We all have times when we don’t know what to say. The situation clearly calls for communication, but we’re out of words.
Here are six mantras from Thich Nhat Hanh that we can repeat to others so they’ll know we love them.
1. “I am here for you.”
Sometimes it’s enough just to show up. Our presence is often the best present we can give. But when we show up, saying this sentence will tie the bow on our gift of presence.
2. “I know you are there, and I am very happy.”
But what about when someone shows up for us? That often leaves us at a loss for words, too. This statement acknowledges that we see their gift of presence, we receive it, and we value it as a good gift.
3. “I know you suffer, and that is why I am here for you.”
When we notice a friend or loved one is in pain, we can use this sentence. It’s an extra layer on the first mantra: Not only am I here for you, but I really see you in this situation. Often we comfort others the greatest by acknowledging their pain, not by attempting to fix it.
4. “I suffer, please help.”
This one is harder for us to say, especially if the person we’re talking to is the person we perceive to be causing our suffering. While our pride urges us to say the opposite—“I don’t suffer; I don’t need your help“—by acknowledging that we do need help, we are speaking in love and humility.
5. “This is a happy moment.”
When we experience victories, these words come easily. And when our friend experiences victories, we also can acknowledge that we feel joy with them. But even in ordinary moments, find reasons to celebrate and be grateful for the here and now.
6. “You are partly right.”
When we are praised, say this to remind ourselves not to take the compliment too seriously (maybe out loud, maybe silently). Likewise, also say this when we are criticized (at least say it internally). By accepting our common humanity, we won’t become “a victim of a prideful illusion” nor will we condemn ourselves for a weakness.
When we improve our communication, we improve our relationships. Using our intention to listen deeply and our words to love profoundly, we understand more and are understood more, one person at a time.
* * *
Which saying can you use today? Which one would you most like to hear today? Please share in the comments.
- Ask one more question
- Loving someone with Alzheimer’s