Love Your Life!

Fall truly, madly and deeply in love with your life; all of it, even the shadows, and never stop falling! ~ unknown

Fall madly in love with your life...

Fall madly in love with your life…

I read this quote the other day and thought to myself, “I want to be that person.”

In many ways, I already am. I consider myself quite blessed.

I love my family, my friends, this beautiful country I live in and the wonderful opportunities I’ve had, and still have, to make a difference in this world.

But what about the shadows?

For the most part, I love them too…

…love might not be the right word. I’m grateful for them.

But there are times, when I feel like I’m not measuring up

I’m not doing enough; working hard enough.

There are times when I feel like I haven’t been treated fairly

I haven’t been heard or understood

I’m being judged harshly.

These are things that I must accept as part of my life as well. Things that I must embrace and hold dear. After all, I learn from them. I grow. And isn’t that what love is all about anyway?

~ DIANA’S ENORMOUS BOOK OF QUOTES ~

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41 thoughts on “Love Your Life!

  1. Shine a light on the shadows… bring them into the light, once there they are far easier to handle… have no shadows… I can’t believe you have shadows… not from the character displayed in your posts… I think you can handle anything…

    • I think we all have shadows at times, no? That’s where love and courage come in handy to shine that light (I think). Maybe we have different definitions for ‘shadows.’

      Thank you for your kind words and great confidence in my abilities!!
      Diana xo

  2. There is a zen saying, something about how the space around the tree defines the tree as much as the tree does. Another way to say it: without ugly, beauty has no meaning; without pain there is no meaning in joy. As you say, “love” might not be the right word; perhaps “graceful acceptance” fits the bill?

    What I find interesting is the drive many have to be better. What is it within us that scolds us when we fall short and pulls us to be more, be better? That drive may be one of the things that defines our humanity.

      • Could be; you’re certainly not the first to posit an evolutionary basis for our higher instincts! I’ve pondered the community-building aspects of religion myself. Even if so I find it all very interesting. Evolution is usually concerned with the individual’s genes, not the tribe’s or species’ genes. We almost never find altruism in the animal kingdom. Yet it’s common among (true) humans.

      • Exactly as you say, “benefits the individual,” which makes them ultimately selfish choices. We find, in humans, choices of self-sacrifice with no benefit to the individual whatsoever.

      • really? I think there’s always a pay off, maybe not monetary but something that makes us feel good about ourselves, thus contributing to our own well-being….

        And in the animal kingdom, what about stories where animals care for other species? Dolphins saving humans from shark attacks? A kitten sucking the teat of a pig? I recently saw a video where a leopard killed (can’t remember animal) and after the kill it spotted its prey’s offspring and protected and cared for it all night. Amazing stories with no apparent evidence of personal gain…

    • I’m not sure there’s any direct evolutionary advantage in “feeling good about yourself” (it’s possible it could have a negative value if it makes you complacent and lazy. To me (just my opinion, obviously), such drives come from higher centers of reason and purpose.

      Some of the animal cases you cited are likely due to instinctive behaviors (suckling certainly is). I’d be curious what happened to the prey’s offspring later… was the leopard saving them for a snack or did it just abandon them the next day? Animals generally don’t kill if they’re not hungry or threatened. And, interestingly, many animals seem to recognize and treat differently infants of other species.

      Dolphins are another matter, and we have observed behaviors there that *may* be altruistic. They are very social creatures, and some of the behaviors may be instinctual. They’re known to help buoy up ailing members of the pod by swimming beneath them — a behavior that’s also caused them to “rescue” swimmers. And, of course, they are natural predators of sharks.

      To be honest, I’m on the thin ice of my own knowledge, so I could be way off on this. My understanding has been that true altruism, especially when it comes at a cost to the giver, is very rare in the animal kingdom, but not among humans. Of course, we really don’t know what animals feel and think, so who knows!

  3. I believe our “shadows” in life teach us a lot about who we are and what defines us as individuals. And in every life a little rain must fall. It helps us to appreciate the sunny days more fully.

    However, I don’t like thinking of you, of all people, being treated unfairly or not being understood. :(

    • (smiling) Jennifer, thanks for coming to my defence! It happens to all of us, no? And also, sometimes it’s just our perception and not the intention of others to do so… maybe. :)
      Diana x0

  4. There is a godsend in the shadows as well – as they are the source of cooling we seek when the heat is too intense.
    You’ve made some lovely points in your essay. Gratitude is essential–I wholeheartedly agree!

    • Or we keep them hidden, sometimes because we’re ashamed, sometimes because we think people won’t like us, sometimes because we don’t realize that when we expose them to the light of day, they lose their power over us…

      How is your February sabbatical going Bill?

      • good – I will really go silent shortly, but today I dropped Jan off at the airport, she and my oldest are off to Costa-Rica for a week.

        On the way back I had a wonderful breakfast at a little place run by a family for 30 years.

      • I’m glad Jan and daughter get to go on a trip together. I know that my trips with Mom were amazing and bonded us closer!

        Don’t stay silent too long – we miss you when you’re gone!
        Diana

  5. “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” Martin Luther King Jnr
    I never really understood this quote until I descended into darkness. Now I understand.
    Loving ALL of it, is so important. You are SO correct. :)

  6. Love this Diana. Thanks for sharing. Our shadow tis valuable because for me it is the part of me I want to grow out of, or away from. I was that, and it made me what I am but I am that no longer. We should love it because it made us, but it needs to know we serve it no longer. It is now in service of us.

    • Powerful words Ian and you got me thinking! Is it possible that new shadows can present themselves as we change and grow and that life is a continuous flow of embracing them as part of us, exposing them to the light and growing from them?

  7. Love this post, D. I think it’s a choice each day to do this–love your life. Some days are easier than others but if I really take a moment to think of all the goodness in my life, the blessings I can truly fall in love with my life. Thanks for the lovely reminder.

  8. I really like this post and the message :) There’s so much light (and darkness) in all of our lives, and sometimes it’s hard to embrace both sides. In the end, we must embrace it all because that’s where growth, acceptance, and self-love come from!

  9. This is so beautiful, Diana, I really loved this!
    Isn’t it amazing to contemplate loving the shadows, loving it all, not just the things we deem good. It all comes down to, what’s good anyways? How do we know/decide what’s good, and isn’t it a definition that’s subjective to each person?
    The shadows are absolutely necessary, not bad, we all have them. Shadows help us see the light or the direction our hearts really want to go. Sometimes we may even choose to stay in the shadows for any given period of time, because that’s where we need to sort ourselves out, and that’s perfectly okay as well.
    If we can only accept the good without the shadows then we deny accepting all of ourselves. We deny understanding true peace, love and flow. At least, that’s what I believe.
    I think we tend to quickly reject what we think is bad, dark, shadowed and pretend it doesn’t exist as a means of dealing with it. But as we all know the longer we look away the longer they stick around.
    As you beautifully said, they’re here to help us grow, not punish. We don’t need protection from it, we just need to have faith that accepting it doesn’t define us as being it.
    Wonderful, wonderful, Diana!
    ~Andrea<3

  10. Beautiful! My apologies for being tardy – but am so happy to be here today with time to properly catch up! This is so true, and I appreciate your inclusion of the concepts of our shadows. It’s all a part of this wonderful classroom called Life!
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. Hugs, xo Gina

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