How do you love a homeless person? How do you love a child? How do you love a patient? How do you love a customer?
The answer to each of these is that we love them by serving them. We love them by taking care of them. We don’t wait to “feel” love for them—we take action, and that action is a demonstration of our love.
Love is an action, not a feeling. Dr. Steven Covey talks about this the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People where he states love the feeling is a result of the verb, not the other way around. Interestingly, the only place that we describe love as a feeling is in romantic relationships. Many times, we hear, “I just fell out of love with him/her,” or “We just don’t love each other anymore.” The problem is that it takes the power of love completely out of your hands. You are completely responsive instead of being proactive. You are waiting for something to happen “to you” instead of taking action and making something happen.
Movies and songs make us think love is a response. It is something that happens to us, that love is a reaction, and we are simply a product of our feelings. The problem is that if that is true, our feelings drive our actions and not the other way around. We are no longer responsible for the love we have. It simply happens or it doesn’t.
We have all heard someone say, “I’ve just never fallen in love.” What type of fall does that require? What if our concern were more demonstrating or showing our love? What if we decided to be more serving, more empathetic, listen more? You don’t fall out of love with a child. You don’t just stop being in love with each other. Your love there is an act. It is an act of kindness, or compassion, or empathy, or listening. When you perform the act the feeling follows, but that is not the reason you do it. You do it because it is the right thing to do.
What if instead of our romantic relationships, our marriages, love was a very action-oriented kind of word? I need to show more love in this relationship. I need to be kinder. I need to listen more. I need to understand them better. I need to spend more time with them.
Feel the difference? Feel who is in control? Love is an action, not a feeling. Now go take massive action!
Keep Living Every Minute,