Love Your Life
Updated: Mar 2, 2020
There is a laundry list of things in this world and in my life NOT love. I am seriously not in love with my love handles (what an oxymoron now that I've put it in words, right?) I am also equally not in love with the condition of my veggie drawers in the refrigerator that constantly look like a horror film. I don't love my current neighborhood, with too many hills and neighbors that are closed off to socializing. I don't love the way my kids roam around the house declaring they are bored when Santa just brought them more gifts than they have even opened. I don't love how I wake up in the night, as if there is something I'm missing at 1 in the morning. I don't love the way our basement looks. I don't love my car and all the noises it makes. I don't love how my volunteering roles take over and consume more of the my time than they should. And I'm just getting started. Current politics. Crime. The condition of the streets in San Francisco. Global warming. Fires and the poor koalas. All a part of my life indirectly. I don't love any of that either.
I could spend each day highlighting and reinforcing my dislike for the world around me. I could spend each day lamenting and literally wallowing in what I am missing, enjoying feeling like something must change for me in order to be happy with my life. Unfortunately, I have done precisely that. And how much did it change my current circumstances? Big surprise here - not one bit. And how much did it diminish my experience and my current well-being? Probably more than I can adequately relate.
Valentine's Day has just passed. We spend time and money and energy on showing loved ones how much we love them. We celebrate the artificially created day of love (maybe because Hallmark told us to) and then we move on. But we probably never spend the day remembering to not just love the people in our life, but to love our life. To love what we have. To love what opportunities we have been afforded. Not just to be thankful for them, but to LOVE them.
This is not hard. If we can express how much we dislike something, we can certainly use the same amount of energy to express love for some aspect of it. I will NEVER have any love for what is happening with politics right now. I can find love for the opportunity to vote and how that can create change. I can love that I am not a politician, contributing to the nonsense. I can love that I have voted in every election with pride. I mean, seriously think about how quickly we are to criticize and complain when all we have to do is focus on a different aspect of the original complaint or just go ahead and focus on something else. Some people will argue that doing this is "looking at the world through rose-colored glasses". It is "unrealistic" and "naive" to look the other way when something is not loved.
On the other hand, in a world full of givens that we simply can't control, we always have control of our focus and our energy and where it lands. We have control over what we bother to open our hearts and minds to. I just don't see any disadvantage to actively deciding to love instead of hate, enjoy instead of feel disdain. Doing so doesn't mean that all is right with your world and nothing needs improvement. It does mean that while you are on your way to improving or changing or adjusting, you are not using your precious emotional resources to just keep on hating. Find the love. It is there for all who are willing to look a little harder.
We don't always have what we love, but it is entirely in our control to love what we have. It doesn't mean we don't want things to improve. It doesn't mean we don't have future goals to ditch the sofa that sinks in the middle. It just means that instead of hating it while waiting for that sofa to get hauled away, you love the comfort it has offered you time and time again. Or, you can just look away and find some love for that cute little chair in the corner. Whatever it takes, find the love.