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how to love your life's path

Loveyourpath 
 

"Your mind knows only some things.
Your inner voice, your instinct, knows everything.
If you listen to what you know instinctively,
it will always lead you down the right path."

Henry Winkler



Do you love the path your life is headed down? Yeah, I know, that's kind of a big question to just throw at you, right? But, if you think about it, we're all on so me sort of path. Some of us are doing what we can to control and guide our paths. Some of us are just riding life out, going with the flow and seeing where it takes us. No matter what way you choose to view or act on your life's path, you do have one. We all do. The question then becomes not whether we have a path, but whether or not we like our path. To be honest, I go back and forth on the issue. One day I feel like my life is going just as it should, that I'm treading nicely along a path that makes me happy and fills my life with positivity. The next day I can be unsure, uncertain about whether or not I'm living the best life I could be living. I'll find myself asking, "Are there things I could change? Are there things I want to change? What would my ideal life path be?" Some days I find myself wondering if I'm on the right path.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this. No matter how content one seems (or claims) to be, I'm pretty most people question the path their heading down at one point or another. It's human nature, I suppose. However, after reading Loving What Is by Byron Katie, I'm coming to the realization that I'm always on the right path, no matter what's happening in my life. Whatever's happening is supposed to happen. Whatever path I'm heading down is the path I'm supposed to be on. Of course it's not always that easy to believe this (especially when things in your life are less than ideal), but, really, what sense does it make not to? Does it make you happier to believe you're on the wrong path? No. Does it bring more stress and anxiety into your life when you fret about if you're traveling down the right road? Yes. To me, it makes a lot more sense to accept your life as it is -- to embrace it and love it -- than it does to question and critique it.

However, that doesn't mean we have to relinquish all control when it comes to our lives. Walking around going "La-dee-la, I have no control so I'm just going to do nothing" is certainly not any way to live a full, happy life. We have control over our lives, but we also need to take to heart the idea that our lives are moving along just as they should. As I said, this isn't always easy to do, especially if you love to have control like I do. As much as I absolutely loved reading Katie's work, it was hard for me at times to say, "Yeah, my life is going along just as it should. It always has and it always will." Part of me wants to revolt against that idea and say, "Hey! My life has been really shitty before and I have to make sure it doesn't ever get that way again!" It's pretty hard for me not to want to believe that I have control over every single aspect of my life. I have the ability to make choices, yes, but I have to remember that every choice -- no matter what it feels like -- is the right choice for my life's path.

For someone who easily jumps to a critical conclusion, it's not all that easy for me to accept that, no matter what I do, I'm doing the right thing. How can I really know that? How can I know that I'm not, right now, making some horrible mistake? I guess, when it comes down to it, there's no way to know. I have to just sit back, do what I do, and accept that my life is unfolding as it should. And, as I learned from Katie, there's no way that it could be unfolding any other way. What is happening is what's supposed to happen. If it weren't supposed to happen, it wouldn't be happening. Does that make sense? Yeah, it's hard for me to grasp sometimes, but, deep down, I believe there's a truth in that. Does knowing this truth make it easier for me to love and accept the path I'm on in life? Yes and no. Part of me really does realize that everything is happening as it should and I have to keep going on doing what I believe I should be doing. The other part of me rebels and demands that I seize control, make changes, and move my life down a path that is ideal for me (but, then, what really is ideal? how do I know it would be ideal?). I struggle with this all the time as I'm sure many of you do as well. I want to control my life, live the best life I can, but I also want to believe that I'm living my life just fine and that nothing is happening that shouldn't be happening.

So how do I balance it all out? How do I make choices in my life while ultimately committing myself to loving my life's path? I can't say that I've perfected the art of this by any means, but I do have a few suggestions that I work with (and that might help you out too if you're working to accept the path you're on in life). I'm going to share them with you here with the hope that I can continue down my path with love and acceptance and that you too can appreciate the road down which you are traveling. Life is a tricky thing to figure out. Why are we here? What is our purpose? Is there a purpose? Are we each living our purpose properly? I don't have all (or any!) of the answers, but I do know that, no matter who you are or what you think the purpose of life is, you can't help but benefit from loving the path you're on in your life. Live it now. Love it now. Here's my advice on how...

