Today, I will be discussing how to love life, addressing both the entirety of existence, often referred to as Life with a capital "L," and our individual human experiences.
Humans inherently seek connection, goodness and wholeness, but many struggle to find these qualities, often associating life with suffering and challenges.
In our formative years, we're seldom taught how to navigate life effectively or connect with our true selves. Consequently, we often resort to survival tactics born from stress, resulting in lives marked by struggle, avoidance or control.
These tactics embed assumptions in our subconscious, making us believe that life is inherently difficult and that our desires are rarely fulfilled. This erodes our self-confidence and fosters distrust in ourselves and life, creating an adversarial relationship with existence.
To change this relationship, we must recognise that we shape our experiences in life. Life reflects our behaviour, so to find joy and contentment, we must create the conditions for these experiences to flourish. Recognising that expansion, light and harmony are inherent in life's energy is crucial. We must actively create conditions for these qualities to manifest in our lives.
This recognition forms the foundation for fulfilling relationships with ourselves, others and life itself. Without it, lasting contentment, peace and joy remain elusive.
Our subconscious programming, driven by perceived threats, often leads to discomfort and contraction. Contrasting this with the understanding that life is fundamentally good and trustworthy can change our basis of action, self-perception and expectations.
In essence, loving life requires active engagement, nurturing its inherent qualities, and shifting from a reactive approach to a conscious and intentional one.
Remember: Love is the source of life. So, life is love.
Now, let's explore the five key pillars of loving life.
The first pillar - learning to love yourself
Our relationship to self is the living template of our relationship to all other aspects of life. In essence, the ability to wholeheartedly embrace and love our surroundings depends upon our capacity to first extend that love to ourselves. Our being is designed to give us all the information and experiences we need in order to understand our true nature and origin. We don’t need to pour through libraries full of books. We don’t need any longer to visit the Mystery schools. Everything we need to know is somewhere within our being.
Nevertheless, it can be disheartening to think of how frequently we engage in self-criticism and self-doubt on a daily basis. Consider your own inner dialogue; We often say to ourselves critical statements like, "I'm not clever,” "I’m ugly," or "I can’t do that." These ideas are often deeply ingrained in our subconscious from a very young age, reinforcing the idea that we’re not good enough. This thought pattern is arguably one of the most damaging we can have, as it seeps into every aspect of our lives. So, what then is the solution? Certainly not to impose excessive positivity upon ourselves or to try to quash all negative thoughts. To attempt this is only to antagonise the self. Instead, our focus can centre on nurturing and loving thoughts, a shift that, over time, will change a default assumption about the self.
To highlight the ease with which we can neglect self-love, author Louise Hay devised a straightforward exercise. She encouraged individuals to stare into a mirror and declare, "I love you" to themselves. While this exercise may appear laughable, a surprising number of people find themselves unable to utter these words to their own reflection. When met with resistance, Louise would suggest a gentler approach: "I am willing to learn to love you." A similar example stems from the Theravadin monk Ajahn Brahms, whose first meditation instructor instructed him to smile at himself in the mirror each morning, regardless of his emotional state. Note that in both of these examples, intention plays a huge role in changing our thinking. Simply being willing to love yourself creates an energetic shift.
The second pillar - letting go of the past.
This is a huge one for so many of us. When on our journeys of self-love and loving life, it’s natural to start to feel resentment towards those who have hurt or abused us. As newborns we didn’t have any concept of fear or self-loathing, instead, we were fully in the present. However, society, and often our parents, inadvertently taught us to adopt these limiting thoughts. This makes it tempting to blame others for our own unhappiness.
Whilst the reality of this situation seems real, it’s crucial to note that before incarnating, we choose our parents and choose to encounter many of the people who come to teach us lessons. What our parents teach us, is often what they have been taught. Why should they know any better? They, along with the rest of society, are trying their very best but they have no concept of thinking any other way.
It's important to realise that when we blame others, we are digging ourselves into a hole that becomes harder and harder to leave. We are essentially saying “I’m unhappy and have no desire to change my situation.”
We can’t change the past or others, but using our free will, we can choose how to act in the present. This leads to the concept of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is often misunderstood as the idea that you don’t mind people mistreating you. It is often thought that when you forgive someone you are saying that what they did is ok. This is not the case. Forgiveness is actually a deeply personal act. Energetically speaking, it is choosing to, in the present moment, release anger towards something that has happened in the past so that you can be free in the present.
