Episode 28: Did you Know Love is a Choice? Here’s How.

Hey, friends! We’ve officially made it through January. Congratulations.

Did it feel like a long month for you, too?

Well, here’s the great news; we’ve begun a new month. We’ve officially launched into February. And with February also comes Valentine’s Day.

It’s the month of love.

And while people have many mixed emotions about this holiday, I wanted to take this week to explore the concept of love a little more closely.

Now, I know this topic might feel a bit off the beaten path from our normal topics of goal setting, time management, productivity, and mindset.

But I promise you, it’s all related. It will all tie together.

So if you’re feeling a little skeptical about a deep dive into love today, stick with me. I think you’re going to find it helpful in your life.

Because today we are going to explore love through a few different lenses.

If you’re ready to increase the love in your life. And if you’re ready to start intentionally choosing love in your life. Then today’s podcast is for you. Tune in below or stream episode 28 from your favorite podcasting app.

Prefer to read the transcript? No problem! Just keep scrolling.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE!

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL DISCOVER…

  • Love’s role as an emotion in our life
  • The concept of love as a choice
  • How you can intentionally increase the love you feel every day

LINKS FROM THE PODCAST

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QUESTION:

Are you ready for February? Where do you stand on Valentine’s Day – love it or leave it? What are your thoughts on love as a choice in your life? Let me know below!

Did You Know Love is a Choice? Here’s How

Hey Everybody! how’s it going? Welcome to the podcast. Welcome to episode 28.

If you are listening to this in real-time, you know that we have reached the month of February. We’ve made it through January, which I know for many of us sometimes feels like a long month. And we have entered a new month. Which is always so exciting. It’s always filled with so much opportunity.

Now February is also the month of Valentine’s Day. It is the month of love. And so with that, I thought I would start our month off by talking about this concept of love. And I know this might feel a little bit off the beaten path from our normal topics of goal setting and time management and productivity and mindset. But I promise you, it’s all related. And it all will tie together.

So if you’re feeling a little bit skeptical about a podcast on love, stick with me today. I think you’re going to find it helpful in your life.

So like I said, we are going to talk about love today. And I’m really excited about this topic. And we’re going to look at love from a potentially different angle then perhaps you’re used to. 

We are going to look at love through a few different lenses to get us thinking about how love shows up in our lives. How we think about love in our lives. And how these thoughts can really impact the way that we show up as ourselves and how we show up for others every day.

And like I said, we’re going to look through a few different lenses, and they’re probably perspectives that are a little bit unfamiliar. Maybe they challenge what we have been taught in terms of love and in terms of feeling loved. Maybe they feel a little bit unfamiliar and uncomfortable. 

But that’s okay. Again, stick with me. 

I’m going to have a lot of examples to help put these concepts and perspectives into practice and show you how our thoughts about love really do show up in different ways. And how your thoughts about love really impact important areas of your life.

And I’m going to present this by looking at three common misconceptions that we have about love and how thinking about love through these alternative lenses might be helpful to you.

What is Love?

Now before we dive into these different approaches, I first want to talk about what love is specifically. And this might seem like a super basic question but think about it for a minute. What is love? This question is so powerful to get us thinking about love in different ways.

So what is love? 

On a very basic level, love is an emotion. It is a feeling in our body. When you look up the definition of love in Google, the first definition is: “an intense feeling of deep affection.” 

So love is a feeling. And a feeling is something that you experience in your body; it is a vibration that runs through your body. And when it is a pleasurable feeling, something like love, it is a feeling that we enjoy. 

Is love a Choice or a Feeling?

Now, what causes our feelings? What causes us to feel something? If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, you know that what causes our feelings is our thoughts. We have someone or something in our life, and when we think about that person or that thing, we have thoughts about them. And if they are positive thoughts, if they are warm and kind and loving thoughts about that person or that thing, we feel love for them.

Love is a Choice You Make

And this actually brings me to my first point. Love does not just happen to us. Instead, you choose to feel love based on the thoughts that you are thinking. We don’t just automatically feel love for people. And this is a different perspective for many people.

A lot of us think that we just happen to feel love for some people and not other people. We think that love just kind of happens to us without any kind of control. But that’s not true. We don’t just automatically feel love for some people and not other people. Instead, love begins with a thought.

