Fall in Love with Your Life

What would it take for you to love your life?

Dear Valentine’s Day,

I’m using you as an excuse to talk about what matters to me.

Today, I’m thinking about how often I hear people say, “I hate my life.” Granted, it’s usually in a moment of frustration, annoyance or when yet another obstacle arises. I know I felt like this when the ceiling fell in on our bed. But I digress…

Most people, when pressed would say they didn’t really mean it, at least, not in the sense of being clinically depressed. They say that no, no, they like their lives, or maybe they just feel embarrassed by an outburst that holds a kernel of truth.  side note: If you feel so awful that you don’t want to go on living, stop right here and call someone for help.

Falling in love with your life is a little bit like falling in romantic love for the first time, but it’s more akin to rekindling the fire in a long-term relationship like marriage.

If you’ve been in a relationship for longer than a year, you know that relationships get into habits. Difficulties can get swept under the stove. We can start assuming we know what the other person will say and feel and how they’ll react. Sometimes we react as if they already said, felt and did those things before they even happen. We even interpret something new in light of the old. It can be jarring when years into the relationship one or both parties wake-up and wonder “How did we get here?” “Do I still love this person? What does it mean to love him/her now? We can feel trapped and uncertain about what to do next.

See where I’m going here?

We have a relationship with our lives, as we live it every day, whether we know it or not. If we walk away from this relationship we abandon only our selves.

The first step, and always the first step, is to intend to have a new relationship with your life. To commit to it. Dear Life, will you be mine?

Feeling the love again requires some work. No news there.

Questions to explore are the same for any other love relationship. Do I like my life? Do I Love it? What habits have I gotten into? Do I expect less of myself and tamp my desires because I’ve let myself down before? What have I decided is true that isn’t? Am I willing to look at my responsibilities here, including not taking on what isn’t mine? How do I treat me? How do I treat my life? What actions will I take to spark some change?

What will it take to fall in love with my life?

Coaching is one tool for falling in love with your life. Check out 27 Benefits to Coaching.

Love, Judy

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P is for…

It seems like so many of my favorite words start with “P.” Here are some, in no particular order:

  • Peace        Play         Perseverance
    Patience    Plenty      Possibilities
    Paradox     Poetic     Pleasure

The list is way longer than this, but I’m stopping here for now because I want to focus on the first two.

Recently, I came across the above quote from Brene Brown (if you haven’t checked her out yet, I suggest you do).

“I don’t want someone who loves me – I want someone who practices their love for me every day.”

Who wouldn’t say “yes” to this? Yes, yes, yes and YES!

One thing I love about this quote is that it implies, without actually stating it, that there’s a way that some people love that isn’t a practice. We feel love, and it’s a great feeling- the best.  However, doing love is whole ‘nother thing. Feeling love for a specific person but failing to practice it consistently in ways that are recognized by that other person = 0 relationship. I’ve been there, I’m guessing you have too.

Seems obvious -yes? But somehow we can fall for the reassurances of  “but I love you,” when other people can’t or won’t practice, or, we use those same reassurances ourselves when we can’t or won’t (guilty). Notice that “perfect” isn’t on my list. And notice too, I’m not questioning anyone’s feeling of love, or the purest of loving intentions, only observing that practice is different. And yes, it’s also true that telling someone you love them is regularly part of practicing love.

Which brings me to this: How often do I practice love for myself?  What about you? What are all the ways you’d recognize you loving you?

Any ideas?

Here’s one from me; listening.  It’s the most loving thing we can do for us, and for the people we love. And, If you have children, then listening to them with your full on presence is the finest practice, a magnificent gift.

If cultivating a bigger stronger listening presence for you and your children interests you, click the photo.