What’s it going to take to have you fall in love with your life? Does your life need to change drastically in order for you to love it? Do you need to be different? Or maybe the people that you share your life with need to improve. Maybe it’s all of these things or maybe it’s none of them. Maybe the way you think about your life is what is in need of a change.
Your mission in life is to love your life…before it’s over.
Here’s a few things that might be getting in the way:
You don’t know what makes you happy
When you were a small child, you knew what made you happy. To be loved. To play. To be safe and comfortable. To be free to explore things that interested you. But as you grew up, you learned about other things that are supposed to make you happy: having a fancy car, being admired, doing what everyone else was doing. In addition, you were so often told what to do that you didn’t have enough of a chance to figure it out for yourself.
In a big city like Los Angeles with so much going on, it can be hard to slow down and think about what really matters to you. Even if you live in Encino or Calabasas, you’re not immune to the speed of life here. If you add in family, friends and work demands, there may be little time that you spend on yourself.
It’s understandable that you don’t always know what you want when you consider that you’re constantly sifting through the onslaught of messages that tell you how you should be living. While at the same time, not having enough time to play and discover, or to do the purposeful deep work of excavating your own inner thoughts and feelings.
Therapy is you prioritizing yourself for an hour or an hour and a half a week to do work of getting to know yourself better, figuring out what you want and don’t want, and what is stopping you.
You know what you want, but you don’t think you can get it. You’ve tried. Or you’re anxiety and depression have kept you from trying. Whatever the reason, it seems like the life you want to be living is out of reach. Until you get there you can’t be happy where you are.
One of the problems with being human is that as soon as you get “there” and have what you say you want to have, you will create something new to strive for. We’re always reaching for more. This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing in that striving for more is the energy of life. It’s that energy that put a man on the moon and made Mary Oliver write a phenomenal poem. It’s a curse in that you will always be hungry for more.
If you haven’t been able to feed the hunger of your basic needs for safety and love, it’s understandable to be discouraged or depressed. You may also feel anxious about whether you will ever get what you want.
If you don’t have a support system of people believing in you or you believing in yourself, it can be hard to fight the discouragement and keep going in the direction of your dreams.
An alternative is to learn to be happy where you are. So that loving your life doesn’t have to wait for “some day” and you can start loving your life now.
Therapy provides the opportunity to look at your life from multiple perspectives, opening the door for you to find new meaning and the ability to embrace the life you do have instead of pining for the life you don’t.
For some, life is a frightening experience. You’re afraid of the unknown. You fear what might lay ahead on the road to life. If you’ve had past traumas, you might always be anxious that you will experience trauma again. If you have low self-esteem, you may fear that you aren’t strong enough, smart enough or good enough to create a good life for yourself.
Anxiety is a terrible feeling. No one likes to be afraid, except at a scary movie. So if you feel afraid often because you’re anxious about what’s going to happen in your life then it would be difficult to love your life. How can you let go of the fear?
You’re burdened by disadvantages
You’re not one of the lucky ones who have wealth, health, love and a trauma-free history. Instead you have disadvantages. Those disadvantages have made your life difficult. The difficulties can overshadow any satisfaction that you could have with your life. Comparing your life to someone with more advantages can only make you feel worse.
Even with all the disadvantages, you and your life deserve to be loved.
Counseling can help you make peace with the life you’ve been given so that you can embrace the life that you have.
You forget to be grateful
It’s easy to go on autopilot, doing the stuff you’ve got to do, forgetting that you’re life is short and you’re lucky to be alive. What is it that wakes you up and reminds you to be grateful for your life? Sometimes it’s the death of someone you know and sometimes it’s a sunset. It could also be your child’s face or a great song on the radio. Nothing has changed but everything has changed. You are aware of how beautiful and precious this life is. Everything changes because you are thinking differently, seeing differently, causing you to feel differently.
Perhaps you haven’t been awakened by any of those experiences. Or maybe you intellectually know you should be grateful, but it never really reaches your heart and lights you up. Frequently, the light goes on, but then it goes off again and you don’t know where the light switch is or how to turn it back on again. This is what they mean by “enlightenment.” To see something in a different light. To see your life in a different light.
Therapy can help you discover what enlightens you and what keeps you in the dark.