Example of Love as a Choice

Let me give you an example. I want you to think about somebody who you love in your life. Take a minute and picture them in your mind. And now I want you to think about what you love about them. What is it about them, and what they do, and how they show up in your life, that you love so much? Allow your brain to really start thinking about all of the things. I’m going to let you do that for a second.

Have you thought about a person? Have you thought about all of the things that you love about them? I want you to take note of all of those thoughts that started flooding through your mind. I want you to think about all of those loving thoughts that you were thinking about that person. And I want you now to tune in and notice how you are feeling right now. Notice how that feeling of love totally swelled up in your body.

For me, I feel a sense of warmth. And I feel a sense of lightness. It’s this whole-body experience that feels amazing.

And the reason that you’re feeling this incredible feeling of love, is because you are thinking loving thoughts. You’re thinking about all of these loving things that are generating feelings of love for that person. And because you were thinking all of those things, and you have that feeling of love running through your body, you feel amazing.

Choosing Love For My Husband

So for example, if I think about my husband, Ryan. And when I think about what I love about him, I have all of these thoughts that race through my mind. 

I think about how handsome he is. I think about how he’s such a talented singer and a dedicated bandleader. And I love how he’s super supportive of every idea I have and how he listens to me as I work through new ideas and concepts and struggles. I love how he loves his family fiercely. I love how he’s super goofy. And I love how he goes on walks with me and Bruno in the afternoon. And when I think all of these things that I love about him and I generate all of this feeling of love in my body it feels incredible. 

My body is overwhelmed with this incredible feeling of love.

And again, it is all because I am choosing to think these loving thoughts about Ryan.

How to Practice Choosing Love

So what about you? Over the next couple of days, I invite you to think about the people in your life that you love. Maybe it’s your partner. Maybe it’s your kids. Or maybe it’s your best friend or your sister. Think about those people who you love most in the world. 

How do you think about these people on a regular basis? How do they show up in your mind? What do you choose to think? Notice how you are choosing those thoughts deliberately. 

You could choose to focus on negative things. You could choose to focus on areas that might not generate feelings of love. But you don’t. Instead, you are deliberately choosing thoughts that feel incredible and that make you feel so much love for that other person.

This Might Feel New and Uncomfortable

Now, your brain might be fighting this concept. You might be thinking to yourself, but of course, I love them. It’s easy for me to love them. Everybody loves this person. It’s not actually my thoughts, everybody feels this way. This person is just naturally loveable.

And if you find your brain fighting this idea, I invite you to think about this scenario.

Let’s Talk About Dog People

I want you to think about someone in your life who is obsessed with their dog. You know who I’m talking about, right? They’re the crazy dog person who is always talking about their dog, spoiling their dog, and loving their dog to pieces. 

You all have at least one person in your life who is convinced that their dog is the best dog in the whole world. Their dog is the cutest, sweetest, most snuggly dog and they’re practically perfect in every way.

And if you think you don’t know anyone like that, you do, because I am one of those people.

My Dog is Perfect

I am convinced that my dog, Bruno, is 100% perfect. He is literally the best dog in the world. He has so much love for everyone and everything. And all he wants to do is snuggle, and go for walks, and watch for the mailman each day. Seriously, he’s perfect. He’s the best dog ever.

But I also know that other people might not feel the same way. 

Other’s Might Not Agree

I also know that other people might be bothered by the fact that Bruno jumps up on his back legs to greet people when they come into the house. I didn’t do a good job of training him, and he is definitely a jumper. 

And they might not like the fact that he barks when the mailman and the UPS guy drop off mail and packages at the house. 

And they might not love that he sheds like’s it’s going out of style because he’s a dalmatian and that’s what dalmatians do.

So how is this possible? How can we have the same dog – how can we have Bruno sitting in between two people – but those two people have two very different opinions of him?

Again, it’s because of our thoughts. It’s because of what we choose to think of him.

And the same is true for people. 

Why Love is a Choice In Every Area of Your Life

So how you choose to think about people matters. You are choosing to practice love. You are choosing to feel love with every thought you think about the people in your life.

