How to Have More Love in Your Life - Step Two

How to Have More Love in Your Life - Step Two

We’re in a three-part series here at LoveRoots on How to Have More Love in Your Life. In this series, we’re discussing three simple steps you can take to dramatically increase the love in your life.

Hopefully, you’ve already read about the first step you need to take to have more love in your life. If not, you can do so here: How to Have More Love in Your Life - Step One

The Second Step to More Love in Your Life

The second step to increase the love in your life has a lot to do with your thinking. Let's briefly discuss our world and then focus on how that affects you.

We are living in a world that is full of turmoil. Fear and anger and resentment are the dominant emotions in our world right now. The source of these emotions is not hard to identify either: fear and anger come from a lack of love, and resentment comes from a lack of gratitude.

Our world may be lacking in love and gratitude but that doesn’t mean you can’t easily cultivate these emotions in your life. There may be turmoil all around us, but it does not have to be in us.

A Discontent Age

So many people are chasing pleasure, possessions, popularity, prestige, and all the stuff the world says makes people happy and satisfied, yet depression is now the second leading cause of global disabilities, and it’s rising.

We are living in a time when the vast majority of people have their basic needs met - food, clothing and shelter - yet we are as unhappy and unloving as ever. We are living in a discontent age, even though we have so much to be thankful for.

We are focusing on the wrong things. There is too much grumbling and murmuring in our world today, and too little gratitude and appreciation. We need to renew our minds and reject wrong thinking and take hold of right thinking.

Trade Your Expectations for Appreciation

Your expectations are key. If you constantly expect too much out of life or out of others, and you don’t allow room for the ups and downs in life, you will often find yourself feeling frustrated, heavy-hearted, and even miserable.

Having unrealistic expectations - or expecting things to always go your way - cultivates the habit of being critical. This type of behavior corrodes love, joy, and peace. It is better to understand there’s some things you can’t control and you won’t always get what you want or deserve. Life is not always fair.

A wiser approach is to trade your expectations for appreciation. No one can be miserable who chooses this - for the choice to appreciate something leads to happiness just as the choice to depreciate something leads to resentment.

I can testify to this in my life. In 2015, I had a wife and two kids taken from me. They were my world and it devastated me. I spent five months in homelessness reeling from that, yet it birthed the desire to help others that are hurting and it’s why LoveRoots donates all profits to charity.

Suffering is an unfortunate part of life. However, if we patiently suffer and allow God (or the universe, or whatever you want to call it) to use the experience for good it can make us better people, instead of bitter people. We must be patient when life doesn’t go our way.

Instead of expecting so much from your emotions or situation or another person, just learn to appreciate how life is unfolding for you and how it is trying to shape you and teach you.

Quote roses thorns gratitude

Gratitude is the Attitude

Gratitude is what we need to focus on now more than ever, for gratitude destroys fear and anger. You can’t be grateful and angry - these two emotions cannot exist together.

Having an attitude of gratitude silences the grumbling, complaining and arguing tongue in you and forms a more pleasant, delightful and agreeable you in its place. To have an attitude of gratitude is the way to go, for you and for everyone who comes in contact with you.

On the flip side, not choosing to be grateful for what you have is a dangerous path. That is where thoughts of self-pity and misery live. These are powerful thoughts and they can suck the life out of you (and those around you). You must guard your mind against these thoughts. Ingratitude is ugly and destructive.

Live in the Moment

Happiness does not live in the future, it lives in the present. As soon as you start thinking about being happy five minutes from now or tomorrow, you risk losing your happiness now. Too much scheming and dreaming takes away from present happiness.

Do not worry about the future. Your happiness lies in the present, so bring your attention to the present. If you are happy now, you are good. If you are happy and in the dance of love you are experiencing heaven on earth. Find that place.

Happiness is not about your material state either, it has to do with your spiritual state. It is a state of well-being. It is a state of joy and contentment with a sense that life is good, and while not always fair, life is worthwhile and it is beautiful and magical at times.

Choose to Be Happy

You can choose to be happy, wherever you are. It is not that difficult. For example…

  • If you have recently lost a loved one, you can think about how lucky you are for the time you had together.
  • If you have household problems, you can think about all those without a family or shelter tonight.
  • If your meal was made wrong, you can think about all those going hungry in the world.
  • If you’re stuck in traffic, you can think about all those people that must walk miles a day just for water.
  • If you’re buried at work, you can think about those that are out of work, struggling and hurting.

Quote piglet gratitude

Instead of wishful thinking or focusing on what you lack, learn to be content and focus on what you have. You can always find a way to be thankful and grateful.

Two Easy Habits to Increase Gratitude

If you want to increase the gratitude in your life, there are two habits that can really help.

The first is Gratitude Walks (everyday, if possible). A 20-minute walk is great, but even a 10-minute walk is sufficient and will increase your brain functioning and happy hormones.

During your Gratitude Walk simply give thanks for everything you can think of, especially the little things. Give thanks for your sight, your hearing, the wind on your face, the beautiful sound of your feet touching the earth. It’s the little things we need to take more notice of.

The second habit is meditation. It doesn’t have to be complicated (although reading a book on it might be helpful). Find a peaceful spot; focus on slow, deep breathes; and quiet your mind. Create a space for you to feel the energy of your thoughts. Think thoughts of acceptance, peace, and gratitude.

Do this for 10-20 minutes as often as you like. First thing in the morning is a great way to start each day.

Final Thoughts

In everything, you can give thanks. In blessings, you can give thanks for the good you receive. In trials, you can give thanks for the character it is developing in you. How you choose to see life makes all the difference.

Accept life with all its ups and downs, and find the good.

So what are you happy about in your life right now? What are you most grateful for? What do you need to appreciate more? Who do you need to appreciate more? How can you find the gift in today?

And how can you enjoy the things you don’t look forward to? (For example: If you don’t like your job, how can you enjoy your job more? Can you say something to brighten someone else’s day at work? … Or if you don’t like exercising, how can you enjoy it more? Can you listen to something funny or uplifting or educational? Can you think of someone to send a thoughtful text to?)

You will begin to feel more love in your life as you open your heart to being more thankful, and you will feel more gratitude when you think about the things you appreciate in your life.

My hope is that your heart will be filled with joy no matter what, and that your mind will be filled with gratitude and thankfulness in all things, even in your trials.

May your heart be thankful today.

Written by Dane Patrick Duross, Founder of LoveRoots

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