I had the honor of interviewing my friends Matthew and Terces Engelhart, the founders of Café Gratitude, on my radio show last week. In the course of our wonderfully inspiring conversation they brought up the idea of asking the question, "What would love do?" when making decisions or facing challenges in life. I love this question and it reminded me of one of my favorite songs with this same title, "What Would Love Do?" by Karen Drucker.
After the interview I got to thinking about my own life and some of the places where I find myself struggling, stressed out, worried, or stuck right now. I can see that instead of asking what love would do, I'm often asking other, less inspiring questions to myself like, "What should I do?" "What's the right thing to do?" "What's wrong with them?" or various other versions of these types of questions. Can you relate?
What if we did actually ask ourselves, "What would love do?" in all of the important areas of our lives, especially the most challenging ones? I bet that would dramatically alter not only how we relate to those people and circumstances, but also would alter what we did and said, and ultimately how we felt.
As we move through the holiday season and into the New Year, which often brings up lots of emotions (both light and dark) and gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on ourselves, our lives, and where we are - letting love lead the way, especially this year, is something that will benefit most of us and can allow us to listen to a deeper aspect of who we really are.
Everything I write about, speak about, and teach is really all about love. I sometimes find myself a little shy, embarrassed, or self-conscious to come right out and say it - somehow fearing that love seems too soft, too personal, too intimate, too mysterious, or whatever. However, being authentic and being appreciative, and just about anything else we aspire to in life, are all about love - of ourselves, of others, and of life itself. Love, I believe, is the most powerful force in the universe - yet so many of us, myself included, almost apologize for talking about it, thinking about it, and wanting to have it play a lead role in our lives.
As we interact with (or avoid) our families, in-laws, friends, and even strangers on the street or in stores or restaurants over these next few days and weeks - What would love do? As we sit back and reflect on this past year, and begin to plan, dream, and prepare for the year ahead, what would love do? As we relate to ourselves in the midst of all of this, what would love do?
As Karen Drucker says in her beautiful song, "Love has all the answers. Love makes no demands. Love will lead me to the truth and help me to understand...that life is all about love."
Here are a few things to think about, as this relates to some of the areas and aspects of life where you may be challenged at the moment:
1) Pick a challenging or difficult aspect of your life right now. What's going on and how do you feel about this situation or relationship? More specifically, what kinds of questions are you asking yourself about this? The quality of the answers we receive in life is directly related to the quality of the questions we ask.
2) Ask yourself "what would love do?" This may be an easy or difficult question for you to ask yourself about this specific situation or relationship. Allow yourself to hang out in this powerful inquiry and see what shows up. You may have lots of ideas or insights, or not. However, asking yourself this empowering question, will almost surely give you deeper awareness and insight for what you could do if you allowed love to lead the way.
3) Take bold and loving action, based on your answer to this question. Allow yourself to ponder and consider this question long enough that you really feel it in your bones. The paradox here is that it's not so much about what you do - it's more about where it comes from. If it truly comes from a deep place of love within you, you'll know it, feel it, and it will be the "right" thing to do. Trust yourself and your heart - and then be willing to take the risk and put yourself out there.
This time of year, especially this year with all we have gone through, we are ripe with opportunities to practice asking ourselves this question. If we're courageous enough to ask, to truly listen to the answers we receive, and to act on them from a place of real love, compassion, and truth - not only will this be a holiday season and a New Year filled with authentic appreciation and joy, we will have the opportunity to transform our lives and relationships in a real and profound way. Let's do it...with love!
Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info - www.Mike-Robbins.com