By Daneen James
The subject of countless books, movies and probably even more songs – we all need and
want to feel – LOVE. But what if the experience of love is just as much (if not, more) about what we do as how we feel?
Could it be that it’s the action of being loving, regardless of how we feel, that creates the experience of love?
Love in action
Consider this story I recently read across about love. A man eagerly walked through the airport. It was clear he was looking for someone, as his family approached, he smiled, dropped his luggage and prepared to greet them. As they got close enough to touch, he reached for his son, looked in his eyes and said “I missed you so much, it’s good to see you, son! The boy smiled and they exchanged a warm hug. Next, he cupped the face of his young daughter, “Aren’t you quite the young lady, so beautiful”, he said. Then they too exchanged the most tender hug. The young girl clearly content as she laid in her dad’s arms. Finally, he looked at his wife and said, “I’ve saved the best for last” and they shared the most passionate kiss, beaming like newlyweds afterwards. Suddenly, a woman who’d been standing near the family and stunned by the depth and genuineness of their exchange blurted out, “Wow, I hope my family is that loving and my marriage is that passionate.” The man looked straight into her eyes and said simply, “Don’t hope, friend, decide!
Love on purpose
We often think love is something that just happens. It's out of our control. It's either there or it's not. We either feel it or we don't. Regardless of type, cultivating positive relationships requires intention - an active decision to foster connection. Our relationships often lack the quality we desire, because we've been unwillingly to devote the effort required. It’s the daily decisions that determine the depth and quality of love we experience.
Love elevates everything in its path. It disarms, softens and opens us. The way we feel after receiving a compliment or much-needed hug. The way our mood changes when we're appreciative instead of critical. The sense of fulfillment that rises up inside us after helping someone in need or offering a kind word. That’s no coincidence, it’s by design.
It’s through the process of giving and receiving love that we reach our potential as people. The more we extend ourselves in love, the freer we become in every aspect of our lives. We become less rigid and more likely to recognize and embrace opportunities in all forms. People don’t always make it easy, but it’s the decision to be loving - even when it’s hard, inconvenient and our emotions fluctuate that cause the “feeling” of love to flourish. Daily decisions to extend ourselves(even though we’re tired); make the time(when it’s easier not to) and endure awkward moments, all in an effort to connect, create an environment love can’t resist.
Can you stand more love in your life?
Give it a try
Every part of our life has a relationship of some kind. Apply some of these strategies. I think you'll be surprised by what happens...
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