Diane Gagnon, coach and author (http://facebook.com/DianeGagnon.Auteur.Coach)
These are often the wishes we extend to our loved ones almost automatically at the start of each new year: love and health!
Many of us mistakenly believe that only a few privileged individuals receive these precious gifts to be happy in life. Sometimes we have the feeling that we don’t have either of them, and our lives don’t seem to live up to our expectations.
And yet, we ALWAYS have much more than what we think!
In fact, we often hope to regain our health or receive love, when it is actually us who need to BE the love and APPRECIATE the health we have – a sort of special training for the areas of ourselves that require even more love.
Let me tell you what I mean.
The reason for our existence on Earth is to learn to love. More. Better. Without judging. Everything that happens to us in life – absolutely everything, without exception – happens for this valuable lesson: to learn to love.
First of all, this means learning to love ourselves, because it is difficult to love others if we do not love ourselves. Learning to love yourself can be the greatest challenge you face in your lifetime. Regardless of our physical, financial, social, personal or family status, we must learn to love ourselves for what we are, with whatever life lessons are placed on our path in their various forms – they’re there to teach us.
Don’t expect to be loved for loving yourself or loving others. A fireplace gives off no heat unless we have wood, paper and fire! Let’s start first by loving ourselves, us, the way we are, loving the life we have, even if we don’t like it, it’s no everyday challenge. Because in the love we have for ourselves lies the key to our happiness.
This lesson can’t be avoided or postponed for our whole life. It is the basis for everything, for all our happiness, our openness to life, our approach to what happens in our life, our openness to others and our ability to receive the love of others. Have you noticed how we doubt the love of others when we don’t love ourselves? To accept being loved, you must first love yourself.
It is often a long and difficult lesson, as it is not widely taught, but it is a daily journey that gives us great joy… and love!
Let’s learn to love ourselves by doing an act of kindness for ourselves every day. By taking care of ourselves, for example, by doing something that pleases us, by recognizing our qualities, or by finding the child within us to look after. Also, by listening to our heart, by putting ourselves at the service of our soul, we can be seamlessly guided through our own life mission.
Because we all have a mission in life, regardless of our physical capabilities.
We are always given us the best possible conditions for our development. Oh! Of course, we often strongly disagree with what is “imposed” on us. But if we open ourselves up to life, we will understand that everything serves our greater good, whether it’s to achieve our mission in our own way, to finally learn to love ourselves as we are, or to learn how to love others and life more, nurturing the life we have.
Our health, or rather our health conditions, often seem to be a limitation on what we want to do. But what if these were the very conditions we need to accomplish our life mission? And even if our health problems worry us, don’t we have, elsewhere in our life, a healthy mind, a healthy heart and healthy relationships?
Byron Katie, an internationally-renowned American author, reminds us of this: “How do we know if we really need this thing (illness, problem or event) in our lives?” If we have it, if we are experiencing it, it is what we need! Likewise, what we don’t have, we don’t need at the present time.
I know, for many of us, this is probably a drastic change in perceptive towards life. And any change, especially of this magnitude, needs time and openness. Indeed, the most important thing is to remain open to these thoughts and not to discard them right away. Let them run their course within us and let’s see if they can bring us something of value.
I know, I don’t suffer from cystic fibrosis, but I’ve had my share of challenges and illnesses in my life. When I finally opened myself up, just a little bit, to a new perspective on life, my life began to change. For the better. In all aspects.
How open we are to life determines how much happiness we let in. The more open we are, the more we can welcome what life sends us and understand that everything has its place in our lives. And we too have a place in our lives.
So every hard moment in life is necessary to make room for something bigger. Every abandonment teaches us to love ourselves more and to never again abandon ourselves. Every failure is a springboard to go further, so it is not a real failure. Every betrayal teaches us to love more and to forgive. Every disease teaches us to love more, to choose what is essential, not to judge, and to develop qualities and skills we may not have developed otherwise. Every challenge is part of our development. Every heartache teaches us to keep our heart open. There’s a wonderful Sufi proverb which says: “Life breaks the heart again and again and again until it stays open”. And doesn’t Leonard Cohen sing that the cracks are what lets the light get into our soul?
So, a day will come when we “welcome” what we have been given, day by day, with more and more openness, as we gain an intrinsic awareness that there is a gift for us behind every situation. Sometimes the gift is poorly packaged, I agree. But there is ALWAYS a gift. The heavier burden, the larger the gift!
I wish, with all my heart, that you find your unique!