Ever since we put in the pool/hot tub I’ve made an effort to get up early enough to go out to drink my coffee or tea sitting in the spa. For a large portion of the year it’s perfect timing to watch the sunrise. For almost a year now I have used the time to center myself and listen for any direction the Universe wanted to give me. Some mornings it’s quiet, other times the inspired ideas come to me so fast I wish i had a way to write them down in real time.
Last week a concept began to form that became very clear over the weekend: there are five facets of existence that we need to remember every moment of the day. (For ease of writing I’m going to break it into five different blog posts.)
Love everyone and everything (facet 1 of 5)
Being asked to love everyone and everything seems like the toughest of all the steps. But it’s the first, and truly I feel to be the most important. Like many concepts love has been pigeon holed into being one or three things only. When we think of love we tend to think of romantic love, love of family, love of friends, love of things and activities. That limited view of love is constantly reinforced in the entertainment industry and we seem to be influenced right from the start to think of love in just those ways. I was taught that love can only be applied to situations that please me.
But the mandate to love everyone and everything is so much more complex than that. I see now that love is way of seeing the good in others, even if they can’t see it themselves. Love is being kind and gentle in a sea of aggressiveness and inhumanity. Love is helping without being asked. Love is listening without giving an opinion unless and until the person asks. Love is staying in the moment and appreciating all that is happening right now, looking for what is good at that instant.
The first reaction of course is how can I possibly love this person that is annoying me so much? I don’t think the point is to fall in love with that person, or to make them my best friend, I think what’s being asked of me is to love that the moment is actually happening, patiently knowing that each of us being presented with an opportunity to grow. I love that this person is annoying me because in that experience I can see myself better, and I also have the opportunity to make different choices in the future (like perhaps going to a different coffee shop and maybe discovering something wonderful there that only being annoyed by the other place would have motivated me to make the change).
One of my biggest challenges has been to love the home that I currently live in. It’s kinda cramped, with a tiny kitchen, an odd dare I say cumbersome layout, etc, the bones of the house aren’t ideal. It’s super easy to not love this place. The moment I realized that focusing on what’s “wrong” with the place was taking up much of my time, I saw that I actually could love the house. It’s easy to love the meals that I’ve created in that kitchen, the creative storage challenges that I’ve enjoyed overcoming, the odd excitement in making what is meant to be the family room actually into my bedroom, having the ability to paint the outside purple. Purple! I live in a purple house!!! I love this house, I really do, and the things that I don’t love about it seem so much more inconsequential now.
My days have completely turned around when I started to focus on loving everyone and everything. The challenge of finding something to love became super-easy once I opened up to love being a much more complex feeling than just what Hollywood has taught me.
I have compiled this entire series, removed the ads, expanded on the concept and included bonus material now as a 17 page PDF download!