This piece was a blog entry originally published at Prevention.com in 2008, during my time as a Buzz Blogger.
We’ve heard it over and over again and seen the cute little signs in friends’ homes and colleagues’ office cubicles. But have you ever actually pondered what this little phrase means? Have you ever tried to apply its wise words to your life on a daily basis? It’s extremely difficult, but not impossible, and very well may be one of the keys to true happiness.
I am a Bible-believing, Jesus-loving woman. I know that many others share my religious views, while many do not. That will be a never-ending debate and I’m not here to convince you of the Bible’s objective truth. However you may take it, the Bible is a source of wisdom and encouragement, among many other things. I use it as my guiding principle in life, my moral plumb line to which I refer in times of difficult decisions or trying times.
In addition to the Bible, I read encouraging quotes and resources of a non-religious nature. I like to see how these other resources compare to biblical teachings, and then apply it to my life. I’ve done that very thing with the common phrase “Live, Laugh, Love.” What does it mean and how can I apply it on a daily basis? Here’s my take on it.
Live – To me, this means not taking for granted any of the wonderful privileges, blessings and benefits I’ve been given in life: my fortunate situation as an American citizen (including freedom, riches and luxuries as simple as running water!), relationships and experiences with friends and family that make life worth living, and the gift of life itself.
With all that enriches my life, I feel as though I’d be doing God a disservice by not experiencing everything to its fullest. I have a certain set of talents and abilities, and I believe I should grow and hone these gifts and use them to enhance others’ lives, as well as my own. Instead of wishing I had something that I do not have, I aim to be happy with what I have been given, under any circumstance. As women especially, we can be picky and envious of what others have: if we’re born with straight hair, we want curly; a nice round booty, we want to be stick thin; a thin build, we want curves; a redhead, we go blonde. Be content with what you have, and appreciate your differences and what makes you unique. Appreciate others’ differences, too.
Laugh – Don’t take life too seriously. Don’t miss out on those special moments and important relationships because you’re too busy trying to get that promotion at work, finish your third post-baccalaureate degree or make it in show biz. Your children only grow up once. Everyone will eventually die. Don’t spend your entire life chasing after things that will die and fade away. Take time off work. Go on family trips and vacations. Relax and enjoy a glass of wine and some good conversation. Live life to the fullest and with no regrets.
Love – Loving others is not just having mushy feelings about that person. True unconditional love puts others ahead of self and accepts people for who they are on the inside, not on what they have or have not accomplished, what they look like or what problems they may have. One of the best ways to display love is to do something special for someone else. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it shows kindness and displays an act of selflessness, especially when we do things we don’t feel like doing. You don’t have to like someone to show them love. Sometimes an act of love may feel unnatural, but if you do it anyway it helps you grow and mature as a person.
Here is one of the most beautiful writings on love that I have ever read:
“Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]…”
Taken from 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, Amplified Version of the Bible
Every time I see the phrase “Live, Laugh, Love,” I think about what it really means and how I’m reminded to act out those very things on a daily basis. This simple little saying actually says quite a bit when you break it down. It’s definitely one of my favorite inspirational quotes and I try to remind myself to live that way every day.
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