When you were first born your work, as it remains today, was to live. To breathe. To be nourished. Somewhere between then and today the definition of your work evolved, whether you were even aware of this or not is what we’ll spend some time being with now.
Most of us are familiar with the question that has often resulted in lively debates: “Work to live or live to work?” and I’ll invite you to consider where you reside within this question for a few minutes.
Something my loved ones know about me is the way I like to re-work common phrases to reflect a more positive approach and this holds true with the question we’re examining today. Can you guess how I’ve altered it to be more uplifting? I’ll give you a hint: Think LOVE!
It may seem curious at first, but viewing this old idea as “Work to love and love to work” feels a whole lot easier to embrace because both parts are often true and reflective of someone who does not shy away from the work of life. Granted, whether people often also answer yes to both of the original options in the question, it would seem that the extremes of either aren’t where anyone would ultimately want to be. Ok, maybe working to live is the better option, but look at yourself, look at others around you and ask yourself if you are *really* on the working to live side of the debate.
Even if you are, think about this for a few minutes. And if you’re on the other side (living to work) then spend a couple minutes with what this means to you or feels like in your body. Does being on either side feel good or true to your very nature as a human being (or as a human doing)?
What would happen if you approached life as a work of love?
Do you currently love your work, whatever it is? If not, can you change your work? What would it take to do so? If you do then great, one half of the task is complete! If you can’t change your work then the question of changing your perspective about your work arises – how can you love your work despite it being something that may not be exactly what you want to be doing at this point in your life? Consider this for a few moments and journal any ideas you may have about this now.
As for working to love, it *is* work – and certainly not always easy work. But we are, inherently, beings that exist due to love. The love of life desiring to continue in our unique form is what brought you here and is what keeps you here. Our nature is to love and be loved but we’ve learned so many different ways and things about love that we often end up approaching loves work with more confusion or fear than openness and joy, which can cause us to shy away from the work of love.
The work is worth it though. When we work through the challenges that can arise with loving and get to a place of peace with ourselves and/or another, the sense of work well done is like no other. Take some time now to recognize the work you’re doing to love and give yourself a well deserved hug for how far you’ve come. If you feel as though you have not worked with love enough then choose one person, be it yourself or another, to take up the task with, in whatever way you can, so that you may love at least, this work. For now.