(Photo above by Hebert Santos / Pexels)
Crushes can make the world feel like an exciting adventure with limitless possibilities. It’s tempting to tell that person right away or even mentally plan a move-in date. Before you do…. consider these three things from a series of conversations titled Discussions on Youth, between the Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda and a few young people.
1. What is a good first step when we are crushing on someone?
Daisaku Ikeda offers the following advice:
There is no need to rush into anything. … If there is someone you like, what’s wrong with holding on to that feeling inside your heart for a while and resolving to polish yourself so that you can become the kind of person he or she, or anyone, would be proud to be with?
Discussions on Youth, p. 70
Few things give us the sense of exhilaration of having a crush. Instead of only harnessing that energy to daydream, we can use it to fuel our chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Chanting brings out our best selves so even if we don’t end up with our crush in the end, we can use that experience to become better people and move our life forward.
2. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo gives us the wisdom to recognize the best course of action for our life.
Shakespeare wrote, “To be wise and in love exceeds man’s might.” In other words, when we make decisions based on our emotions alone, which can change from moment to moment, we can end up doing things we later regret.
Chanting allows us to access our limitless wisdom, courage and compassion so that whatever decision we make, we can have confidence that it came from the best place.
Whether we are happy, sad or suffering, if we chant honestly to the Gohonzon with the feelings in our hearts, our lives will naturally proceed in the best direction.
Discussions on Youth, p. 69
There’s no prescription for what we should or shouldn’t chant about or a limitation on the goals we can set. Just as Ikeda shares, we can chant honestly about what’s in our hearts.
Curious to know what this can look like? Take a moment to listen to Ian and Audrey McIlraith’s love story. They tell us the story of how they overcame their own fears of being alone and of being good enough, to create a happy family.
3. Whether they feel the same way about us, love can help us become even happier and stronger people.
Of course our crush might inspire us to become better people, but we don’t need to change who we are just to win the approval of someone we want to be with.
Real love is not two people clinging to each other; it can only be fostered between two strong people secure in their individuality. … If you want to experience real love, it is important to first sincerely develop a strong self-identity.
Discussions on Youth, p. 67
Developing a strong sense of self is not something that happens overnight; it’s a lifelong journey. Another way to think about it is to not lose your self-identity when you begin seeing someone or begin to crush.
By consistently chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and expressing honestly what’s in our hearts, we can have confidence that the path we’re on is best for us. And the relationships that are best for us or not will become clear.