What Is True Love?

Sam Chen
8 min readNov 9, 2022


When we speak about the subject of love, most people have their own definition of love and what they consider of to have a perfect love relationship. I am not here to argue about what is the right or wrong definition of love, I am simply sharing my view on such topic and hoping that it can be an inspiration or eye opening experience for you as well. Before we look at True Love, let us take a look at what is a normal loving / romantic relationship. When two persons meet, they are transmitting and exchanging their personal energy waves, such energies exchange can cause a frequency of energy vibration, when such frequency is on a high level of energy vibration, we can simply say these two “fall in love”. They love to have developed such nice feelings towards each other. Of course it may seem to be perfect for awhile, at least what we call the “honeymoon stage”. All things seem to be perfect, life seems to be wonderful, and being around this person gives meaning to your life. But inevitably things will start to go wrong, such perfection of life is disrupted by arguments, conflicts, dissatisfaction, emotional or physical violence occurs with increasing frequency. Love can turn into dramas and blames, hostility and savage attacks on the blink of an eye. The love/ hate relationship can linger for awhile, going back and forth between positive and negative cycles. Eventually the negative and destructive cycle occurs with increasing frequency and intensity, which tends to happen sooner or later, and it will become the downfall and the collapse of such love relationship.

This is considered a normal love / romantic relationship, it has its ups and downs. While we see it as normal, most of us do not want to experience the negative or the destructive cycles of the relationship. Although we always say it is impossible to eliminate the negative side of such relationship, is there any possibility for us to see beyond such relationship and find the mysterious true love that we are longing for? If so, where do we find it?

Before we discover where to find such rumored “true love”, let us look at why do we seek for a love / romantic relationship? It fundamentally comes down to finding the wholeness, most people pursue physical pleasures or psychological gratifications because they believe that those things will make them happy or free them from a feeling of fear and lack. It is fear, lack, and loneliness which drive us to find and be in a love / romantic relationship. Happiness may be perceived as heightened sense of aliveness attained through physical pleasure or psychological gratification, which often comes through the honeymoon stage of the love / romantic relationship. Ultimately we are searching for salvation from a state of un-satisfactoriness or insufficiency. Invariably such satisfaction can be obtained momentarily, yet short-lived, and the condition of fear and lack projected itself again through dramas and emotional conflicts, which leads to the downfall of such relationship.

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Now we understand why the normal kind of love relationship does not work, but where exactly do we find the true love? First let us define what is love. When our physical body becomes pleasant, we call it health and pleasure; when our mind becomes very pleasant, we call it peace and joy; when our emotions are pleasant, we call it love and compassion; if our life energy / spirit becomes very pleasant, then we call it blissfulness and ecstasy! What we refer to as love is a certain moment of pleasantness that we feel within, and we think it is triggered by someone or something. Perhaps such person or thing did inspire us, but essentially it is the pleasantness of our inner being that we feel and we call it love. If we feel such love within us, and it is true, then love can happen without any objects. It is that we can be at ease with our emotions at all time, whether there is a man, a woman, a dog or an elephant that stands in front of us. Everything we see, we can feel a sense of pleasantness towards it, and that is love! Love is not about someone or something, it is about being truly pleasant and at ease at all time. There is no right or wrong answer here, it is simply the intelligent and wise way to exist. There is so much unpleasantness in this world, why do we want to manufacture more unpleasantness within ourselves? For what love is, it is that every moment of our life, we must be at ease and feel the pleasantness within us, we must constantly be in love with everything and no-thing.

If love comes from within, then why do we look for it with-out? It is essentially because we don’t know how to find love. When we feel the love within us, we attach the love with the outside world, whether it is a person or a thing that makes us feel such love. Sure, I am not denying the fact that every person and every thing around us can give us a different level of energy vibration frequency based on its nature, but what drives us to seek for such love from the outside world is because we don’t feel wholeness within ourselves, and such experiences give us a sense of liberation, the liberation from fear, lacking, incompleteness as part of human conditions in its un-enlightened state. They are both shown in physical and psychological dimension within such state.

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On the physical level, we are obviously not whole, nor will we ever be. We are born either a man or woman, that is to say, one half of the whole. On such level, the longing for wholeness, will manifest as male-female attraction, man’s need for a woman, woman’s need for a man. It is the physiological nature of a human to be at union with the opposite energy polarity. Sexual union is the closest and most pleasurable experience on the physical realm to being whole. That is why it has been unconsciously sought after as a form of salvation, as a glimpse of wholeness, an instant and momentarily bliss. But it does not last very long, and we are not allowed to dwell in such bliss forever.

On the psychological level, we are experiencing a sense of lacking and incompleteness, sometimes even greater than on the physical level. As long as we are identified with our mind, we derived an external sense of self. That is to say we derive who we are from the things we own, the experiences we have, the relationship we possess, the social status, the external appearances, successes and failures, belief system and etc. This sense of self derived from ego will tend to feel insecure, vulnerable, therefore the ego will strengthen and enhance itself through seeking for new things or people to identify with. Unfortunately nothing is ever enough to give the ego long lasting fulfillment, sooner or later we will feel the emptiness and sense of lacking again.

To truly break out of this psychological cycle of seeking and finding, we need to be present and focus our consciousness on the Now. It is like what Lao Tzu (ancient Chinese philosopher) said in his book Dao De Jing:

who can use stillness to let the muddy pond slowly clear up?
who can use stillness to express the exuberance of life?

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If we are looking at a stilled lake that is mirror clear, we would see our own reflection. If we drop a rock into the lake, the lake would create ripples and currents, and when we would look at the lake through its ripples and currents, and all we see is the distorted reflection of ourselves. If we attempt to clear such disturbances by jumping into the lake or throwing more rocks into the lake, it will do nothing but creating more ripples and currents. This is what Lao Tzu meant when he said whoever can use stillness, will observe the lake and life through its clarity and disturbances, and find its natural beauty and be at peace with the reality. The more unnecessary doings we have, the more disturbances we create. That is the essence of Lao Tzu’s teaching: Non-doing(无为). It does not mean that we don’t do anything anymore in life, it only means we are conscious enough to not react and become emotional when life unfolds in front of us. Through stillness and clarity of mind, we shall come up with the proper solutions and take the necessary actions that aligns with the Dao(道).

How can we truly love others when we don’t even love ourselves? That is why Jesus said: “ Love your neighbor as yourself.” To love yourself is to handle our inner disturbances: unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry, regret, resentment, sadness, bitterness, all kinds of negative emotions and suffering. Once we are able to handle our own thoughts and emotions, we would feel the inner peace and stillness of our consciousness, get in touch with our own being, and sense the conscious being of others around us. Dwelling in such state, what is it to feel other than the undifferentiated and overwhelming love for everyone and everything?

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The idea being in a relationship, getting married and forming a family is simply for us to put down our guards and be at total relaxation when we are around our partner. Otherwise we feel constantly at war with the world, and strive for the survival and the self-preservation. Love is to observe and let go of the instinct for self-preservation, see the possibility beyond it, offer our services to everyone and everything around us. For that, we don’t need someone or something, we can just simply do it through experiencing life. when we let go of the disturbances and suffering, we would find the inner peacefulness and stillness, then we shall understand what true love is! Love is a state of being, it comes from within, and it expresses itself through undifferentiated and unconditional love for everyone and everything. Let us put down our guards and let go of the disturbances, experience the stillness within us and life in its beauty.

Thank you so much for taking your time to read this article. Feel free to discuss and share your thoughts and opinions on this topic. Have a great day and enjoy the great life!



Sam Chen

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.