Keep going. Love your labor.

There is a labor you are being invited into during this season of life. Is it a letting go? Is it picking up something new. Is it the creation of a brand new reality? Is it the dismantling of something old and harmful.

After this process of letting go, picking up, creating or dismantling there is something to be gained. You can see it. You desire it. It’s just not here yet. This can be the birthplace of frustration and misery. This can be the beginning of the end.

“There is happiness in the love of labor, there is misery in the love of gain.”

            ~Abraham Joshua Heschel

In my faith tradition we celebrate that human beings are invited to be co-creators with the divine. We are participants in the work of renewing this world. It’s a toilsome work. And, it’s a beautiful work.

Don’t give up. Don’t check out. Don’t numb yourself to the process. This world undergoing renewal needs your labor.

How do we learn to love the labor more than the gain? Here is a rhythm I have used to cultivate a love of the labor in my own life.

  1. Celebrate. Take time each day to celebrate the small victories throughout your day. Name them. Hold them in your heart. Share them with others around a table. At the end of the week celebrate in some meaningful way with friends. Let celebration be the beginning of your labor.
  2. Rest. As a participant in the work of renewal it doesn’t all rest on your shoulders. Take time each day to enjoy rest. Read a book. Play your favorite album. Take a walk in a favorite location. Express gratitude in this activity and focus on learning to breath again.
  3. Feel. Allow yourself to feel the weight of your labor. Give the struggle a name and allow it to have its place. Don’t look to numb yourself. Share the weight of this labor with trusted friends as a way of setting it down. Receive encouragement and wisdom from these trusted friends.
  4. Create. Step into the process again with an open heart and open hands. Love the labor. Recall the reason you began the labor in the first place. You are creating something this world desperately needs.
  5. Repeat. Enter these rhythms again and keep pressing on.

There is happiness in the love of labor because you’re participating with the One renewing it all. Keep going. Love your labor.