Monday, June 27, 2011
What's Love Got To Do With It
So from early on I began collecting the emails we'd sent to each other when we were first getting to know one another, the chats and the greeting cards. I even kept a journal which chronicled
the origin of our relationship from our first conversation, our first date to my first impression of him. You know when you first meet that special someone, you hang onto their every word? You don't just look at them, you look inside them. When you chat or talk on the phone you revel in those things you have in common as they sort of begin to stitch you together at different levels. You only focus on the things you like about them and seem to disregard the things you don't. You smile when you think about the good times you've shared, or how they make you feel inside. They captivate you and you spend hours thinking and wondering about all the possibilites the future brings. The hours just fly by on the phone trying to discover as much you can about each other. You talk endlessly about politics, religion, the weather, your job, your past, your parents, saturday morning cartoons, your last relationship, your last heartbreak and the only issue you have is wishing there were more than 24 hrs in a day to spend together. It's an exhilarating time. The birds are chirping the sun is shining. Warm waves of love wash over you every time you think about them. You just can't see yourself without that person and you hope to Almighty God, they feel exactly the same way. Then it happens. Your feelings evolve into something deeper, stronger almost overwhelming at times- and you "fall" in love.
How wonderful it is to fall in love. It is a gift from God to not only have found the One God has created for you but to be able to stay in love throughout the years is special and something that we can all achieve with a little wisdom. So why don't marriages last? If you don't water a plant and give it enough light it will eventually die. If you don't find a bigger pot for it when the roots outgrow the former pot then it will die. You have to keep it pruned and cut away any dead leaves. Just like a plant needs water and sun, a marriage requires love to keep it alive, healthy and growing. You notice I didn't say a marriage needs work. I don't see marriage as work. When you love what you are doing it's not called work. When you make a love investment into anything it will grow, get stronger and multiply. Marriage is no exception. Instead of focusing on our partner's faults we can instead make a decision to always focus on the things you love about them. That's the same way you fell in love. Why should 7 + years of marriage change that? Why should one year change that?
We understand that life is what we make it. Our thoughts and feelings are creating our life and that includes the quality of our marriages. What are you focusing on when you think about your marriage? Do you immediately feel a sense of boredom when you think about your spouse or do you get an eager tickle in your stomach as you eagerly await your date night? Do you get annoyed at the slightest things they say and do or don't do or do you make a list of all the things you love about your spouse? Do you spend quality time bad-mouthing your spouse or do you praise your spouse's accomplishments? Does your spouse feel that they don't have your respect or does your heart safely in the hands of a devoted, loving spouse? Do you expect your relationship to grow worse or do you see your future strengthening your marriage? I am pretty confident that if most married couples took the time in their daily lives to practice the same steps that led them to falling in love with their spouse, divorce would cease to exist. Divorce just like falling in love requires a lot of time and energy in focusing either right or the wrong things. Instead of thinking about that person during the day, they let other things take precedence like work, the children or the stresses of life. Instead of looking forward to seeing their spouse they dread it or don't think think much about it. Instead of thinking about the things they love about their spouse, they only think about the things they hate. Instead of wanting to spend time with each other, they look forward to spending time apart. Instead of finding a way to peaceably resolve issues, its more important to speak your mind even if it hurts the other person's heart.
It's no longer a mystery why the divorce rate is so high. It can all be traced back to our thoughts and feelings. People spend a great deal of time expressing negative emotions and that's why they experience negative circumstances in life. If you feel like you've "fallen" out of love, then hold on a sec. It's not too late for you. You can fall back in love with your spouse. Or if things have gotten a bit less exciting in your marriage, you can put the bling back into your relationship.
** Shift your focus and feelings to the good only. Expect only the best-case scenario and make a decision to spend time ONLY focusing on the good things about your spouse. Those things will begin to multiply as you do this. When you take the time to see your spouse for who they really are and expect the best out of them then you will get the best. Gratitude is the golden key of life and it magnetizes you to receiving the very best that God/the Universe has in store. You can start today to transform your marriage by sewing thoughts and feelings of love for your spouse.
** Be grateful for your spouse. You can maintain the "sparkle" in your marriage by genuinely appreciating your spouse and loving them regardless of how far they may seem from who they are destined to be. You can love someone into that perfect image. Your expecting the best of them is something tangible that can be felt. The greatest feeling in the world is knowing that someone loves you unconditionally. That kind of love changes everything.
** Speak kindly to your spouse. Showing respect to your spouse is showing them love. Sometimes our spouses' self-image is not where it should be and they may expect you or anyone they come in contact with to mistreat them so they will subconsciously do things to cause people to hurt them. Love always treats people they way they deserve to be treated not the way they expect to be treated. This kind of love breaks generational curses and brings renewal to any marriage.
** Refrain from speaking negatively about your spouse. This negative energy only manifests in more negative experiences that result in your speaking negatively about your spouse. Speak only positively about your spouse to your family and friends. Bathe your spouse in words of praise, encouragement and love. Words are energy and even if they didn't witness your speaking about them, they will sense it and feelings of resentment begin. This produces strife in relationships. Love begets love.
** Make time for one another. Spend time throughout the day just daydreaming about your spouse, thinking about how and why you fell in love. Spend time thinking about those qualities that are unique to your spouse. Think about good times and milestones you've achieved together. Think about how blessed you are to have someone to love. Think about how they make you feel or used to feel.
Love is the most powerful force in the universe. It's capacity to transform is unlimited. It is the same force God used to transform the formless earth, devoid of light into a paradise teeming with life and His glory. Love never fails. So use love to shine up a dull marriage or transform a broken one. Give love a chance. It'll never let you down.