Hello again everyone. I hope this day in May is off to a great start for each and every one of you. I’m excited to share a great “food for thought” with you today that I found that offers great wisdom about the “essence of love.”
Stephen Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People shares a story about his perspective on this.
One day, he gave a talk on proactivity, which is the idea that human beings are responsible for our lives, and that our behaviour is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. That each of us has the initiative and responsibility to make things happen in our lives.
After his presentation, a man came up to him and said, “I like what you are saying but my wife and I don’t have the same feelings for each other that we used to have. I don’t love her and she doesn’t love me anymore. What shall I do?”
Stephen asked, “the feeling of love isn’t there anymore?” “That’s right,” the man replied. “We have 3 children and I don’t know what to do. What do you suggest?”
Covey replied, “Love her. If the feeling isn’t there, that’s a good reason to love her.” Perplexed the man asked, “how do you love when the feeling isn’t there anymore?” Covey stated, “Love is a verb. The feeling is a fruit of love, the verb. So love her, serve her, sacrifice for her, listen to her, empathize with her, appreciate her, affirm her. Are you willing to do that?”
Love is not a feeling. When we are young, through movies and songs, we are conditioned to believe that love is a feeling. The result of this conditioning is that we allow our actions to be dictated by our feelings. Rather than asking ourselves whether a particular person is going to help us become our best selves, we simply allow our feelings to take us wherever they will at any particular moment.
Matthew Kelly says that feelings are one of the most inconsistent aspects of the human person. He says that our feelings shouldn’t direct our lives. Our actions should be driven by our hopes and values. Above all, they should be driven by our essential purpose, to become the best version of ourselves.
Kelly believes that people who are driven by feelings are dangerous. They are undisciplined, inconsistent and unreliable. On the other hand, people who are driven by their values and a clear understanding of their essential purpose, are disciplined, consistent and absolutely reliable.
So, if you want to be surrounded by people who are inconsistent and unreliable, choose your friends, colleagues, employees and your significant other based on feelings. But, if you want to be surrounded by people who are consistent and reliable, choose your friends, colleagues, employees and significant other who live value and moral-driven lives. They will help you to become your best self.
Love is a choice, not a feeling. Feelings come and go. If we choose to base our most important relationships on how we feel at any given time, we are in for a rough and rocky journey. Love is a verb, not a noun. Love is something we do, it’s an action, not something that happens to us.
Choose to love, this choice coupled with a surrendered prayer asking Jesus and the Holy Spirit for their guidance and direction on how to love intentionally when the feeling of love that day subsides, well that’s a win-win combination of a strong individual living a high value-driven life. Some “Food for Thought” for us all to reflect upon today.
Enjoy the sunshine and warmth of this month of May. Blessings, MJ xo.