The Key to Life

So this week I had a realization in an unusual place…

On Saturday, I was driving home to Melbourne when someone cut me off. I’ll admit I drive a little quick. So when this Jeep pulled out in front of me and forced me to slam on my brakes, I wasn’t happy. Usually, I’d lay on the horn and let a word or two slip (I never said I was perfect), but for some reason something stopped me. Instead of getting upset, I started to think that maybe they had made an honest mistake and didn’t see me or underestimated how fast I was going.

After a couple seconds, the person sped up, and I passed them. As I went by, I noticed there was a cross hanging from the rearview mirror. I don’t know why, but seeing that cross made me stop for a second. Maybe it was because I too have a cross hanging from my rearview mirror or maybe it was because the cross made me think twice about my actions.

Either way, the only thing going through my mind was, “What would Jesus do?” Would he have cussed at them or just slowed down? While I think I passed the test in that case, I definitely failed a few other times on my drive home.

We’ve all been in similar situations where we let our emotions get the best of us. It’s not necessarily that we are bad people; it’s just so easy to get upset.

But why is it that some people can control their tempers better than others? We have those friends that manage to stay calm even when it seems like the world is crashing down on them. Maybe they know something we don’t…

If I had to guess what it was, I’d say it was love. They know that nothing in life is worth getting upset about. They know that life is so much better when it’s lived with a smile on our face. They know that there is one thing we are called to do in life, and that is to love.

Love is what brings people together. Love is what calms arguments and fuels relationships. It’s what drives us to care for others and pushes us to become the best versions of ourselves. It’s what makes us whole and makes life worth living.

Personally, I think everyone is capable of love, even the most ill-tempered among us. Some might disagree, but I think it’s true. In my opinion, it’s the mean people that need love the most because love is a human universal. It’s what we all need in some shape or form, and when we don’t have it we become bitter.

And despite everyone needing it, I believe it’s the one quality we need to work on the most. So, here are my top 3 ways to practice love:

  1. Self-love – So many people struggle with accepting who they are. They get so caught up in wanting to be someone else that they become bitter and treat others poorly. It’s only when we accept our imperfections and realize that we all have them that we can really love ourselves. And when we love ourselves, we become comfortable with who we are. We become warm, caring people, which gives us the ability to love others. As the old saying goes, “You can’t love someone until you love yourself.”
  2. Self-awareness – I have to say this is a characteristic that has made all the difference in my life. Being aware of my actions, thoughts, and their repercussions has allowed me to treat others better and experience life more fully. The key to practicing this is to slow down. Instead of immediately reacting to situations, take a second or two to take a deep breath. So often, our first reaction isn’t the right one. It isn’t love.
  3. Self-discipline – This trait expands upon the second. We can be aware of our actions, but that means nothing if we aren’t correcting them. Self-discipline can be as simple as realizing we want to say something hurtful, but keeping ourselves from doing it. I promise you that an action such as this will make you feel more empowered and help you love more authentically.

“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” ~ George Sand

I hope this post resonated with you! Please don’t forget to like, share, and comment. As always, thank you all for reading, and I’ll talk to you on Friday 🙂

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