Photo: Kurth Kiln, Gembrook, NYE 2016.


I don’t know about you, but for me, 2016 was heavy. On top of all the crazy, sad stuff that happened on a global scale, it was a tumultuous year personally. Loved ones got sick, things didn’t go to plan, I felt a deep and destabilising sense of disappointment. Just as I mustered some positivity, convinced myself that things were on the up, BOOM, like a bowling ball hitting a perfectly-organised set of pins, everything was thrown into disarray again.

Like so many, I was relieved to welcome in 2017 – determined to say ‘Smell you later, 2016!’, wave a big wad of proverbial burning sage over my life, and welcome in some new, positive juju.

And yet, if I’m honest, not much has changed. Things still feel a bit heavy. Things still aren’t going to plan. Big things, which I will perhaps discuss another time and little, annoying things. In just the past week alone, my beloved laptop died, our near-new dishwasher started making a weird noise, my car failed its roadworthy (meaning selling it is going to be a pain in the you-know-what), I got sick and the list goes on. All little, insignificant things that combine to make life stressful, annoying and arduous.

Up until this difficult period, I admit I’ve been blessed with a pretty easy run in life. I’ve learned that if I do my homework, work hard, be a good person, there’s nothing I can’t have or achieve. Thankfully, things have always just happened for me. To discover now at 31 years old – despite doing everything right, despite being as positive and persistent as possible, trying and trying again, trusting in the universe, <insert annoying, empty platitude of choice here!> – that things aren’t going my way, that sometimes you don’t get what you want, well… that just seems completely UNFAIR. Of course, we know theoretically life is unfair, but don’t really understand the gravity of this until life is unfair for, you guessed it… ourselves.

As a generally optimistic, enthusiastic Sagittarius, this woe-is-me stuff does not sit well with me. And thankfully, it hasn’t beaten me yet. The very fact that I am facing these challenges means one crucial thing – my heart is beating, my lungs are breathing, I AM ALIVE. And where there’s life, in the very least, there’s hope.

It begs the question though – is simply being alive enough? Can we have unconditional love for our life, no matter the circumstances or conditions? Claire Baker, who inspires me so much in the fields of creativity, feminism, self-love, sovereignty (in fact, all the things!), posed this question recently. It’s a concept also widely explored by Abraham Hicks, and I’m finding listening to this audio most mornings a lovely, revitalising way to start the day.

No doubt though, this is a difficult concept. To suggest we can have unconditional love for our life – no matter the hardship, illness, loss, trauma, even just the everyday annoying crap that regularly befalls us – perhaps seems a little naïve. And yet, I think we’ve all had those moments when things feel about as bad as they can be, and yet, and yet… we find ourselves somehow softening, opening, perhaps even smiling, through our tears. In these moments, it is possible to feel a curious case of rising gratitude, a spark of joy, a sense that actually all is well, despite the circumstances that are so beyond our control.

Danielle LaPorte captures this beautifully in, ‘The difference between happiness & joy. And why it helps to know.’

For now, I am feeling into this concept. I am accepting that life right now is unfair, but discovering – in an unexpected turn of events – that perhaps it doesn’t matter as much as I once thought. Perhaps it is less about the external conditions, and more about what is happening within me. Perhaps there is another path. A bigger picture. Perhaps all will be well regardless. In fact, perhaps all is well right now, even in the thick of it. After all, what choice do we have? Life IS unfair. We don’t always get what we want. And if we can’t approach it with unconditional love, with acceptance, with gratitude, we’re left with what? Conditional fear and misery. I know which I’d rather. Love always wins.

5 Responses to Unconditional love for your life – is it possible?

  1. Sally I love this. So much food for thought. I try to let gratitude enter in the hard moments, to search for it when I can’t feel it. It’s always there. Look forward to checking out some of the links you haveshared. Thank you. Elisa x

    • Elisa, thanks so much for reading and commenting. I agree – sometimes you have to search but it’s always there, even in the darkest moments. The Danielle LaPorte piece I linked to is just beautiful – you’ll love it, I’m sure! Take care. xx

  2. Important food for thought here Sally.
    Isn’t it a shock when the ease of life as we know it suddenly falters?
    Something about looking for “unconditional love” (of life) when things are shit can be really aggravating and seem a tad Pollyanna-ish AND it can be the making of us. It’s a balancing act.
    Having had some shit stuff to face along the way (which we all judge depending on our expectations and past experiences), I don’t think I’d describe myself as unconditionally in love with those times. Nope.
    I try to always look for something good in daily life, not satisfied to parrot clichés and the nonsensical “everything happens for a reason”. Who do we think we are kidding with that crap? It certainly doesn’t comfort a person in pain.
    It’s so important to find things that aren’t shit, things to be grateful for, rather than deny that there’s good and bad in life.
    Easy options for me: The sky. Leaves. Sunshine. Chocolate. HUMAN KINDNESS. Hot water. Bed. Slippers. Clouds. Words.
    I think life is a pretty extraordinary gift, but sometimes it feels like anything but. That’s okay, that’s reality.
    I don’t know about unconditional love… it seems a bit, something… I’ll tell you this though, as my 50th birthday approaches, I appreciate being here. I’ll take it while I can!

    • Oh Annette, I love your response so much. It captures all your experience, wisdom, gratitude, and a healthy dose of cynicism too, so perfectly. Let it be said, this is my first proper rodeo when it comes to hard times. Give me a few more runs on the bucking bronco – like you’ve had – and I may not be quite so forgiving or quick to see the bright side! I’m also a Sagittarius, a star sign I’ve heard described a number of times as ‘blindly optimistic’ – ha! – so there’s that 😉

      I think what I’m getting at is not denying that life can be hard / painful / unfair (in fact, I get that more than ever right now), but rather finding comfort, hope, and faith in something bigger (love / life force / source / universe / beauty / God / whatever you want to call it) through all of life’s difficulties. To me, it’s that ‘thing’ (sometimes tenuous, for sure, but always present I believe) that enables us to see life through a lens of unconditional love and keeps up going. And yes, my beloved FLW quote springs to mind – it’s all about perception, after all! I also share your love for the seemingly small, everyday good stuff. When life really goes bad, it’s often the smallest things that bring the most comfort – and meaning.

      At this stage, I definitely have more questions than answers! And I’m grateful as always for your insights – thanks for sharing. xx

      • Annette

        It’s a fantastic topic to be thoughtful about Sally. And it can be stupefying when the “natural order” of things going along swimmingly gets rudely interrupted. I know that feeling, quite recently, having had a few struggles with anxiety. What the actual hell? It’s discombobulating.
        I guess it could be a case of semantics – I’d choose to say I’m grateful for my life, the good and bad (the bad, only ever in retrospect, for the growth and lessons rather than the actual shit bits) rather than saying I’m unconditionally in love with it.
        Keep pondering. That’s the good stuff.

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