This question was asked by Stephen Jenkinson, the Griefwalker, at a seminar I attended.
I have been pondering it since.
What would it really take to fall in love with being alive?
Not just putting up with life, or suffering through it by being “stalwart,” the stiff upper lip philosophy. And not seeing life as a series of problems to be solved.
No, none of the above. What if we were in love with being alive no matter how it shows up for us? What if we didn’t get anxious or depressed when things were not going our way?
Or maybe even better, what if anxiety and depression just seemed part of the journey and understood as something that arose and was going to leave – temporary? So these states wouldn’t bring us down. Everything is just part of the journey.
According to Jesus, we can only really live life fully when we are willing to give up our worldly sense of it. We’ll then live from a place that doesn’t diminish or pass away — because it’s not of this world. Reality is not physical or mental – something numinous, beyond description.
Jesus tells us that by losing our life, we’ll find it. John 12:25
Just how does one do that? It’s certainly a paradox.
According to Eckart Tolle, a modern mystic, we’ll really only know how to live by learning to die while we’re still alive.
I think this implies that we need to give up the expectation that things should be better or different than they are right now.
It’s that should that causes suffering.
Things are the way they are for me, for now.
This is a great truth. As we integrate this, our expectations diminish, and we begin to experience what is knowing it will pass away too.
My old conditioning tells me that life is good when I’m getting what I want, and not so good when it isn’t giving me what I want.
Living from this view, I suffer. I feel the pain of sadness and grief, and I’m definitely not in love with this kind of living. Expecting this, and expecting that. Always expecting, often being disappointed and heartbroken.
So, my question to myself is this: Can I be in love with life while I still notice feelings of irritation, disappointment and anger with the way things are at this moment?
My answer is “yes.” At least I can learn to. I can examine my conditioned responses and note where they lead me.
I can look at my interpretation of how things are. Do I really know all that is happening in any moment? The truth is, “No, I don’t.”
So, I go back to beginner’s mind and ask God to reveal to me what I need to see and be right now. Just now, this minute.
Quantum physics proves how everything is in constant motion and that things happen according to causes which are so subtle that we are unable to comprehend, i.e. the butterfly effect.
I need to remember that I don’t really know what is going on. It’s unfathomable to my mind.
Here is where I need to trust that the universal energy of Godlove (that’s what I call universal energy) knows what it is doing, and knows how to unfold Itself.
By remembering this I can make a decision to accept What Is with open heartedness.
Am I going to trust 14 billion years of grace? Is this a long enough period for me to begin to trust it?
Or am I going to base my happiness, peace and serenity on whether I get my way.
Can I be happy right now? Can I be in love with being a part of this kind of universal energy — the kind that works everything together for good?
It may take time, but it is always being drawn upward and higher.
So, better I just fall in love with being part of something that can and has provided 14 billion years of grace, and will continue to do so!
Falling in love with life means living from a “Yes, this is what is for me, for now” mentality, rather than a “just as soon as….” way of being.
The truth is things are just the way they need to be for my soul growth, right now, this minute.
What am I here for? A more comfortable life? Or for soul growth?
My soul doesn’t seem to care how comfortable I am, it just keeps aiming for truth.
Each day I ask God to reveal to me what I need to see and to know.
Then I do my best to breathe and stay open to all that this day brings, giving thanks that this is life. What more can I expect?
This is no small thing. And it takes my continual effort and deep intention. Want to join me?
God knows how to grow us.
Trust the process.