“When you fall in love with life, every limitation disappears. You break the limitations on money, health, happiness, and the limits of joy in your relationships.” -Rhonda Byrne, The Power
One of the most profound changes I’ve ever made is simply falling in love with life.
We think that if we just fight against what we don't like long enough, everything will be great. If we get rid of what we don't want, we'll only be left with what's good, right? I used to spend so much time counting the injustices, recording the unfair moments, and paying attention to everything that frustrated me about life on earth. All that does is waste countless hours, spend precious energy, and create unfulfilling lives by disliking the very gift that brought us here.
Fortunately, there's another way! There's nothing to get rid of, and everything in the world to love. Ironically, beautifully, perfectly – by focusing on what we love about life we bring more of those amazing things to us.
So how do we fall in love with life?
1. Focus on what you love
“It’s easy to underestimate the power of our thoughts. The mere act of focusing one’s thoughts on achieving something, however, increases the probability it will manifest.” –Scott Jeffrey, Creativity Revealed
As obvious as this seems, when you finally make the switch from focusing on everything you don’t love to focusing on everything you do love, you’ll be astounded. Simply making the shift from your “default” thinking to asking yourself the question, “what do I love?” will have a profound effect on your life. The more you ask yourself this question, the more profoundly your life will change – for the better!
At any given moment, you can find something you love. When I first began this practice, a little part of me thought, “Well, I’m going to run out of things and I’m going to be thinking about the same ten things over and over again.” I also had the little thought, “How am I going to keep the bad things out if I’m not watching for them? Who’s going to be on guard if I’m over here paying attention to everything that’s good?”
I was determined to try it anyway – and you know what happened? Instead of being flooded with bad things, I was astounded to find that the amount of negative situations, circumstances, people and events that came into my life dramatically reduced. And instead of thinking about the “same ten things” over and over again that I loved, I found an incredible amount of things to love and appreciate that I never paid attention to before. The slightest things that I would’ve overlooked before became sources of profound joy. You can say I finally learned to “stop and smell the roses.”
2. Don’t pay attention to what you don’t love
Many of us know we don’t do the “good we ought to do” often enough in life, but we forget how much power we’re giving away to negative things when we spend time and attention on them. Much of what we feel is “wrong with the world” is actually reinforced by our talking about what’s wrong! When we focus our attention on these things, rail against them, complain about them, and spend time thinking about them, we’re giving them incredible power – but we’re also taking away valuable moments that could be spent creating amazing, wonderful things!
“I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there.” – Mother Teresa
3. Know that you only see what you think you see.
“You create your own universe as you go along.” -Winston Churchill
“All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” -Buddha
You only see what you think. The world is a hologram of your thoughts! You can change the hologram at any moment.
When I first learned about this I thought it was a little “out there.” I thought, “well, I can control how I feel about things, but I can’t actually change the life I live in.”
I can tell you from my own experience, you absolutely can. The life I lived in was one of struggle, frustration, and unhappiness, with brief periods of success and joy that never seemed to last long enough. It wasn’t until I started purposefully changing the way I saw life that life started changing for me. It seems “magical” and backwards – but I wouldn’t put it here if I hadn’t personally experienced the profound effects of this truth.
4. Fall in love with things that seem unlovable
At first, this can seem like a challenge, but it’s become one of the things I love the most about life. There is something loveable in everything in life, if only you can find it. Here’s the secret: the most incredible parts of life are carefully shrouded in things we often think are negative!
Whatever we’re resisting is the path. Anytime you notice something that causes you frustration, anger or pain, remember that there is something beautiful to be found there. When you stop resisting it, the pain disappears.
5. Bring out the highest qualities in life with your attention to them.
“The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.” -Julia Cameron
It’s so easy to get caught up in the little details that really don’t matter in life.
Know that what you pay attention to grows. What you focus on increases. Your attention is a powerful magnifier in your life. Find the highest qualities in life (just like you’d list the best qualities in a person you love) and focus on them until they surround you.
I love the way life supports me. I love the magic of each moment. I love the people life brings to me. I love the way life increases my capacity to love each day by bringing more and more beautiful things into my life. When you truly focus on what you love in life, your life will transform beyond your wildest imagination!