 

How To Love Your Life's Path


  • Accept and love yourself first. No matter what you are working toward in life or what you think your purpose is, the best way to fulfill your dreams and reach your goals is to love yourself. You have to love who you are first if you want to love the path you're on. According to one Buddhist saying, "You cannot travel the path until you become the path itself." If you want to love the path you're on, you have to love yourself. You, your very being, is the driving force behind your life's purpose. If you can't love yourself, how in the world can you love your path? It's impossible. Do whatever you must do to love yourself, respect yourself, and accept yourself. This is the first step to making peace with your life and loving the path you're on.

 

  • Let go of your (good or bad) past. When your mind is wandering constantly back to the past, you are not really moving forward or embracing the present moment. You are stuck in one spot, looking backwards. Remind yourself that the past -- whether it was good or bad -- is over. You cannot go back there and you will never again be the person you were in the past. You are you now, and the person you are now is the person you must focus on in order to really understand and love your life as it is right now. I often find myself caught up in scenes from the past, reliving them in my head. This does no good. It wastes time and energy that could be spent focusing on the path I'm heading down. Learn from your past, love your past (if you can), but let it go. You may need the lessons, but you don't need the baggage. Drop right now on the path and keep on moving.

 

  • Believe in the beauty of life. Life is strange, isn't it? It's so hard to explain what it is, what the point of it is, but there are some really amazing things in it, aren't there? What if your purpose was just to enjoy life, to take it all in, to live every moment as if it were your last? What if you were put on this earth only to enjoy and love everything (good and bad) about the world? Life is odd but it's also beautiful. Even pain, sadness, and desperation are beautiful in their own ways. When I take a step back and look at life as a beautiful, amazing thing, it puts my small life in perspective. It reminds me that whatever my purpose is is part of a collective purpose, a universal state of living that we are all experiencing. Thinking about it this way makes my purpose -- whatever that might be -- seem more grand and, in an odd way, more worthwhile.

 

  • Stop worrying about the future. We don't know if the future will ever come, so what are you getting so worried about? Okay, I know it's not that simple. There are bills to pay, mouths to feed, commitments to make. The future is there. We know it's probably coming. But the more you worry and stress about it, the less likely you are to be enjoying the present moment (the only thing that's truly guaranteed). If you're not living in the present, you're not really loving the path you're on. You're looking for something better or different in the future and, really, there's no sense in that. Stay in the now as much as you can. Deal with what you must related to the future, but don't look to it as a place where you will someday be happier or wealthier or better. You are, just as you are right now, perfectly you and that's just what you need to be.

 

  • Love what your life is right now. Easier said than done? Sure, but it's totally worth it to give this one a shot. Can you say that you honestly, 100% love your life as it is right now? Really? Most of us would probably say no, we can't really say that. But why not? Why can't you love everything as it is right now? What's stopping you from accepting that the life you are living right now is your perfect, ideal life and there is nothing better for you out there other than what you are experiencing right now? When I think that my life is unfolding just as it should, that nothing is a mistake, and that everything is happening for a reason, I find that I'm much more at peace with myself and the world. If I love my life as it is now, I don't have to revisit the past and I don't have to wait hopefully for the future. I can be here, now, happy. Of course I don't do this all of the time (I wish I could!) but when I find myself really loving the way my life is, not wanting to change a thing about it, I am at my happiest. And who's to say I can't think that way all the time?

 

As I mentioned earlier in the post, life is odd. What our purpose is isn't always clear. Sometimes we might feel like we're on the wrong path or we may even feel like we're not on a path at all. It's important to remember that we're all on some sort of path and that we're each following our paths exactly as we should be. Whatever you're doing, you're doing what's right for you. Believe that your life is unfolding as it should. Love the path you're traveling down. Accept life as it is. Trust me, if you love your life's path, you will be happier. And who doesn't want to be happier?

