Day 62: Kindly Nourish Happiness
“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.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
I was just given this beautiful book called How to Love by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. The book is a quick read with enlightened views on how to love. What resonated with me the most was a passage from page nine, titled Feeding Our Love:
Each of us can learn the art of nourishing happiness and love. Everything needs food to live, even love. If we don’t know how to nourish our love, it withers. 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.
What I love most about the passage, is that it reminds us that in order to love another person, we must first nourish and support our own happiness and through that we nourish our ability to love others. It is exactly how I view kindness. We must first learn to be kind to ourselves and through that inner kindness we will naturally be able to extend kindness to all beings. Find the things that nourish your happiness and feed your soul and through that, love will grow.
Kindness to Self:
Looking for love in all the wrong places? Are your relationships and friendships with others fulfilling? If not, maybe you have been looking for love in all the wrong places. Sure, it sounds great to have another person fulfill us, but that will never last. Find the things that make you happy. Water your own garden and you might be surprised at how quickly you will bloom.
Kindness to Others:
Once we have a healthy and full blooming garden, loving and nourishing others becomes possible and joyous.
Kindness to Strangers:
Amazing rewards and gifts can come from helping others once we have nourished and maintained a strong and robust garden in ourselves. We are able to share our fruits, in volunteering or assisting those that need it.
Kindness to Our Planet:
Just like our souls, if we nourish with the correct things, we will build a beautiful garden we can be proud of. Nourish and feed the earth around you. If you live in a city, find a co-op garden or organize a group of community members to find spaces that can be turned into a garden or look into garden walls. Check out what this organization is doing to create urban edible gardens: Urban Farming
Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Nur Cengiz