Loving What You Got

{flickr photo by QuinnDombrowski}

{flickr photo by QuinnDombrowski}

It’s not always easy to look down at your cracked shoes, your too light wallet, your larger-than-life thighs and say to yourself, “Gee, I love my life!”

But I’m going to tell you why it’s hard not to.

Even though you could list hundreds of things you don’t like about yourself, your situation, your life, there is within every single person so many GOOD reasons to legitimately say, “Thank you!” And it’s all the things you think you hate about your life that actually make it so.

It’s me when I’m being too vocal, expressing my distaste for a certain food or dislike for a restaurant. In afterthought, I cringe wishing that I could have swallowed my voice instead of spoke up. It makes me feel too diva-ish, too brash, too much. But it’s also the thing I love most about myself if only I allowed myself to embrace it.

You might find that same conflict within yourself. The thing you criticize about someone else-they’re too judgmental, complain-y, immature, etc.-are the very shadows that you try to hide within yourself. There’s a fear that if you were to let that aspects of your self out, you would be teased or worse hated. In Care of the Soul (a book that found me in Glen Ellen, California, in a “keep-a-book, give-a-book library”), Thomas Moore says:

“It appears to me that as we open ourselves to see what our soul is made of and who we really are, we always find some material that is a profound challenge.”

And oftentimes what makes us feel ugly and weird are actually just reasons for celebration. Why? It provides evidence of our uniqueness, our individuality, what makes us different. And sometimes that can be the answers to our life purpose.

Maybe I’m not supposed to stay small and quiet, but to be bold and expressive. And letting that side out is the only way I can release my fears and express my soul’s purpose.

That isn’t to say every bad habit or behavior is justified. But it’s also not about repressing or hating them either. In silencing our inner complainer, for example, we may be neglecting ourselves. Moore says the way toward healing is through love. And that means loving even the so-called hard parts and then listening to why they are there.

Holocaust survivor, Nobel Laureate, and writer Elie Wiesel said on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday:

“Whatever you do in life remember, think higher and feel deeper.”

I believe it’s only in completely surrendering to who we are in this moment that we can completely live and love our life. If we do anything less than that, we will miss our calling. We miss our purpose for being here. We become disconnected from our truth because we’re too wrapped up into what we don’t have, what we never got, and why so-and-so is so much better than us.

Thinking higher means we grasp onto an elevated way of thinking of our lives and our self. Feeling deeper means that we don’t hold back. We feel the highest of highs and lowest of lows and know that if we stay true to who we are, we will always land on our feet.

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Gratitude Even If You Don’t Like It

Water or…

waterfall. Photos by The Inspiring Bee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been listening to Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge (By the way, it’s free. You can sign up for it here). Just this morning I listened to Day 12: The Gratitude Heart. In it, the speaker says, “We can be grateful for a situation even if though we don’t like everything about it allows us to be thankful for the opportunity to learn something new.”

It’s something we all know logically, but rarely do we choose to live our lives this way.

There is so much abundance in your life. There is so much wealth. If you allow yourself to truly see what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t, you will let in more things to be grateful for.

In my own life, it reminds me that I control my mood and my days on this earth by what I choose to bemoan or to view as a gift.

Hearing today’s meditation I realized that you don’t have to wait for life to be perfect to be grateful. You can still be searching for the right job, the right mate, the right place and have every right to say, “Thank you!”

In fact, it would serve you (and me) to do so.

That means I can temporarily forget that we still haven’t been able to use our car (that got a little worse for the wear on the ship over here), have yet to find a comparable gym or zumba class or additional writing gigs to jump for joy over.

What I can say is that I’m grateful that the warm sun and slower paced of living has physically healed me, reduced my sugar levels and mellowed me out. In writing about it, I realize the latter is so way more important than the former.

The other things will come in time. I guess the point is to grab what’s gratitude worthy now and be mindful of it. Be mindful of all the things you’re loving in your life because they won’t always be there.

No matter what you’re going through, I hope you can find something fabulous about your life, search for it in the clouds, in a field of flowers, in your child’s smile, hold them close, embrace it and say, “Thank you!”

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