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Love Myth #2: 

Love is primarily a feeling or an emotion.


The notion that love is primarily a feeling or an emotion is most troublesome in being able to comprehend the nature of true love and thereby be empowered to build lasting, loving relationships.  Faced with the challenge of nurturing lasting relationships, human beings in general do not have a healthy understanding of the role of our feelings and emotions in determining our priorities.  People often confuse their very identity with the terribly unreliable signals they receive through their thoughts, feelings and emotions.  Most people mistakenly think that they are their thoughts, feelings and emotions versus reaching an awareness that they have thoughts, feelings and emotions.  This is not to diminish the value or importance of one's thoughts, feelings and emotions.  Eternal love is something of greater value than life itself.  Therefore, a phenomena as precious as true love should be relegated to the random and capricious nature of our thoughts, feelings and emotions which are easily influenced by the unpredictable and chaotic nature of life itself. 

While our emotions, feelings and thoughts are an integral part of the system of interpretations through which we deliberate to make choices and decisions, nothing extraordinary occurs in life without commitment.  Thoughts, feelings, and emotions can largely be considered as psychological phenomena while love is essentially an ontological phenomena, essentially existing as being.  When someone is loving, they are being loving.  When someone experiences love from another, they experience being loved.  When a couple exchanges marriage vows, for example, they are embarking on a journey of true love beyond the psychological limitations of their thoughts and feelings as individuals.  Centered on the love of God, human beings are meant to have true dominion over our thoughts, feelings and emotions as opposed to being dominated by them.  The magnificence of a human being can be appreciated through realizing that we are greater than the sum total of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions.  That is to say, fundamentally, human beings are spiritual beings created in the image and likeness of God. 

Access to being is possible when a human being recognizes that God who is the source of their life created the universe through the Word.  When a human being recognizes that their ability to translate their dreams into reality is a function of commitment or "being one's word in action" it becomes possible to gain access to being.  Integrity, which is the practice of honoring one's word as oneself, provides a foundation for making all of the promises and declarations necessary for substantiating and maintaining loving committed relationships.  With discipline and practice which includes trial-and-error, it is possible to develop and strengthen one's integrity in the same way that lifting weights can develop and strengthen muscles. 

The foundation for establishing one's identity in an ontological fashion begins with making the solemn declaration "I am my word."  New possibilities of being are a function of declaration once a person constitutes themselves as their word.  When a man and a woman give their word to honor and be faithful to each other as man and wife no matter what trials or tribulations may come to test their character, commitment and integrity, they enter into a new realm of being, called being married.  Beyond whatever feelings or thoughts a person may have in the moment of making the declaration "I do", a powerful commitment has been made transcending psychology while at the same time giving rise to a new world of loving thoughts, feelings, and emotions toward their spouse.

Being in love or being loving are but two examples of  possibilities of being.  Other examples are being happy, being courageous, being satisfied, being patient, being humble, and being generous.  In reality, possibilities of being are infinite. Again, direct access to being is possible through honoring one's commitment (declaration) as oneself.  A new possibility of being unselfish, for example, can be invented simply by authentically declaring:  "the new possibility of being that I am inventing for myself and my life is the possibility of being unselfish."   In order to identify an area of one's life where a new possibility of being would create new openings for action, one can ask oneself the question: what's missing in a particular area of my life, the presence of which (way of being) would make a difference.  By identifying a way of being that is missing, one can substitute that way of being for the word "unselfish" in the example above.

Our day-to-day effectiveness can be measured by honestly evaluating how closely our actions are aligned with our commitments.  When a person achieves greater mind-body unity, eventually our thoughts, feelings and emotions follow the dictates of our original mind which naturally yearns for truth, beauty and goodness in accordance with the will of God.    As children of God, true freedom comes when human beings gain the awareness and take responsibility for the fact that we have something to say (declaration) about who we are being in every situation and circumstance.  As emphatically taught in the book, Think and Grow Rich, whatever you can imagine that you can do, you can do (as long as it is within the will of God.)  Likewise, whatever you can imagine that you can be, you can be (as long as it is within the will of God.)




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