This morning I started reading a book my husband recommended, he recently finished it and loved it so much he sent it to a few friends. I figured it must be a good one. It's called The One with the Tiger in the Boat, by Colby Wright. It's all about choosing to see the most beautiful parts of life. He refers to the book The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, being one of his favorite books and that's where the title of the book comes from. Choosing to believe the most beautiful version of the stories available is always an option. We have the gift of personal agency and can always decide to focus on the best stories.
The part I was reading talked about love, he quotes the verses in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 13, and how this vision of love is truly inspirational.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails..." (New International Version of the Bible).
He then emphasis the most beautiful parts of this version of the bible by saying
"Let the words truly sink in to your heart. Love is patient and kind. With love, there is no envying, no boasting, and no pride. None. Love dishonors no one, is selfless, and is slow to anger. Love holds no grudges, remembering no wrong doing. Love eschews evil and delights in truth. Love protects, love trusts, love hopes, love perseveres, always. Love never fails. This is love, and God is love." (page 11-12)
I kept thinking about how our goal is always love. It's the greatest feeling we could ever feel, and everything we do is because we want to feel a certain way. Understanding the Model that I use to coach, feelings are at the center of it. All of our actions come from how we feel. And our thoughts create those feelings, or our relationship to those thoughts. We want to love and be loved. The highest and greatest goal, is love. All others goals would also fall under this aspiration of wanting to love and be loved. If you don't agree, just keep asking why, why, why, you want to achieve or create a certain thing, and you will come to discover it's something to do with love. It's always about wanting to feel the feelings of love, because in the human experience love equals joy. We all want to feel it somehow, some think it's felt through earning money, power or prestige, some through accomplishing accolades or giving service.
So I was pleasantly surprised when I went for my run this morning and opened up my podcast app to listen to The Life Coach School's episode for this week, they are released every Thursday, and the title was Fierce Love. The second I heard Brooke start to talk about someone loving her in the midst of public scrutiny, I thought "she's going to talk about Jody!" Because I remember the exact post Brooke was referring to and I was proud to call both of these women my mentors. You can listen to the episode here but in short it was about how life changing fierce love can be when you truly experience it.
Brooke had been ridiculed and put down by people in her industry, cancel culture is real these days, sadly enough. Jody came out publicly defending her and she said something along the lines of "if Brooke is going down, I'm going down with her!" Upon hearing that I couldn't help but think of all the incredible people who I love fiercely, and how powerful it is to have that love be a driving force in my life every single day. Also the coaches and mentors that I have learned from and been supported by over the last few years since I was introduced to life coaching and then becoming a coach myself.
It has been so powerful to learn that feelings matter so much. That they are all acceptable and part of the human experience. We are taught as a society, that feelings don't really matter. But they matter because they drive our actions. All that we do comes from a feeling, and a desire to love or be loved.
What greater aspiration is there to have than to love and be loved?
Each of us want to be patient and kind, we don't want to be envious, boastful, or prideful. We don't want to dishonor anyone, we want to be selfless, and slow to anger. We don't want to hold grudges, and we really want to be able to forget all wrong doing. We want to delight in truth. We want to always protect, trust, hope, persevere. This is our greatest aspiration as humans. As we strive for this we know we can't do it perfectly, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. We want to do all this to serve others but we also want to do it for ourselves, because the opposite of all this, feels terrible. Impatience feels terrible, being mean feels terrible. Envy, boastfulness and pride feel icky (we're not fully present or aware of the truth when we believe otherwise). Dishonoring and gossiping about people, being selfish and quick to be angry all feel terrible. Feeling hopeless, and like you can't trust people feels terrible. Sometimes we are confused and we think that feeling these things will punish those who have wronged or hurt us, but we are the ones feeling every kind of terrible when we choose not to love.
What's something tiny you can do today to thrive more in your life by feeling more love?
What is one specific thing that you could be more patient with?
Or more kind about? What is something envious you could let go of?
What is something that easily makes you angry that you can skip today?
Is there one way someone has wronged you that you could forget about and stop holding a grudge?
Is there someone you could defend or protect or trust better?
Finding one tiny way to feel more love today will get us on the path to feeling more and more love in the future. It is like any habit, it starts small, it fits seamlessly into your routine and is strengthened with our emotions. As we celebrate doing even this one teeny tiny thing, that celebratory emotion will grow into the habit of fierce love.