And in fact, the same is also true for inanimate objects or things in your life. It is true for your job, or your hobbies, or your goals. You are also choosing to love those things. You are also choosing – intentionally or unintentionally – how you want to think about these things in your life. 

So ask yourself, are you choosing loving thoughts?

Because here’s the best news about all of this information. Love is always available to you. And in fact, it’s only a few thoughts away.

People Can’t Give You Love

And that brings me to my second point, which is that people can’t give you love. People can’t make you feel loved.

Instead, once again, it comes down to your own thoughts.

Just think about this for a minute. How often have you heard someone say, “I’m just not feeling the love any more.”? Or, “he doesn’t love me anymore.” Or “she never shows me any love.”

Chances are you, you’ve heard people say this in the past. And chances are, you’ve even thought some version of this. I certainly have.

But the truth is this. You can’t give emotions to one another.  Your love can’t jump out of your body and land in another person’s body.

Just like before, you are the one responsible for generating those loving feelings inside of your body. You’re the one making another person’s actions mean that they either love or do not love you.

Example of Feeling Love

So let me give you an example here.

A few summers ago, I had reached out to a friend over text to get together for coffee and I didn’t get a response. And I texted her again the next day, and I still didn’t get a response.  Then after a few days, I called and left her a message and I still didn’t get a response.

And I started feeling really bad. I thought that I must have done something wrong and that she just didn’t care about me anymore. I was circling through our previous conversations and trying to figure out what happened. And I started catastrophizing and thinking that she just must not value our friendship as much as I did.

Long story short, I wasn’t feeling loved.

But then a few days later she sent me a text. And she told me that her phone had fallen in the pool, and then she had left for a vacation, and she was finally just getting back to all of her missed messages. What’s more, she told me she’s loved to get together for coffee.

And you know what happened? My feelings completely changed again. And not because she gave me love. And not because she started showing me love. 

I started Choosing Love

Instead, it was because I started thinking differently about the situation. It was because I stopped thinking that she didn’t love me and didn’t care about me. And instead, I realized, “Oh! What a crazy situation. She just dropped her phone in the pool. I totally get that. And of course, she still loves me and loves our friendship.”

So once again, it all comes down to our thoughts. 

Love in Relationships

In fact, feeling love for another person and feeling love from another person works on so many different levels. And this goes to the bigger picture of relationships generally and how relationships are completely constructed in our minds. Our relationships are entirely how we think about another person. 

And I want to give you another example that’s a little bit more personal, but it’s also super powerful. And I think it will really highlight this concept even more. 

Unconditional Love in Relationships

So my godmother, Joan, passed away a few years ago unexpectedly, and I was devastated. My heart was completely broken, and I was so so sad about this loss. 

But what I’ve realized over the last couple of years is that even though she has passed away, I still have an incredible relationship with her. I still feel so much love for her. And what’s more, I still feel so much love from her, because of the thoughts I think about her regularly.

Love is a Choice

I still choose to think loving thoughts about her all the time. 

I choose to think about her warmth and her smile and the way she laughed. And I think about how I used to sit on her lap and sneak sips of her ice tea when I was little. I think about when she came out to visit me in Boston and the amazing time that we had together. 

And I think about how much she loved me, too. I think about how she was proud of me and supported me and wanted me to be happy. 

And when I think about all of those memories. When I think about all of the things I love about her. And when I keep our relationship so strong in my mind, I constantly feel loved in this relationship. I absolutely feel loved by her all the time. And it’s amazing. 

Love is a Decision You Get to Make

So again, you can’t give people your love. And people can’t withhold their love from you. Because when it comes down to it, it’s all your decision. It’s all about how you choose to think about that person. It all comes down to how you want to think about that person, their behaviors, and what they mean to you in your life.

You Can’t Fall Out Of Love

And this brings me to my third and final point. Just as you choose to feel love toward another person. And just as people can’t give you their love or take their love away. You also can’t suddenly fall out of love with someone or something.

Again, how many times have you heard someone say some version of this?

“I don’t know, I just fell out of love with him or her.” Or, “things just don’t feel the same anymore. Things are different. I just don’t love them anymore.”

And again, this can happen with people. This can happen with jobs. It can happen with friendships or living situations. It can happen with anything. 