Comments

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All of what you are saying is so true Dani. Everyone is trying to "achieve" happiness, or "achieve" status, or learn how to get better at this, or that...when all we need to do is simply...be. We are made just the way we need to be. Things are right just the way they are. We are unique. No one is like us. We need to learn the art of surrender and acceptance of what is.

What a fantastic post as usual Dani! :) So great that you are a Byron Katie fan like I am!

Hi Dani,

"I'm coming to the realization that I'm always on the right path, no matter what's happening in my life. Whatever's happening is supposed to happen. Whatever path I'm heading down is the path I'm supposed to be on." - I'm with you there.

I've slowly come to that realisation myself. I use an affirmation (by Susan Jeffers I think) to reinforce this often: All is well in my world, no matter what it looks like. It's all happening perfectly.

I love this!! Your points are right on. I trust the path - sometimes I am a tad impatient and try to control things a bit (just a bit) but in the end, I trust that things are just as they need to be at any given time. I am where I need to be. I have to open my heart to the opportunites and options and trust my choices knowing that every choice enriches in some way even when (or espcially when) things don't turn out as I expected.

it is about trust... and knowing that if you don't like something, you can choose again - right choices!!

Dayne - Yes, if we simply are we realize that happiness is within us always. It's not something we have to look for or hope for or stress about. Everything in our lives is happening just the way it should, as hard as that is to believe at times. Glad to know you're a Katie fan too! :)

Hilda - That's a great affirmation. Thanks for sharing it in your comment. I'm going to think about that the next time I feel like things aren't happening as they should.

The Exception - Thank you! I think we've discovered why I have trouble with accepting my path at times: it all comes down to trust. I need to work on trusting the world more and realizing that everything is happening as it should.

Dani, I'm going to have to disagree on this one. I like your bullet points above, but to say that you are always on the right path simply empties the phrase of its meaning. It means nothing then. If you define it such that it is always true, you might as well say ladf ader midad adafa.

I've been on the wrong path in multiple ways and multiple times before. I changed my path. Accepting reality allowed me to change my path. Was Michael Jackson on the right path when he was putting the knife to his face and being addicted to drugs? I think not.

You can let go of the path, be present, and all that stuff, and at the same time you can realize you are making bad choices and change them.

Either I'm confused about what you are saying or I simply disagree.

Stephen - I completely understand what you're saying in your comment. In order to really get what's at the heart of what I'm saying, I'd definitely suggest that you read Loving What is by Byron Katie. Her words probably make more sense than mine. What I'm saying is that everything happens for a reason. Yes, there are some things in my life that were "wrong" or "bad choices," but everything I've done -- good and bad -- has created the person I am today. I've been on the wrong path too but those detours were part of my overall life path. I'm not sure if I'm explaining it well, but what I was getting at was that whatever happens has happened and will happen for a reason, even if it doesn't always seem that way. Our lives are what they are and we have to accept them for what is real -- the good and the bad -- not what we want to have happen or think should have happened.

Bravo Dani! So glad you read Byron Katie! (Aren't you glad you did?)

Long ago I learned to say something even through the suckiest of times (and I've had my fair share and then some!)

"My life is unfolding exactly as it should."

I said it through a crappy divorce. I said it through a crappy disease that left me bald (and beautiful) and one boob short. I said it the day the love of my life proposed to me. I said it just last night as my love talked to me of his current position in his National Guard Unit and how he wants to go through the emergency room ministry course so that when he goes to Afghanistan next year he can serve in battlefield hospitals (he's prior combat infantry). As much as I dislike the fact he'll be gone for a year or more, the way his eyes light up when he talks about his job is nothing but sheer joy to watch.

My life is unfolding exactly the way it should and I love it!

Life can throw many curve balls that we might not predict. I guess in a way.. its the surprises & the "adventure" that keeps the journey interesting....

