Loving living
May 5, 2014
by Jenni Sebora

Samuel Butler said, “All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.”

If you really contemplate on this quote, you realize the truth in it.

A dog’s main business in life is to love its “master.” They are waiting for us to enter the door, so they can give their undivided attention to us. And when we do, it is full force physical and emotional attention that is bestowed upon us. Wow, dogs love us without merit or worthiness. They just love us for us.

Other animals go about their business, finding food to fill their bellies, a nice spot to rest their bodies (and that spot may change each time, or remain the same, just depending on ease of locale, time of day, etc.), and for some, an acquaintance (or not) to pal around with. Yep, they know how to live life.

We humans really just like to live complicated. We won’t just eat any food. We want more than just a spot to rest our bodies. We are very particular. Well, most of us are anyway.

We need to be mindful of the things we have, but this does not mean we can’t wish or dream about places we want to go, or things we want to do. Having something to look forward to, whether large or small, helps keep us in a positive mind frame.

Find enjoyment in the continued process of learning. We all know that no one is ever too old to learn something new. You can teach an old dog new tricks. Really. It may take a little longer, but it can be done.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Enjoy what you have, but have a goal to keep experiencing.

Simplifying life can help you enjoy life. I am a very visual person. Visual physical clutter makes my mind cluttered. I like my treasures, but lots of clutter, especially in my bedroom, my place of calm and rest, does not make for peaceful space. I love getting rid of ‘junk.’ I always feel liberated.

The older I have gotten, the more I have also allowed myself liberation in stating my feelings. I have definitely gotten better at being assertive. This does not mean stepping on someone’s feelings or not listening to someone else’s feelings. If I feel strongly about something, I do express my feelings on the matter. This has taken me some time to do, but it is liberating. If I feel someone’s rights are being violated, or someone is being mistreated, this is cause for assertion of my feelings.

It is also a good thing to teach our children. There is a difference between being passive, assertive, and aggressive. Being assertive allows us to state an opinion without stomping on someone’s feelings. Expressing feelings is healthy.

Gordon B. Hinckley said, “In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”
A lesson from our animal friends.

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