I’d like to set a bit of a theme for 2018. Choose love. We’re not talking about romantic love, though that isn’t excluded.
What we’re talking about is how you hold a situation (or person — even your dog) in your heart. Is love the dominant feeling, or is it something else?
What if you were to identify just one confusing, perplexing, challenging, or stressful situation in your life? Just one. We all have them. And then for a period of time — a day, a week, a month — take notice every time it enters your mind.
Next, notice what your “feel” about it is. Is love the dominant feeling, or is it something else? If the answer is “something else,” then choose love. It’s really that simple.
Maybe it’s a situation (or person; your dog) that you already love or appreciate?
Ah yes. Are we talking about your best friend? Your child? Your sweetheart? Your boss? A cherished teacher? Your beloved dog? Your dog’s veterinarian? Then it’s all the more important to clear things up. Don’t wait! Choose love.
In even the best of relationships, there’s frequently a sticking point. Even in casual relationships, things slip up. “I don’t understand why he said this.” “I just don’t get why she did that.” You don’t need to. Simple solution. Let it go. Choose love.
If you have a long history with the person / situation, it may initially seem a bit harder to shift. You’re bucking momentum. But consider this. If in your heart of hearts this is someone you feel “safe” with, no matter what the outside circumstances may look like, then that feeling diminishes the risk considerably.
The point of power is always with you.
Here is the simple truth. You have a choice about how you show up. You don’t have much to say about circumstances like the weather, what happened last week, or if your friend got a flat on the way to work. None of those really matter anyway. How you show up does. It’s never going to help a situation if you walk in with a chip on your shoulder. Ditch the chip. Choose love.
You may not do it perfectly. There may be times when you fall flat on your face. Back in my karate training days, we learned and lived by a Japanese proverb that loosely translates, “Seven times down; eight times up.” No matter. Just brush yourself off and go again. Choose love. Keep going until the day comes when the dominant feeling in your heart when you think of that situation (or person; your dog) is genuinely love. It’s a sweet moment.
There’s a reason why I’m so passionate about this project right now. A few months ago, I adopted this practice in one small (but significant) place in my life. All I can say at the moment is that the magnitude of change I’ve experienced — including in seemingly unrelated areas — has been mind boggling. It’s brought me into greater alignment with myself.
Tools: A strategy to help you choose love
Choosing love may be simple, but it’s not always easy. In the heat of the moment, you may not have the time or clear thought needed to invent something from scratch. It’s helpful to have a “go-to” strategy in mind.
There are so many options. I always appreciate the foundational work of Louise Hay. (Yes, you’ll want to funnel some of this unconditional love toward yourself, and you may end up healing your life in the process.)
And yet what’s been working well for me lately is the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono. Check it out if you’re wanting a deceivingly simple tool to bring balance to your life. Then fasten your seat belt. And choose love. I’d love to hear your experience when you do!