Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Reason Number One: I CHOOSE to Love Him!

The "commitment" word is almost as important as the word "choice." One of the things that made me so sad, reading that other blog, was that the decision to get a divorce was pre-determined. Hence, the pre-nuptual agreement was well-planned.

Love is really a commitment to choose to love!

I remember a simple illustration of a train, that I learned as a teenager in Sunday School. There were three box-shaped "train cars" hooked together. The first box, ACTION, connected to a middle box, THOUGHT, followed by a third box, EMOTION. The point of the illustration is to see how closely our feelings, thoughts, and actions are connected.

The world teaches us to live by our feelings. That's the Train Engine. Just look around at all the train wrecks to see that letting our lives be guided by our feelings is not a good idea! We "fall in love" (when actually we are experiencing a strong feeling of infatuation) so we think we need to have this person or we'll die. Then our thoughts become obsessed with that person to the point that we take action, perhaps getting physically intimate, perhaps displaying jealous or possessive behavior, perhaps even getting married!

Feelings come, and feelings go. Just listen to the country tunes a while to learn that relationships don't always stay the same. Why do people bother to get married anyway? Why even start a relationship if it's doomed from the beginning?

We have emotional needs. We can't just ignore our feelings until they go away. But feelings should not rule our lives the way they energize and motivate a toddler. Feelings are supposed to be the Caboose!

I'm no expert on Behavioral Therapy, but I think the idea is to change a behavior by instituting a different habit (ACTION), with enough consistency that it affects a negative perception of self, allowing for more positive thinking (THOUGHT), thereby creating better self-esteem (FEELING).

That's how the train is supposed to run with relationships! Make the commitment first to the relationship. NEVER think, dream, or breathe the "D" word! Understand that feelings fluctuate like hormones, and never, never trust them! Determine in your mind and heart that you will act loving, whether or not you feel loving. Then, sit back and enjoy the scenery, knowing that this is one train (relationship) that will not de-rail!

Make the commitment (ACTION) to choose (THOUGHT) to love (FEELING).