3 Reasons Love Is, In Fact, A Choice

by Brianna Wiest

I'm inclined to think that any belief that insinuates that you are at the whim and command of a cold universe is not one anybody should subscribe to. If our lives are projections of what we truly feel compelled to think is true, then a pretty good theory as to why we don't have the lives we want is that we believe love or happiness or suffering or purpose is something that is bestowed upon us, not something we choose.

People tend to feel very strongly about this: Can you choose love? Or happiness? And I think that their very strong opinion stems from either feeling very capable or very incapable of it themselves. Here's where most people get it confused: you don't just close your eyes and choose to feel something. You choose to see a situation differently, you choose to open your mind to options. You choose to accept people or not. You choose to decide. Your life is within your control, even if you don't realize that it is, and this is equatable to something being on auto-pilot and crashing into a tree simply because the driver didn't realize they could still turn the wheel.

The only people who will truly experience love are those who know that it is something you choose. It is a verb. It is a way of seeing, it is a manner of thinking, it is a state of being. And all of these things are induced through a collection of the little moments in which you choose to see and think and be differently. Here, all the reasons why love is, in fact, a choice:

Love Is Not Just A Feeling

Love is an action. Love is the choice to see someone in their entirety, and to accept them. Love is the choice to be grateful. Love is the choice to keep choosing day after day. Love is the choice to keep committing to the person you once committed to, and it is the choice to evolve together as you do that, not apart. It is the choice to bring home their favorite snack or tell them how much you care. It is the choice to address whatever holds you back from fully embracing these things, to heal yourself, and to facilitate even more choosing and, therefore, emotion.

Love Happens Between Souls, Not Bodies

I hope it doesn't come as a shock to also tell you that sexual attraction is not love, and that is probably the single biggest reason relationships fail or maybe never even truly begin. We think that love is a "high" (it is, but not the one that happens automatically). We know this, simply, because that "high" can be induced even with someone we weren't attracted to at all initially, and most strongly for someone who we already feel romantically toward.

Love And Hate Exist In Equal Proportion — We Choose What We See, And Act On All The Time

You're choosing love (or the opposite) all day every day, in every aspect of your life, even if you don't realize it. No matter what it is in your life, there is as much good to it as there is bad, and always in equal proportion. You choose whether or not you see challenges as opportunities or setbacks; you choose whether or not you "look at the bright side." Nobody will do this for you. And the reason you have to do it for yourself is that there is always the option to see things without love. The problem we often run into is when we do this without realizing, which is the same problem we have when it comes to choosing to love another person: we do it without realizing what we're doing, or what the alternative would be.

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