What is it to love life? It seems like it would play out physically with a smile and a pep in your step as you spritely go about the day. A smile is a good thing, it takes effort and it is contagious. Though it is not always easy to greet the day that way. Sometimes it takes the aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea to break through the morning grog and we just ease into our day.
A Good Start Makes for a Good Day
How we start our day is a key factor as to how that day plays out. A grateful mind is a way to show appreciation for the breath we take. To love life is to embrace or accept the big and small, the good and bad while holding on to hope and anticipating well being. Worry and anxiety find their way into my mornings far too often, in those times, gratefulness is not how I greet the day, rather it is some form of regret or doubt.
When we feel bad for what we would perceive as missed opportunities, our focus turns backward which blurs our vision for the present and future. When self-doubt creeps in, hope for what could be begins to fade, and the outlook on our present state becomes bleak. Just as this last paragraph has taken a turn toward the melancholy, so will our days if do not choose to love life.
My wife and I were at a conference last year, and one of the speakers challenged all of those in attendance to greet the day with a nice “hello”. It felt funny at first, but it did add a lightness to the morning, and awareness to the possibility that lay ahead. As we open our eyes, say hello, take a deep breath, or just think about the possibilities that lie ahead.
Give Framework to Life
Life. Sometimes it moves slow, sometimes it moves fast. Some days bring laughter and cheer, others may bring sorrow. Somedays we walk about in health, and other times we may be weighed down in sickness. As a newborn takes her first breath, a mother may take her last. Each day brings newness, though we may feel trapped in the mundane. Each day our love is given a chance to grow, and it can grow endlessly.
“Life does not mean something vague, but something very real and concrete, just as life’s tasks are also very real and concrete. They form man’s destiny, which is different and unique for each individual. No man and no destiny can be compared with any other man or any other destiny.”
-Dr. Viktor Frankl
How do you define life? For me, it begins with the lives that I am in close proximity with, which in my case, is my wife and two daughters. At the core of what I define as life are the interactions and conversations I have with my family. Am I making them feel loved and valued? Do they feel hopeful? Do they feel empowered to be themselves? For me, to live life starts with working toward answering yes to those questions.
Values and Action
Ultimately, by defining our values we will define our life direction. If we value relationships, then we take steps toward building and enriching relationships. If we value creative living, then we create. Loving life does not mean we have to surrender to our current state as the ultimate state, we may need to make some changes, but we must love it along the way and appreciate what we are going through as part of our story.