“When we feed and support our own happiness, we are nourishing our ability to love. That’s why to love means to learn the art of nourishing our happiness.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
This bit of wisdom from Thích Nhất Hạnh seems to be apparent, it resonates with us. Naturally, a happy person is bound to find it easier to be loving than one that is unhappy; anyone can recognize that—it’s common sense.
Of course, he is also saying that it is important that we—each one of us—needs to be responsible to tend our own happiness, not for the sole reason of the enjoyment that happiness brings to us but for the power of that happiness to nourish our ability to love. And love is the high calling for which we have all been created, the power that fires the whole universe. When we are loving, we are in tune with that universal love that animates our beings, and when we resonate with eternity, we are the highest expression of the image of God.
But this making ourselves happy is also an expression of love; it is loving ourselves, caring for our own needs. That which might seem selfish turns out to be essential to nourish our ability to fulfill our purpose. It is all tied up together, happiness and love. And love does not differentiate—it reaches out to touch all who are near us. If we are loving ourselves honestly, we will be loving those around us as well because we will be existing in our highest authentic state, where love governs our being.