Sometime in your life, you’ve probably heard someone say, “I don’t know what happened. I just don’t love him the same way anymore. It doesn’t feel the same. I just fell out of love.”

Or maybe you’ve heard yourself say, “I’m not sure what happened. I used to love my job. I used to love what I do. But now, suddenly, I just don’t feel that way anymore. I just don’t love it.”

But again, you haven’t suddenly stopped feeling love or feeling excitement or feeling passion. Instead, you’ve stopped thinking thoughts that make you feel love. And what’s more, you’ve replaced those original loving thoughts with thoughts that make you feel something else.

You’re Choosing to Think Differently About the Person or Situation

So if you think you’ve fallen out of love with your partner, for example, what has really happened is that you’re thinking differently about them. You are choosing to focus on thoughts that make you feel frustrated or annoyed or indifferent instead of thoughts that make you feel passion and affection and love.

And knowing this information is so powerful. Because knowing this information puts the power back with you. The ball is now back in your court. You get to decide what you want to think and how you want feel going forward.

Do you want to keep feeling this way? Maybe you do. And if so, great. 

But if you do want to feel that love again, you need to start thinking differently. You need to tune into your thoughts and highlight what you’re focusing on now. What are you repeating to yourself? What are you honing in on? And why are you putting your focus there? Why are you choosing to think those thoughts that aren’t generating feelings of love?

And instead, why not focus on what you love? Why not choose to celebrate those amazing things that you love about the other person?

Choosing Love Isn’t Always Easy

Now, I’m not saying this is easy. Please don’t hear me saying that. 

Because this absolutely takes work. It absolutely takes practice. It absolutely takes repetition and refocusing and retraining your thoughts. 

But wouldn’t you rather feel love? Wouldn’t you rather feel that affection? I know I would. I know I would much rather feel excitement and joy and warmth every time I think about someone than annoyance or frustration or even indifference. 

And the amazing thing is that you can. It’s just a thought away. And while it does takes practice, and while it does take work. I promise you, it’s worth it.

And as I mentioned, the same is true for any goal, or career, or project that you’re working toward.

You Can Choose To Love Your Job or Situation

For example, maybe you loved a job when you first started working there. Maybe you were SO excited about all of the possibilities, and the growth, and the challenges it offered you. Maybe you absolutely loved what you did and it completely lit you up.

But now you’re feeling burnt out. Now you’re dreading heading to the office every day. Now you’re second-guessing the goal that you set for yourself. You’re believing it’s not really what you wanted. It doesn’t sound as exciting anymore. And you don’t love the idea as much.

But again, you only feel this reluctance, or hesitation, or disinterest, because you’re choosing thoughts that make you feel this way. You’re choosing thoughts about that goal or the job or the project that make you focus on the negative. 

So if you find you’re thinking that you’ve just don’t love this thing or that person anymore. Or if you think to yourself, “I don’t know what happened, things have just changed. It doesn’t feel the same.” Then I encourage you to tune in. I encourage you to start noticing what you’re thinking to yourself. What are the thoughts that you’re thinking to yourself over and over about that person or situation?

Ask Yourself These Questions

And ask yourself, “why am I choosing to think these thoughts?” “Why am I choosing to feel this way?” “Do I want to keep feeling this way?” If the answer is no, then it’s time to do some work. It’s time to start being intentional about your thoughts. It’s time to start shifting that perspective and deciding on purpose how you want to think instead.

Let’s Talk

And if you hear yourself in any of these situations. If you’re struggling to feel love for another person or feel love from another person. Or if you think you’ve stopped loving this job or that passion, and you want to change it, then let’s talk. Just head to imbusybeingawesome.com/freesession. Sign up for a totally free 1:1 coaching session with me. We will work through those thoughts. Figure out what’s going on for you. And we’ll create a strategy to start generating the feelings of love that you want.

Love Feels Amazing

Because here’s the truth, my friends. Love feels amazing. And love itself? Love is always incredible. And best of all, it is always an option for you.

So with that, I hope you have a month filled with love. I hope you fill your mind with loving thoughts and that you feel amazing because of it. Because love is a choice. Love is always an option for you. And love always wins.

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