“To say, ‘I love you,’ one must first be able to say the ‘I.’” – Ayn Rand
It’s easy to live a life you love when everything is going your way — health, career, relationships, finances and anything else that brings a sense of ebb, flow and ease to your day!
How do you “live a life you love” when life throws you a nasty curveball? Key people let you down, your body gives you an unexpected health issue, and the promotion you thought was yours went to someone else?
Many of us, myself included unintentionally place our identity outside of us. We give significance to our “life label,” be it a corporate executive, stay at home parent, student or whatever this looks like from your vantage point. This can easily set us up living in the label we’ve applied to ourselves. When life changes occur as they always do there goes our identity and “life.”
No matter your life label or the season of life you’re in, finding and living a life you love must be cultivated within you and then connected to what you do.
Good news! Living a life you love, amidst all you do and have, is abundantly available now.
Learn These 3 Key Steps to Living A Life You Love:
This is step one to finding and living your life with love! You need to know yourself intimately to gain understanding before the door of your life opens further for you. Take “stock of you” familiarize yourself with your character strengths and flaws and all personal and professional successes and flops. All of this is you! Do this with care and curiosity. What triggers you and what personally motivates you? What makes you smile and what are you tolerating? Take a kind look at areas in your life yet to be cultivated and developed — what you would like to have but are a work in progress. This can be — better organized, thinner, more patient, less judgmental, more confident, a better communicator etc. Take it all in — the great and good, the flaws and fails and work yet to be. I believe this step is crucial to living the life you love. Please take your time with this step!
This step follows right on the heels of becoming self-aware having spent time with yourself to get realistically and comfortably acquainted with you. Be ok with the way things are as they are even if things are not what you want and hope right now. You can learn to “reframe” your thoughts into more positive ones by seeing where you are as a season with lots to learn no matter the situation. Being content with your life as is — a temporary season — allows you to actually have an inner calm and from this character growth and from this wisdom. By learning to lean into contentment you are in control of and navigating fully all of your life seasons.
In my humble opinion, this “key” is a practical tool for everyone to learn and apply to themselves in the day to day of life. Self- compassion begins with your self-talk. Would you talk to your family and friends the way you sometimes talk down to yourself? Life can be a joy-filled journey at times and some days a “hot mess.” You may feel you’ve got everything together and suddenly find yourself directly challenged to the core with career, health, family and other life obligations.
How you handle these places in your life, heart, and mind can bring you down a dark tunnel or keep you moving forward with love. This is where taking time to use loving self-talk and thoughts brings you through the unease giving you a way up and out into living abundantly. Try zooming out to see the bigger picture versus being hyper-focused on what is directly in your way as a means of cultivating compassion.
In her groundbreaking work on compassion, Dr. Kristin Neff writes:
“Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with life’s bumps and flops rather than retreating and getting angry/frustrated when life falls short. Learning to handle and deal with reality as it unfolds opens the door to patience and peace while lessening stress and anxiety.”
Your life is yours to live and you absolutely have the ability to find and have a life you love with you simply being you!
Please share what you learned that helped you and how this can be of service to those in your life!