Clichéd? Perhaps. But how many clichés are just that… until you actually live them or connect with them? It’s funny, actually. I’ve heard “Life’s a gift; that’s why it’s called the present” a million times… But today, the idea of finding an excuse to absolutely LOVE my life spoke to me in a way that just grabbed me. I’ve been feeling this for a while, but finally the words came, and I guess I had to share this epiphany with you… my five readers!
It seems that most days, we are in survival mode… The sun peaks, orange in its burning glory, over the horizon, and we are off… Buzzing at a million miles per hour until the sun sets and the moon is hung among the stars. Then tomorrow, it all begins again. How many times have you said, “Whew! So glad I survived that week!”? I know I’m guilty of it…
Instead of merely surviving, we need to be thriving… We need to find every excuse to absolutely LOVE our lives… They come only once… And the happiness, and the joy, and the peace are the gems we must find and nourish. So how do we do that?
Well I sure don’t have all the answers, but here are some tips I’ve learned work for me and some ideas I’ve collected from various places:
1) Be in the moment and no place else. Worrying about what will be steals your joy and worrying never made anything any easier. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life… Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” –Matthew 6:25-27
2) Find joy in the simplicity of daily tasks. Every day, I make my bed (Mom would be proud). I used to hate it (maybe she wouldn’t be proud about that). But now, I have some beautiful red, purple, and brown stripped throw pillows that make me smile. When I make my bed I take my time and place them just so on top, and I get a little joy from the final product. When I go to sleep at night, I thank God for a warm, safe bed to sleep in as I pull down the covers. Simple task, but infinite joy. Think of your daily tasks, and find a way to squeeze the joy out of them.
3) Create a life soundtrack (for the moment). Music is exceedingly powerful. It soothes us. It connects us. It empowers us. All these feelings shape the human experience. Why not be sure your favorite songs are at your fingertips? Take time to make a soundtrack of songs that bring you joy, make you think, or remind you about the things you need to think on most. Play them in your car, as you work out, or before you go to sleep… It will make a huge difference and take your mind off things that keep you from reveling in your precious life.
4) Make a Gives Me Hope List. So many times, we fixate on what we don’t have or what people do that drives us nuts. Sometimes we’re consumed by shortcomings, disappointments, and the wars waged throughout the world. It’s important we acknowledge these things, but if it’s all we allow ourselves to think about, then we tend to forget about all the things that give us hope. At the end of each night or week, generate a “Gives Me Hope List.” Here’s my example: Last week I saw a girl stop in the hallway to help a student in a wheelchair gather the books that fell from his lap as the crowd just rushed passed him. Her compassion for those who need it most gives me hope. Check out www.GivesMeHope.com to see more of what I mean.
There are plenty more things we can do to be certain we find the maximum joy and love in our fleeting lives. There’s really no excuse that we shouldn’t. Even when it’s as bad as you think it can get, look deep within yourself and into the eyes of the people that love you, and I am certain you will find something to live for.
So what things do you do to absolutely LOVE life? Please share!
I'm so glad we could talk again. Please come back soon! I think I have some new things bumping around in my mind that might be worthy to share with you.
Peace and love,