If you have no love—do what you will, go after all the gods on earth, do all the social activities, try to reform the poor, enter politics, write books, write poems—you are a dead human being. Without love your problems will increase, multiply endlessly. And with love, do what you will, there is no risk, there is no conflict. Then love is the essence of virtue.
Once you accept yourself as you are, you allow yourself to be happy. You don’t need to become anything or anyone else, just as a rose doesn’t need to become a lotus in order to be happy. A rose is already beautiful. You are wonderful just as you are.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Love and compassion are what we must strive to cultivate in ourselves, extending their boundaries all the way to limitlessness. Indiscriminating, spontaneous, unlimited love and compassion are possible even towards someone who has done harm to us—our enemy.
Instead of averting your eyes from the painful events of life, look at them squarely and contemplate them often. By facing the realities of death, infirmity, loss, and disappointment, you free yourself of illusions and false hopes and you avoid miserable, envious thoughts.
We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.