Many moons ago, someone important in my life told me I was not important to them nor was I a priority in their life. While this level of rejection is and was hard to face I had to accept the level of honesty provided regardless of the pain and hurt it caused for a long time. I had to look deep within myself to forgive the person for any lies and deceit created prior to this moment of truth.
What this did bring about though was to make me question what is truly important to me. And initially, it was the normal list; family, friends, career, health, growth, even money in the form of success. But it didn’t feel right. I would think of this list and still not feel satisfied. Something fundamental was missing. What made these items important? Was it because everyone else says so? Was it because these were the normal things that are supposed to be important? I mean, what if my family and I didn’t get along or we brought out the worst in each other or I was treated really badly; should they still be so important to me, just because they’re supposed to be? The same could be asked of friends or work or success.
What makes all this important? Is it the benefits if any? Is it the learnings? Is it the emotions they bring up? What makes me want to get up and go to work every day? What makes me want to call a family member or friend when something exciting has happened in my life or something not so great has happened? What makes me want to continue growing and be successful?
The answer is so obvious and yet gets rejected so often because it cannot possibly be true.
That can’t be it.
But it is.
The answer is Love. Love for your family, love for your friends, love for the work you do, love for the life you live. I argue that if there’s no love in what you claim is important to you, then it’s not really that important.
“All cultures, in every geographic region and historical period, have idealised the qualities of truth, love, and joy. I’ve never had a client who wasn’t in search of these things, who didn’t feel that a blend of these components is both our real home and the best version of our inner nature.” – Martha Beck.
Without the energy of love, every task you do or every action you attempt or every person you face, becomes daunting and difficult. It’s the constant facing of a mountain that seems to have no peak. And no matter which route you take or what tools you use, you can never seem to reach the top.
And the problem is that if there is no love in some aspect of what you have or the people in your life now, then it paints a picture of what your future will reflect. It’s like that quote by John Green, “…thinking about how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”
This means that if you constantly are thinking, “I just need to work here for another 10 years, then I’ll be where I need to be”, or “If I just put up with this way of life now, I can get to that place of contentment” you’ll never know once you’ve arrived.
“So just love everything and you’ll never struggle?” No. That’s not what I’m saying either. I’m saying do not underestimate the impact of love in determining what’s important to you and what isn’t. If you do not love your job but want to make millions, you’ll highly likely never get there or you’ll never appreciate the millions when you have it. It’s the same with the people in your life, the things you have or the activities you do.
The struggles will be lighter and easier to work through because you’ll love what you do or love who you have in your life. If what you have and the people in your life is in line with what and who you love then the struggle will not seem like one at all. You’ll be learning and growing on your journey with a certain level of peace, because you know this is all in alignment with what and who you love and this will be a reminder of why it’s important to you.
The implication of this is that you live in the present. You’re not living in the past because you have regrets, and you’re not living in the future fighting towards a perfect time. You live in the now because you know that what and who you have in your life right now is important to you.
Once you start using love as an indicator, life seems to make more sense.
So ask yourself if what you have and if those in in your life are important now because if it isn’t, whatever you have in the future will not be important either, regardless of what you may think now.