Be a Hell Yes to Life
By Leo Babauta
So often, we reject the experience in front of us.
It’s usually out of habit, from not wanting this particular experience, not liking the discomfort or uncertainty … or really not liking the fact that we aren’t going to get what we want.
We reject the experience in front of us:
- Not liking the way other people are acting (totally justified, they’re idiots!)
- Getting mad at ourselves for messing up again (you dumbass, why are you always doing that??)
- Shutting ourselves off to the uncertainty of whatever is going on, by distracting ourselves (ugh, I just can’t)
- Complaining about other people, often just in our heads (I don’t know why they have to be that way!)
- Shutting down, wanting to exit, when things get hard (I can’t take this anymore, why does she always have to complain??)
- Avoiding the discomfort or fear of something difficult (umm, that’s too hard, I’m going to tackle email!)
This rejection of our experience is why we so often get frustrated with other people, down on ourselves, or avoid the hard things.
It’s why we have such a hard time with good habits: meditation, exercise, healthy food, writing, reading, flossing. They’re not easy, so we say no to them, even when we know we should say yes.
It’s why we turn to alcohol, smoking, drugs, junk food, TV, social media, other distractions — to numb out, to say No to life.
What if instead … we were a Hell Yes to life?
How to Be a Hell Yes to Life
Think about everything you complain about. Everything that makes you want to go, “Ugh.” Everything that makes you feel discomfort, want to avoid, want to exit. Everything ugly, angry, negative.
Now imagine that you could be open to all of it.
You could be in a room of people you normally dislike, and be compassionate with them. See their beauty and power. Love them, just as they are.
Love every experience, every moment, just as it is.
What if you could be a Hell Yes to everything? What would that change for you?
That doesn’t mean that you don’t fight against injustice, or try to help those who are suffering. You don’t have to love injustice — but you can love the people who are suffering, even those whose suffering causes them to commit terrible injustices. You can be compassionate toward everyone, and love their hearts, even if you don’t agree with their actions or beliefs.
What if you could be a Hell Yes to all of the difficult things in life: your scariest project, the hardest tasks, the most boring moments?
The practice is to face everything, and to open up to it. To see the beauty in the moment, even in the parts you normally reject or dislike.
To love the parts of yourself that you usually want to change. To love everything.
Be a Hell Yes to life. In my experience, it becomes a Hell Yes to you in return.