You have to admit it: your life is pretty good. You regularly post #blessed as your status along with glamorous shots of your morning coffee. And yet, there are big swaths of time when you’re desperately unhappy. You can’t help but wonder if you should love your life or change it.

It feels like an overreaction to make big changes to counteract occasional bouts with the blues. You don’t want to be ungrateful after all. Yet if I ask you to be vulnerably honest with yourself, you’d admit that you dream about life being different.

Because those moments of feeling desperately unhappy are weighing on your heart.

You used to be happy most of the time. Now, it’s only about half the time. Loving yourself again is a deep desire. You want to love your life again. Maybe, you think, “I should just settle”. Because the other half of the time, when things are good? They’re really good.

Should you love your life or change it?

My darling, believing that the answer to happiness can only be found by doing one or the other isn’t helping.

What if I were to tell you that the real answer  is to do both? Choose to love your life as it is, warts and all. And then, from that place of love, you begin to make changes.

I know that it can sound counter-intuitive to accept how things in your life are, especially when you’re in the midst of a really crappy day. Those are the moments when you fantasize about sweeping, drastic changes. I also know that everywhere you turn, you’ll read that change doesn’t happen in your comfort zone.

And doesn’t choosing to love your life seem like the comfort zone? Isn’t staying in your comfort zone a form of settling?

I would never tell you to just settle. (Choosing to love your life isn’t the same as settling.) You deserve more than just settling for a life that feels OK.

What I have come to understand is this: the first requirement of any kind of change is acceptance of what your current reality is. By accepting any shortcomings as simple reality, it allows you to eliminate fear and shame. And let’s face it: fear and shame destroy your ability to be happy. Changes or not.

There’s a bonus when you make the powerful decision to first love your life.

It means you are choosing to be happy no matter what your circumstances may be.

The sweetness of acceptance is that when you accept everything in your life as reality, it expands your ability to make smarter changes. Rather than having to choose to love your life or change it, doing both allows you to decide what is working. And then you can make better decisions around what truly needs changing from a space of love.

I also want you to understand that you can only begin where you are. Loving your life as it is now opens the door to creating and curating a life that’s more nourishing. It invites you to set standards for the way you desire to live.  Working with your current reality as a starting point allows you to stop living in reaction mode.

And you know what else? No more wising you could run away and start over. When you choose to accept things as they are and love your life as is, you’ll feel a sense of blessed relief. You can stop presenting a false self to the outside world.

Then, my dear, you make changes to your life that allow you to live on your terms. Your life, your way.

This seemingly oxymoron of choosing first to love your life and then change it allows you to be more discerning about what’s next. It gives you breathing room to decide what you really want to change. And let’s be honest: change takes time. Yes, even those “overnight success” stories you see are the results of time and work.

Choosing to love your life now allows you to enjoy the journey through the changes you choose to make.

Being happy all day, every day is unrealistic. But the choice to love your life and then make changes mean that you can be happier more often. You deserve to live a life that you love. Yes, my darling, that means that you will likely need to make some changes.

Just know that happiness lies in the middle of what is and what could be. When you wonder if you should love your life or change it, remind yourself of this truth. You can love your life as it is now, and love your life through every change you choose to make.

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