This one simple exercise can change your life!
A couple of years ago, on one random and rather average day, I made an important discovery that - although I did not know it at the time - would have the most profound positive impact on my attitude towards life, and thus my happiness.
In fact it was so average a day that I can't in all honesty recount the specifics of how I spent it. However I do remember doing something for my dad, at my mom's request; doing some work around the house; working on my laptop; spending an evening with my husband and kids. The realization came at the end of the day when I looked back at my actions and noticed that I loved everything I did AND that I did it all with love.
Now this was not an entirely new concept to me, yet something about the simplicity of the realization really hit home, and the decision was made: this is what I want to do EVERYDAY. I want to LOVE. I want to do what I love and love what I do. Hypothetically, I said to myself: when asked that all too common question "What did you do today?” instead of blurting out a string of events, I want my reply to be "I LOVED." What a simple idea. To the practical and analytical side of me it sounded cheesy, corny, naive?... BUT it also actually made sense. How did I not think of it before?
This did not mean that I would only do the things that gave me pure pleasure; rather it meant that I would find the pleasure and, more importantly, the purpose in everything I do. After all, even the most mundane "chore", when done for a purpose that is true and important to me, can fit under the umbrella of love and thus cease to be a chore.
Going through a list of the things we regularly do and noting the purpose for which we do them is a brilliant way to align our actions with what is meaningful to us. It allows us to evaluate our actions and choices and make any adjustments we see fit.
And so I set out to make love a practice and an approach to life. Spending my days doing what I love wasn't too much of a stretch for me as it turns out. So I began to make a conscious effort to extend that love. I put on my 'love glasses' - the love filter through which I planned to see the world - and began exercising what I call my love muscle, knowing that with exercise it will only stretch further, gain a wider range of motion and become stronger.
Putting on my imaginary love glasses allowed me to see the world in a different light. Even more so than before, I was able to look for and see the good in people and in events, especially people who are very different from me and events that at first glance seemed to lack any good. Looking for what's good became my daily goal, even if unconsciously, over time. And because WHAT WE FOCUS ON GROWS, love and beauty naturally grew in me and thus around me. The more I focused on them, the more they colored and brightened my world. The practice became a habit and the habit became a lifestyle. I have never been more at peace. And life has never looked better.
P.S. Looking for what you like or for what is good in a person or experience does not mean that you are oblivious to what you don't like or what isn't good in your opinion, nor does it mean that you have to accept it. It means that you shift your focus in order to gain that broadening of perspective that will inevitably shift and enrich your life. The practice has an intrinsic value to YOU, irrespective of any decisions or actions you choose to take in relation to people and events.
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