Did you know that love is a choice? We choose to love or not to love. It’s that simple. But I believe the non-loving choice is not our “true selves.” The non-loving self is absorbed in anger, judgment, resentment, and all kinds of things that we allow to control how we love.
We haven’t let go of past hurts. These hurts control who we are and how we react to people around us. The bottle controls an alcoholic and a hurting person is controlled by resentment.
My husband used to tell me, “I love you, but I don’t love the disease.” What he meant was that he loved me for who I really was, not the alcoholic.
The alcoholic in me couldn’t love either. I was selfish and cold. I couldn’t give of myself to my husband because I was too needy living inside of my addiction. My thinking was distorted to the point that I actually thought that it was him who needed to give more of himself to me! Boy was I way out in left field, and blind to boot.
In essence, this is how we allow feelings and thoughts to control how we will love, and when we will love. The person who is controlled by their feelings is unable to fully love another person. Unfortunately so, many of us are restricted from ever loving properly because of negative feelings. This is why I stress how important it is to watch out for what we allow into our hearts and minds!
In marriage, some of us are incapable of giving any love until we decide to give up our position that our way is the right way, and the only way! Feelings make us see things in our spouse that causes us to scrutinize the person they are. But folks, trying to dissect our spouse’s feelings and experience them as our own doesn’t help the love process.
Most couples when they profess to love each other, it is what they imagine them to be, not what they are. This is phony love and phony self. It’s not real.
We need to love ourselves first before we can love another and be real. Loving our spouse means to give something of our self to him or her, right? To give is to love and to love is to give. It’s really so simple. And I think we should be giving to our spouse even when we don’t feel like it! And so how do you like them apples?
On the flip side of the coin, we shouldn’t change to be what our spouse wants us to be. If we do that, we’ll become a clone of who they are, how boring!
If we change to be just what our spouse wants then we have become a people pleaser. Well, let me tell you this. People pleasers are the biggest resentment protectors in the world.
We should change to be what we really are. Our ability for love and to love is much greater then we allow. We are afraid to be ourselves so much that we strive to be what our spouse wants from us, even when deep down that is not what we want or need.
What keeps the real you from coming out in the open with your real feelings is the emotional baggage called resentment. Bitterness and anger will linger in the heart for years, if you allow it to, because you are unable to forgive and then forget.
When we don’t forgive what happens? Unforgiveness causes shame, guilt and anger, and we become emotionally overstressed with our spouse, which limits our own “love capacity” to be what God intended for it to be. Well in all reality, a person never really forgets, but they can forgive.
I fully believe that what we “generate into our heart will come out in our actions.” Our capacity to love is how true we are to ourselves. We certainly aren’t very true to ourselves or to God when we are unable to forgive our spouse.
When we forgive our spouse completely and unconditionally, as God forgives us then we no longer experience the past hurts. We feel freer to be ourselves and to be more in control of who we are. With that, the spiritual growth process begins to kick in and we indeed experience love, even to those who are cruel to us or don’t love us at all.
You see, it doesn’t really matter what others think of us, what does matter is what we think of our self.
Being able to truly forgive completely is a courageous act in itself. Forgiving enables us to see that we do have the strength with God’s help to deal with our emotions and feelings on our own. When we decide to forgive from the goodness of our heart, we will learn to be who it is God intended us to be, and to love who we are. We won’t need to carry the burden of another’s failings in our heart.
We can choose to love. Don’t be afraid to forgive your spouse. Forgive and love your spouse and all others whom you are associated with. Real love comes through acceptance and forgiveness.
And when you have forgiven completely all of the people you need to forgive, you can finally be free to love the person you are, and hate the person you’ve been.
1. If love is a choice, are you choosing to love or not to love now?
2. How can we truly love others in the ways God wants us to love?
3. On a scale from one to ten, how much do you value yourself for who you are?
4. Name five things you can do that would help you to love and value yourself more?
5. Do you think that when we value the person we are we can love others unconditionally? How come?