Whilst on Earth, our only true reality is the present. This is the only timeframe in which we can act. So, by choosing to live in the present and letting go of the past, we can learn to start appreciating the joy of life – both within and around us.
The third pillar - give what you want to receive.
This principle works on every level of the human experience, from relating to the self to our relationship with God. If we spent just one day seeing the direct correlation between our thoughts and experiences, we would quickly realise that our being is like a wish-fulfilling entity. This is a universal law (sometimes referred to as the law of attraction). The universe listens to our thoughts and sends them back to us. You know what they say: be careful what you wish for. That’s because you yourself are going to have to wear it and be it in the form of your experiences.
For example, if you want to experience love, if you want life to appear to be loving and supportive, it’s not rocket science to realise that we ourselves need to give that out. We need to be loving and supportive of life if we want to experience it.
Using this knowledge, start to be aware of your thoughts and you might be surprised at how often you accidentally manifest unfavourable experiences.
It is worth mentioning that the law of attraction is not designed so that we can micro-manage every aspect of our experiences, this thinking comes from an obsession with control. However, we can use the law of attraction as a tool to help our lives flow better.
The fourth pillar - gratitude
This goes hand in hand with the law of attraction. Gratitude is best summed up by its Chinese translation:感謝 ganxie – literally meaning “feeling of thank you.” This highlights how gratitude is as simple as saying thank you. Take the following example: A friend comes to visit you and gives you a sweater as a gift. If you start saying it’s not the right colour, the size is too big and it won’t go with any of your clothes, then your friend will most likely not bother getting a gift next time. However, if you say “thank you”, and express just how grateful you are and really communicate your excitement and gratitude, then your friend will feel your appreciation. The universe works in the same way. Life responds instantly to gratitude and the greater your gratitude, the more appreciation you attract.
A common question at this point is how can you be grateful for experiences that you don’t like? The point of gratitude, as with so many other lessons in life, is to focus on the positives, not the negatives. You don’t need to pretend that you’re grateful for being stuck in traffic. Instead, you can choose to focus on the positives of your experience. For example, if you live in a busy house then being stuck in traffic might give you 10 minutes of time on your own. By focusing on being grateful for this aspect of your experience, you’re not manifesting more traffic, but are attracting more time for yourself.
There are many exercises for expressing gratitude. One is to choose a mundane task and turn it into your gratitude time. An example could be emptying the dishwasher. Every time you remove an item from the dishwasher, you can choose to express your gratitude for something. If you have more time, you can do a walking meditation and say a prayer of gratitude with each step. You can also list 10 things you’re grateful for that day whenever you get into bed.
When choosing things to express gratitude for, it doesn’t need to be grand. You can express your gratitude for experiences as simple as getting to work on time or having a bed to sleep on. No matter how seemingly awful your day is, there are always things you can be grateful for.
The aim here is to turn gratitude into a habit. The energetic shift that this creates can improve our ability to attract the things we love. Furthermore, gratitude helps us love life as it already is.
The fifth pillar - trusting in life
Trust serves as the fundamental key that unlocks what we often consider life's mysteries. It can be likened to the electri
cal force that activates and connects all the synapses, propelling the entire mechanism of existence.
When we wholeheartedly trust, we discover that everything we seek is already within us. It encompasses a sense of safety, tenderness, vitality, exuberance, a feeling of belonging, levity, and love—whatever it is we yearn for, it resides within our being, waiting to be accessed through trust.
Our core beliefs about ourselves and the nature of existence set the stage, create the backdrop, introduce the characters, and unfold the plot in the grand drama that is our life on Earth. The core qualities of light, expansion and harmony exist in every single particle of existence. If we wish to find these qualities, then we need to trust that they are already there. It is an illusion that in order to love life we need to find something external to like. Life already provides all the goodness and beauty that we need within us. We just need to know it’s there.
These five pillars provide an overview of the different tools we can use to love life. Each of these pillars is a practice in itself, and they are by no means easy to master. However, as we have already discussed, having the intention to work them into your daily life will create energetic shifts. It is also true that simply being willing to love life will help you along this path.
Let us remember that in our life journey, whether on Earth or in a broader context, there is no definitive endpoint. Life is not like a treasure map with an "X" marking the location of gold. Rather, the treasure itself lies within the journey – it's woven into the very fabric of existence. The love, joy, and fun we all desire are ever-present, enveloping us. We simply need to remind ourselves of their presence and enjoy them as we continue along our paths.