Dani this is such a refreshing post to read today. I do believe we all have a path to follow. My path is not very defined right now, but i am following my heart 100%. I know without a doubt that my heart knows more than I can comprehend. So I just follow along with an open heart. Some people may think I am off my rocker...but it's the only way I can keep sane. If I try to define my path...then the ego takes over...and it becomes a whole mess of mind games and failures...

Hi Dani .. finding something worthwhile from your now - particularly if people are ill and you're the 'main person', perhaps not necessarily the carer - it's still tiring going backwards and forwards to the hospital, or home .. but there's always something positive to take away, or turn that experience into something worthwhile .. it is looking at the heads side of the coin - the brighter side of life ..

Thanks - Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

I've been thinking about this lately too (you seem to keep blogging what's on my mind!) and it's a difficult one to figure out, like you say. It's true that you can't know if you're making a mistake, but what does that mean of itself anyway? We can only strive for what we want, and learn from everything that happens on the way - with a positive mindset!
I'm really glad I found your website :)

I really enjoyed this post. I have been more and more loving towards myself lately, which used to be such a hard thing to do. Now I keep thinking, "you know, I would love to be friends with me!"

Loving my path is actually harder for me right now, as I feel as though I have been in a holding pattern for a while. But if that is where I am supposed to be, then I need to live in the moment.
And how funny, my all time favourite saying is "Everything happens for a reason"

Peggy - Yes, so glad I read her book! It's great! That is a great thing to tell yourself: My life is unfolding exactly as it should. You've really inspired me with the things you mentioned in your comment. If you can get through all of that using that affirmation, I can certainly get through whatever minor struggles I'm facing. Thanks for inspiring me!

Shamelle - I agree that it's the surprises that make life an adventure. No matter how much you plan and prepare you never know what life is going to throw at you so it's best to just accept things as they are and love your life for what it is.

Caroline - I completely relate to what you wrote in your comment. Even though I don't feel like I have a clearly defined path right now, I have to keep believing that my heart knows the way and that I am heading down the path I'm meant to be on. Anything else just creates a feeling of chaos and anxiety that doesn't do anyone any good!

Hilary - No matter what, there is a brighter side to take away from everything. It's not always easy to see that when you're facing difficult situations (as you are), but it's there. It's important to keep in mind that all of our lives are happening just as they should. This really helps me to keep all of the difficult things in perspective and to remember that everything happens for a reason.

Amelia - I'm a mind reader! Haha, I wish! This is definitely a difficult subject to comprehend. While I don't believe in just letting things flow along, not making any decisions or taking any credit for my actions, I do believe that everything is happening as it should. It's almost impossible for me, now that I've thought about it that way, to believe anything else. This doesn't mean that we don't have power to make choices, but it does mean that the choices we're making are the right ones, even if they don't always seem like they are. I'm so glad you found PP too! :)

Shannanigans - Haha, that's great! And you know what? I've thought the same thing. More and more, I'm like, "Wow, I'm pretty awesome!" :) Sometimes it's hard to understand why we're in the place we are now (or a difficult place we were in), but I find that it really makes me a lot happier to realize that, for whatever reason, I'm where I am because I'm supposed to be there. As your favorite saying goes, "Everything happens for a reason!"

I think forgetting about your past (specifically your negative past) is truly the key to "loving life" as you describe it. Once you can stop fretting about has-been's and look to the future and realize you're not limited by what you HAVE or HAVEN'T done, but only in what you believe you can do, that you'll be truly happy.

Travis - You make some great points in your comments. It's really hard to love the person you are now if you're still hanging on to the past you. It's so important not to let the past limit you!

An excellent post Dani!! I agree with Travis 100%

I feel like though we are all on a path, it is possible to stray. Not that it lacks reason or is a bad thing - it's a way for us to realise who we truely are and what we truely want. Life is all about choice, and the root choice is perspective. How do you want to view your life? Your life's path? Some people believe everything happens for a reason, and others do not. I am of the belief that everything does happen for a reason, even a 'wrong' choice that leads you down a stray path. Great post, Dani!

Tabitha - Thank you! Me too. He was right on with his comment.

