• Lisa S. Larsen, PsyD

Love life and it will love you back!

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

Have you ever said to yourself, “I hate life” without realizing that your words have an impact on your psyche and the energy you bring to life? We all get discouraged and frustrated, but I believe it can be dangerous to make such blanket statements about one’s life. In a way, because we believe our own inner chatter so wholeheartedly, we put ourselves in a trance on a regular basis. We brainwash ourselves based on old patterns that we learned from others and interpretations we made about unkind circumstances in our lives. When we become aware of these, we can unlearn the old patterns by replacing them with adaptive beliefs.

Caucasian girl in pink dress holding her eyes as though crying
What did you learn as a child? Are you still living that now?

However, many of us have had the experience of starting to do affirmations and not believing them. Our heads know that the new belief is “good for you,” kind of like eating spinach or broccoli. However, our hearts may not be in it. Even though the old patterns of thinking about ourselves and about life itself are harmful, and we know this intellectually, it can be hard to convince ourselves emotionally that the new statements are true. We may struggle at a conscious level to accept our new learning. Where is our ability to go into trance then? It is a perplexing and frustrating dilemma, to be sure.

I have found that a trance of gratitude can come in handy when we find ourselves hating life. Going deep into ourselves, relaxing our bodies and allowing our conscious minds to ease into a state of receptivity, can allow us to deepen a sense of what is right in our lives. We can bring to mind people we love, experiences that we enjoy, times in our lives when we’ve been awed or mesmerized by something mysterious and delightful. We can evoke the feelings of wonderment and joy, love and appreciation. We can sense that in our bodies and explore how good it feels to be in a state of open awareness of all the good in life. This is a form of self-hypnosis that does not take that long and can come in handy. You can anchor this experience by pressing your thumb and index finger together on your writing hand, knowing that this is the signal for you to bring forth the positive feelings that you experience in your body, mind, and spirit.

If it’s difficult to do this at first, I understand. I have found that having pictures or other sensory reminders of things that you find pleasant around can be helpful in remembering what is good and delightful. Take some time to study those things, whether they are scents, images, tactile experiences, tastes, or sounds. Don’t just study those things, experience them and enjoy them. Take them with you as you go deeper and deeper into a trance.

When you get really good at putting yourself into a gratitude trance, you may notice that you focus more on the things that are pleasant in life automatically and easily. You start to enjoy life more and life seems friendlier, easier, more workable. In a sense, life starts loving you back and even when its love is hard to understand, or it seems like life is presenting you with more challenges than usual, you are better able to cope because you have a reprieve from all the stress that hating life brings. I’d be curious to see how this works for you, and I’d be happy to show you how to develop this practice for yourself.

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