The seventh key to living a joyful life creates an amazing context for the other keys. The seventh key makes finding your placebo a pleasant experience. It keeps being positively selfish and receiving abundance from being negatively self centered. The seventh key creates a space where it is possible to clarify, live your purpose and move from joy to joy. Finally, the seventh key makes giving up the illusion of being done a joyful experience rather than an unsatisfying one..
7th Key to living a joyful life is love unconditionally.
One of my joys is listening to audio books in my car. I laughingly call it “attending automobile university.” This is a term I heard from an audio book by motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. One day, I was listening to Steve Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” In one chapter he was talking to a friend whose marriage was on the rocks. The guy was giving him a lot of excuses as to why he does not have love for his wife anymore. Steve Covey kept on replying to him, “then love her.” After listening to this part of the book it clicked in my brain. Love is an action, it is not something to be had or held.
With further learning about love, I have discovered that love is something that is beyond an action. It is a way of being. Living your life with unconditional love is the most freeing way of being. Unconditional love means just that. Loving without any conditions even when people are being so darn unlovable.
Unconditional love does not mean you have to allow this person into your life. In fact when you set your boundaries and live from the truth that is yours, then you are showing more love and compassion to that person than if you allowed them to walk all over you. It is not loving to do an action and then resent them. It is not loving to allow someone to do something to you that is harmful. It is perfectly loving to tell someone that you do not wish them to be in your life as long as they are acting in such a way.
How many times have you told yourself how much you love yourself? What have you done today to show you that you love you? You are the one person you have to spend the rest of your life with. No matter what happens to anyone in your life, it is you who is always going to be around. If you do not love yourself, you are spending a long freaking time with someone you do not love.
If you do not unconditionally love yourself right now, then practice loving yourself more each day. This includes loving the parts of yourself that you want to change. Every action and decision we make are for positive intents. We are only working with the skills and tools that are available to us. Many of the negative actions we do, we do because we are protecting ourselves from something. To the man who cheats on his girlfriend so he can experience freedom, to the woman who eats to fill the hole in her heart from a cheating boyfriend, there is almost always a positive reason for the things that we do. The key is to find the positive aspect of the action and finding the love for yourself in it.
Furthermore, loving yourself is changing the negative action and decision into something more positive. Since we are always being and always becoming, we can change the actions we do or the beliefs we have while loving those aspects of ourselves as well.
This is exactly the same with other people too. Everyone who is not you and is not psychotic are doing their actions with a positive intent. Even the most hurtful actions they take have a positive intent about them. They are just working with the tools that they have. When someone does something hurtful to you, it is the time to have compassion. No one who is happy and full of life would do anything to purposely harm another, especially in a cruel way.
Loving others unconditionally changes the way you deal with them in other ways. For instance, you will love them without expecting anything in return. Imagine the freedom you would feel if you just love people for who they are and did not expect them to love you in return. The amazing paradox is the more you love someone without wanting them to love you back, the more potential there is for them to love you. Also loving unconditionally increases your capacity to love and attracts more people into your life. Before I started practicing this principle I had only a few people I would hang around with. Now as I practice more and more unconditional loving, I have so many amazing people in my life. I know for a fact that increasing my capacity to unconditionally love is the catalyst for sparking more friendships and fun times.
It is a Practice
If you are part of the majority, then unconditionally loving is a practice. This kind of discussion is often laughed at in western society. In America, we are taught that there should be conditions to love and that it is not good to be vulnerable. Mother Teresa said it best, “The greatest paradox is that when I love until it hurts, there is no hurt.”
Homework of the Week
Look in the mirror and say, “I love you.” Do this everyday until it feels good.
Record ten people who are in your life. For each person listed write at least five things that you love about them..