What do you love about life? About the experience of living?
I love the feeling and warmth and energy of a hug.
I love hearing the sentiment behind the words “I love you”.
I love the sound and vocal variety and beauty of singing, of so many varied voices.
I love the magic of spoken language, and how it can translate and communicate ideas.
I love the feeling of soft fur against my skin.
I love the gentle, rhythmic rumble of a purr.
I love the pressure of whiskers and fuzzy face against the back of my hand.
I love the coziness of a soft blanket when I’m cold.
I love the taste of chocolate.
I love the texture of chewy breads.
I love the zip of ginger.
I love the sounds of bells and chimes.
I love hearing birds sing to the world.
I love the colors of nature.
I love breathtaking sunsets and day-giving sunrises.
I love the cozy security of my bed each night.
I love the sound of silence.
I love the smell of roses, and popcorn.
I love the smell of a forest floor after a hard rain, and the smell of fresh cut grass on a summer’s day.
I love this body – how it lets me move around and explore this world. How it lets me hear and smell and taste and touch and see.
I love how we can challenge ourselves to learn and grow, and how we get better all the time.
I love the crackling sound of fire.
I love the crash of thunder and the glory of fireworks.
I love the rustle of fall leaves crunching under my step.
I love the way the breeze blows my skin and clothing.
I love the feeling of water – having it swooshing about and supporting us. The feeling of floating.
But I also…
Love the feeling of getting all clean and sparkly after being filthy dirty from hard yardwork.
I love the wonder of and awe and power from moving a body part after it has healed from being injured and painful for quite some time.
I love the feeling of a hot shower after I’ve been chilled to the bone by winter; a soothing glow seeping in and melting the ice crystals.
I love how miraculous food tastes when I’m starving. Incomprehensibly good.
I love the sensation of crawling into bed and just releasing everything after a really hard day.
I love the feeling of triumph after failure had seemed certain.
In a lot of things in life, the satisfaction comes from the difference, the delta, the contrast. The fact of the matter is, if something is a constant in our lives, we naturally trend towards taking it for granted.
We would cease to appreciate clean if we were never dirty.
We would cease to appreciate warm if we were never cold.
Life is based in contrast. We think we want to control having “only good” in our lives, but if we did, we would lose contrast. We’d lose the depth and texture of our life experience, and, after all, isn’t that what we’re here for, the complete experience?
So the next time you have a little “contrast” (a.k.a. challenge) in your life, take a moment to dare yourself to appreciate it. Appreciate that it is precisely this feeling that also allows you to experience a pleasure through the relief of it.