Did you know that you can just decide to love something? You don’t even have to have “the feeling” to like it. You can just change your mind and decide that you are going to feel something different. I tried this recently in a couple of different areas and it’s opened my eyes to the possibilities of where else I can decide to love.
I had a Fitbit Charge 2 and I loved it. I have spent the vast majority of my adult life not wearing any sort of watch. There are multiple reasons for this but the primary reason has been a sensitivity to certain metals. I am not sure if I am allergic or if it is just an extreme sensitivity, but my body does not like most metals. My Fitbit never bothered me and I loved seeing how many steps I was taking each day and it encouraged me simply move more and see the number grow. Additionally, I loved the community of seeing my other friends with Fitbits and knowing how many steps they were taking each day. That just increased my own motivation and provided additional encouragement along the way. I could list out many other reasons why I loved my Fitbit but I think you get the point. Enter stage left… the Apple watch.
In February, during a trip to the AT&T store to add another phone line onto our account for my son’s birthday, I upgraded my own iPhone so my son could benefit from the domino effect of the iPhone hand me down. It just so happened that with my brand-new iPhone 7+, I could get an amazing deal on an Apple watch. My other option was a free ipad mini, which my husband talked me out of and I decided to go with the Apple watch (which wasn’t free… just discounted). I had wanted an Apple watch but truth be told, I didn’t know much about them. I just liked the idea of it. Apple’s marketing is amazing, isn’t it?
It was a couple of months before I even opened the box. I had loved my Fitbit and I knew the Apple Watch was going to take some time to set up (bad excuse but I clung to it). Once I finally did open it and get it set it up, I found myself excited and enjoyed the moment. The moment, however, wasn’t much more than that… at most, it was about a day. I quickly discovered that the watch didn’t measure how many flights of stairs I went up each day like my Fitbit. (Note to self and to others…. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t fall prey to it). It also didn’t feel the same on my wrist and on hot days the plastic would make my wrist break out and itch. As such, I bought a new band or two (ok….three, fine… four…. I bought four new bands) to see if that would help not only the wrist issue but my level of enjoyment of what now seemed like a very expensive and extravagant purchase. The bands helped, for a while… longer than a day but the enjoyment was still fleeting.
In working with my own Coach, the light turned on for me when I heard her talking about deciding to love herself. Knowing that love was a decision was a concept that inherently knew but I never stopped to dwell on it. I always thought of it in relation to people. For instance, I love my husband, despite the fact that he rarely folds any laundry. I love my son, even when he forgets to flush the toilet. To me, this was really more about me being true to myself. I choose love because I am loving. I choose to love others because it’s about remaining true to who I am regardless of how other people choose to show up. Then the light came on for me. If I could choose to love others then why couldn’t I choose to love certain things, or ideas or specific circumstances? And that’s when it started.
I decided to love my Apple watch. I had spent too much time bemoaning the fact that it wasn’t like my Fitbit but I had spent more money on it to be comfortable with just tossing it aside. I could either make the decision to be comfortable giving it away or setting it aside or I could make the decision to love it. Any other decision or lack thereof had no upside for me, so I decided to love it. And you know what. I do. I love it. I love that I can have my son’s cute red headed freckled smile as my watch face. I love that I can feel like Inspector Gadget and answer a phone call from my wrist. I love the way it looks on my arm. I love that it keeps track of my steps and reminds me to breathe. Mission accomplished.
I was amazed in what a shift in perspective could do simply because of a choice I made. If I could do it with the Apple Watch, what else could I do it with? Early one morning on one of my walks with the dogs, in the midst of the Texas heat, I found myself longing for the cool of fall to set upon us. As soon as the thought hit my head, I knew that I had months left of this Texas heat and longing for something other than what was right in front of me would only make me miss the joy of today. It was right then and there that I made the switch. This is something that I never even thought possible but I decided to love the Texas heat. Love it. Love. It. Love it. Seriously. If you want to change how you feel about something, then you simply change your thoughts about it. It is that simple. I love the feeling of the warmth on my skin. I love the feeling of heat and the refreshment of diving into the swimming pool and then getting out and allowing the heat to set back in. I love that I can wear shorts and sandals and that my skin takes on a beautiful new color for a few months. I love it and find myself enjoying the season I am in instead of longing for what comes next. Fall will come and when it does I will love it too. I may not have to manage my thoughts as closely when that rime comes, but it is love none the less.
I think it’s important to point out that I didn’t make a switch and everything was rainbows and butterflies. Being fake and inauthentic will never feel right and you can’t sustain a feeling based on a false thought. If you want rainbows and butterflies, I am sure you can get there but start out with thoughts that feel more neutral and less negative and work your way up the thought ladder from there. As you have more positive thoughts then you will have better feelings to accommodate them. I started with finding something I genuinely did appreciate or love and kept building from that foundation.
Whether intentional of by default, love comes from a decision. You can love others. You can love things. You can love the heat and the rain and the deep cold of winter. Love just loves. It feels good to love. Who doesn’t want that? Choose to love. It feels fantastic.