Ia - I agree that we all have the ability to stray, but I also think that's part of the overall path we're on. Life is not perfect and I think it's the good and the bad that combine to make us who we are. Even what seems like going off the path is really just another part of the path. I hope that makes sense! :)

I love the fact you used a Henry Winkler quote.

There's a lot to be said for making the most of your world. The world's a big place until you trim it down to who's in your life, what you control, and what you don't. Related to that, it's really about your reactions to what's on your plate. It's all about a moment at a time.

I like your theme of let it go and be in the now.

Hi Dani - The title of this post really caught my attention when I saw it, and while I was reading it I kept thinking about how quickly your path can twist and turn. You can find yourself in situations and circumstances that you never thought you'd be in (good or bad) and then they can change. I guess what I'm trying to say is that nothing stays the way it is for long, so our paths are always an adventure and adventures are always good, right? :)

J.D. - Glad you liked it! When we do what we can to make the most of our world, we're a lot happier. Acceptance is one of the most important things. There are a lot of things we have control over, but we never know what life will present us with and we have to do our best to have a good attitude about whatever comes our way. It's really the only way to be happy.

Amanda - Adventures are definitely good. You're right about how we never know what's going to happent to us. For example, if someone had told me a year ago that I would be writing a blog about being positive, I never would have believed him or her, but these days this is one of my favorite things to do. Life works in funny ways sometimes!

"Believe in the beauty of life" - Dani, this point is really resonating with me right now. Life IS beautiful. I look outside and see trees. I step out and hear the birds. I look at the technology that lets me communicate with people at the far ends of this world. I see an airplane soar through the sky. I breathe. I think. I love. And the list goes on and on. And it's all so beautiful and also so fully hard to comprehend some of this. And it all makes me realize just how truly amazing life is!

And with that thought, at this moment, where I'm at - it's a great place to be on that path (and I love love love the photo you used to illustrate this post!)

Dani - thank you for this wonderful reminder. As I start a new journey of adventure and natural uncertainty, I'm spending a lot of time focusing on the future, what it will be, what is to come. A little fearful, but also exciting. Thank you for helping me put it into perspective re: not worrying about the future!

Lance - Reading your comment made me very happy. You're so right about wonderful and beautiful life is. It's so easy to take it all for granted, but when we stop and think about it, it's so amazing! No matter where you are on your path, there IS beauty all around. I'm glad you liked the photo. I thought it was pretty darn perfect!

Laura - I'm glad you enjoyed the post and that it spoke to you. No matter what you're going through in life, remember that it's supposed to be happening. Everything -- even when it seems uncertain or scary -- is happening just as it should. Makes it all seem a lot more bearable when you think about it that way, doesn't it? :)

Dani, and excellent reminder! Very thoughtful article, accepting and letting go is it!

Hi Dani
Great post, I love your 5 points. They are all very important. It all start with ourself, we have to accept & Love ourself before we do anything else. Good Job.
Thanks for sharing.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

First of all, how great is it that the Fonz was quoted as saying what you opened this post up with?! I love that guy!

I could relate to what you wrote here, especially looking back at how I used to feel even a couple years ago. I will say that for me, I always had a nagging feeling buried beneath the "should's" or "can't live without's" prodding me to do my life a little differently. It wasn't until I was able to make a couple bold moves that everything in my life started feeling really right, every day, all the time.

The steps you listed were great, and I probably tackled each one separately over the course of a few years and some I'm still trying to embrace fully.

Kaushik - So glad you liked the post! You're right that letting go and accepting things as they are is the way to go.

Giovanna - Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you liked it and you really highlight a great point in your comment about how it really all starts with loving ourselves first. We have to start there in order to really achieve true happiness.

Megan - Haha, I have no idea who that guy is or who the Fonz is (but I think it's from an old TV show, right?), it just seemed like a fitting quote. :) I'm glad you liked the steps I wrote out. I can totally relate to the idea of being nagged by "shoulds". I still feel that way at times but thinking about life from the perspective I've mentioned above REALLY helps!

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