Just Choose—Really

August 17, 2015

Personal Growth

For years I had watched Lyle and Susan locked in mortal combat. Susan tried to control Lyle, and Lyle resisted with his every breath and effort. It was like watching two blind and crippled people hitting each other with sticks. I spent considerable time with them—in person, on the phone, and by email—but I couldn’t see that I was making much difference. Their relationship was nearing a grisly end.

But one day Lyle asked for a Skype call with both of them, and immediately I could see that something was different. I asked how they were doing, and Lyle said, “I’m good. I’m happy.”

“What’s changed?” I asked.

“I just decided to be loving to my sweetheart. I’d tried everything else, but it never worked. Never. So I decided that I didn’t want to live like that anymore. Ever. So now if it’s not loving, I simply choose not to do it. Unloving things occur to me, but I remind myself that the old way of living is miserable and stupid.”

Susan confirmed that Lyle was doing exactly as he’d just described, and Lyle added, “I’ve decided to fall in love with my wife.”

When we’ve been engaged in unloving behaviors long enough, we often conclude that it’s the only way to live. We become caught up in old fears and responses to the point that we’re not truly making conscious choices anymore. But we DO have a choice. Lyle and uncounted thousands of others have proven that we have a choice. What they can do, we can do.

If it’s not loving, it’s not worth thinking or doing. Sure, unloving thoughts will occur—we can’t control random thoughts entirely—but we can then choose what to do with them. We can nurture them and be miserable, or we can throw them out and replace them with loving thoughts and choices. We really can choose love.

Real Love in Marriage

Find genuine happiness now and forever.


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