“Peace, love and happiness” is a phrase I’ve heard many times, but this morning it took on a new meaning as I realized the significance of the word order.
First, peace. This means being at peace with yourself, by understanding your past, forgiving others whenever necessary, being mindful of your present, and having goals and dreams for the future that you are actively working toward.
Second, love. When you are at peace with yourself, it becomes so much easier to love others. The kind of love that is an action, not just a feeling. The kind of love that lets you see others as they are instead of as how they affect you. It is to achieve what Martin Buber called an I:Thou relationship, as opposed to an I:It relationship.
Third, happiness. A true, i.e. complete and enduring, happiness is not possible until one has peace and love. And if you have inner peace and love, you will have happiness.
So whenever I see the slogan “Peace, Love and Happiness”, I will now think of it as “Peace + Love = Happiness”.