“Give up all ideas about yourself and simply be.”
– Nisargadatta Majaraj
There is a vast difference between continually struggling through life and in loving life.
Some of the experiences that move us through struggle are unforeseen or out of our hands.
Similarly, we can’t ever truly predict when we will dive into the warm depths of deep love.
And we never know how long that love will stay with us.
I’m not talking about a romantic kind of love…
…I’m talking about the purest form: love of life.
The kind of love that feels eternally expansive.
The kind that feels bright enough to light even the darkest of shadows.
The kind that feels limitless…as if it’s so big, your heart might burst, simply because it’s too small of a container for such pure love.
Experiencing this type of love isn’t happenstance.
It’s cultivated and grown from deep within us.
We don’t always have control over the situations that are presented to us, or the hardships that we face as we navigate our world.
But, we do have so much more control in where we fall on that spectrum between struggle and love, than we realize or even give ourselves credit for.
I believe a huge part of where we land, depends on how we interact with life.
Are we taking experience and turning it into a struggle or are we turning it into love?
Here’s a great example:
Everyone knows that it’s incredibly important for us to exercise our bodies in order to stay healthy.
That working out provides serious benefits to not only our muscles, but also our emotional and mental state.
That exercise helps to regulate our hormones that control literally every function in our body, from our metabolism, to our stress levels to how well we’re sleeping at night.
And yet, it can be a huge hurdle for people to actually implement in their lives.
I understand, because I’m the same way.
I always tell myself that I need to get my workout in 5 days a week and that I need to carve out the time and just get it done.
But I fail in this goal…every single week.
And it’s because I’m thinking about exercise as a linear model.
That it needs to be accomplished in a predetermined way: go to the gym, do 30 minutes of cardio, 30 minutes of weights, etc.
And I struggle with that.
I struggle with finding the time to exercise.
I struggle to fit it into my already packed day.
And when I do…I’m even struggling through the workout itself.
If I want to cultivate a life of deeper love, I have to ask myself…
…in the words of Marie Kondo, “Does it bring you joy?”
That’s a hard “No.”
But do you want to know what does?
Walking my dogs.
Hiking the foothills.
Those are all equally valuable ways to introduce exercise into my day that don’t make me feel as if I’m struggling.
Instead, they fill me with that deep love of life.
I’d much rather have a dance party in my living room for 30 minutes than doing a thousand squats and situps.
I’d much rather go on a hike where I can enjoy nature, than running on a treadmill.
I am huge proponent of doing things that make me feel good, and not doing things that don’t make me feel good.
Seriously, it’s that simple.
So, I challenge you to look at all the areas of your life that you feel that you’re struggling in.
Are the situations truly out of your control?
Or is there a way to stop doing the things in life that are causing unnecessary struggle and to replace them with things that bring you a deeper sense of love for life?
SoulfireShift Guest Contributor