are all broken in so many complex and simple ways- with our colorful family histories, shared traumas, political climates, societal expectations, passed on genes, etc- how can any two people ever get along without hitting a road block or two (hundred)? 

It is not easy in the midst of an argument to try and understand someone's point of view. Especially when your feelings are entirely valid for the experiences you've had thus far. But what I have learned over and over again, is that often the things I find disturbing in other's, I have not yet faced in myself. Somehow, I am unresolved in that area, and that is why I have a negative response to their actions or reactions. Once I take the time to understand where someone else comes from,  I can have a chance at seeing where, I myself, need healing. 


This is why loving someone is not just a gift to them, but a gift to yourself. And since, as Thich Nhat Hanh said, understanding is love's other name, we must try to understand, before we can truly love. 


- xo, Brit


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