01/03/2015 01:04 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How Love Lifts Us Over the Hurdles of Life

Like our first steps into the New Year, the game of life begins with a single breath. Each breath we take says "Yes!" to life. It fills our lungs with optimism and hope. And then that breath is released.

There is a pattern to life, and a pace. A successful person learns how to live fully in each moment and see it for what it is, not what they want it to be. They know that life is not a race, that comes with "overnight" success.

Like an athlete training for a race, they know that life is more like a marathon. That each hurdle they face and overcome, strengthens them. They grow stronger. They know that it is the pace, not the race, that helps them achieve success in any endeavor they choose.

Like them, we can apply the lessons of a long distance marathon runner to set and achieve high goals. We can assess our strengths and weaknesses. We can set higher goals, again and again. Looking forward, it is our resolve to grow, learn, and breath in life more fully, that fills us with hope.

In each moment, as we learn to pace ourselves to handle the ups and downs of life, we grow stronger. When we learn to live a fully authentic life in each moment, to "be all we can be" in every moment, then when a hurdle seems too high to surmount, messages from the heart, delivered through the spoken voice, the written word, the healing touch of a hand, and even a simple act of kindness will lift us up and over the tragedies, suffering, or painful moments of life.

These "teachable" moments that some might view as setbacks are also one way that life reminds us to slow down and take a deeper breath, to pace ourselves. Renewed, we stand up once again. Once again, we speak up about things that matter most in life to us.

A love of life itself, lifts us higher.

ALEXIA PARKS is a Virtual Mentor with the United Nations, author, and one of Newsweek's "50 People Who Matter Most On The Internet." In the lineage of women's history, her contribution to the field is the New Science of the female brain. (This blog is dedicated to the memory of Nema, which means "blessing" in Mandinka the local language in The Gambia. And, thanks to Caroline Eader for the image.)