[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]For the non-believers and the sceptics, true love is merely a marketable notion conjured up by modern day advertisers and marketers to appeal to our human emotions to drive consumerism; case in point – Valentine’s Day; a day to celebrate love. (I mean, seriously?!!) Well, no doubt this is an idea that has been well-marketed, but the romantic in me thinks that it could be a real thing.
As opposed to the idea of true love being something that hits you in that unforeseen moment, and putting you in an ephemeral state of euphoria afterwards; an idea well-propagated in romantic comedies, I interpret it as a state of being, a state of spirituality felt by a human being. A state where you feel a sense of deep understanding, compassion, freedom and joy that can be felt in moments of suffering too.
And scuba diving brought me an inch closer to that ideal state.
The question is, how?
Scuba diving, in my opinion, is meditation. What is meditation anyway? Meditation boils down to the act of mindful breathing. Mindfulness is sort of a be a big word. Simply, it means being present. Be here. Be in the moment, you always hear people say. It is not an easy task, however, don’t you think?
In our daily life, we are seldom FULLY present. With our concentration and consciousness solely focused on breathing, however, brings your mind and your body together. We are always preoccupied with worries for tomorrow, with anticipation for the future, and regrets of the past. The mind is constantly separated from the body.
Mindful breathing is the bridge that connects the mind and the body as one. It is a difficult task for urbanites like you and me, but scuba diving makes this possible, and with time, it becomes natural in real life too.
But so what if your mind and your body is of one single consciousness finally?
In this state, wonderful things happen. And this state is probably the closest to what I envisioned true love to feel like.
True love is Understanding
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]When we seek to understand, we build the ability to bring joy and happiness to another person. Because even when your intention is to love this person, how you love might not have the intended effects that you want. In order to accomplish that, you must practice deep looking that is directed towards the person that you love. Understanding becomes the essence of love. If you do not understand, you cannot love in the right way. And deep understanding comes from meditation.
In order to be understood, we should first seek to understand. [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
True love is Compassion
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]When we understand, we develop compassion, which is the ability to help to lessen the pain of the other person. We understand the nature of suffering the other person is going through. Combined with a deep understanding of ourselves, we could then love in the most appropriate way.
True love is Joy
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Life is but a journey of suffering essentially. Joy and happiness, however, should still be a relentless pursuit. If you feel no joy at all, then ditch it. If it makes you cry all the time, then it is not love. Letting the wrong ones go is also part of the journey to true love. I don’t mean that your life will be propagated with joy and happiness 24 hours a day, 365 days a week, but you’d learn how to find peace, joy and happiness amidst the chaos.
True love is Freedom
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]In true love, you attain freedom. In contrary to the feeling of being stifled, of suffocation, of the need to change and sacrifice, true love embodies freedom. You are free to be whoever you want to be, you are free to fill up the rest of the spaces with your imagination, your passion, your dreams.
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Now, digest the above with some mindful breaths. Does it sound familiar to the state you feel whilst diving? A deeper understanding and connectedness with nature, a compassion for our environment, the feeling of joy and happiness when our imagination turns into reality, and the freedom of defying gravity.
And that is just the start of how scuba diving will bring you closer to true love than you could ever imagine. Start diving. Or continue diving if you already have, and let’s continue working towards that meditative state in our everyday life.
Inspired by the teachings of love by Thich Nhat Hanh.