Leading up to Thanksgiving, each day I will blog about what I’m doing to be more grateful. I invite you to join me, and to share your thoughts, observations, suggestions and ideas.
Day Six: Why do you love what you love?
Let’s go back to the Love List Project for inspiration one more time, reflecting on what we love so we can give thanks.
Kristin first wrote on Halfway to Normal that we should make a list of things we love. Then she wrote about exploring why:
Push your list deeper by asking why. For instance, I might write on my list “I love interacting with people who leave comments on my blog” (I really really do!). And that’s a fine thing to put on this list, but then I should probably push myself to identify what I love about it: I love sharing and hearing stories; I love connecting with new, interesting people; I love knowing that in some small way I’m helping others sort through their complex lives. I would also put this on my list: “I love taking care of errands on foot or by bike.” But what’s at the heart of that? First of all, living in a neighborhood that makes that possible. Second of all, having enough time in my day to tackle my errands at a slower pace. And I think I just love the feeling of accomplishing something that I need to do, like go to the post office or store, in a way that exposes me to neighbors, sights, and time to think and stretch my limbs.
I’m a writer so it feels natural to me to make a list with everything I love on the left and the reasons on the right. But if you aren’t a writer, maybe you’ll find a different way — calling to mind how the things you love make you feel, drawing a picture, cutting out pictures from a magazine, singing a song.
I have read that there are only two motives in life: love and fear. Greed, for example, might come from fear of not having enough or fear of not being seen as successful.
It’s possible as you explore the “why?” of your list, you might touch on some things you love for unhealthy reasons. If so, this might be a good time to reflect on how you might let them go.
It can be eye opening to really consider why you love what you love. For example, I love a full refrigerator. I love how abundance feels. I didn’t grow up with a lot so looking at a packed fridge means affluence and security. Is that staying attached to fear of hunger? I’m not sure, but I’ll be pondering things like that this month.
Mostly, I think I’ll be spending more time being mindful of what I love and giving thanks for everything on that ever-growing list.