BETTER THAN HAPPY – Episode 150
First, remember this from yesterday:
“What truly makes someone lovable to you is that YOU CHOOSE TO LOVE THEM. That’s it!”
Now. Try this exercise with me. Write a one-sentence summary of someone in your life that is hard for you to choose to love.
This is hard for us, because we are good people who really try to be kind, right? We want to block out negative thoughts. I was telling Bry the other day, I’d always believed that when you have a mean thought about someone, you should start singing a hymn. Kick that thought right out, right? Well, then that thought comes back. If not that very hour, at some point in time, it comes back. What if, instead of kicking the thought out, what if I got curious about the thought. Jody says what we really need to do is “uncover the truth”.
Write that one-sentence summary. Let’s look for the truth.
What is going on in my monkey brain? What is it believing? What is it afraid of? What is it looking to prove?
“Understand it. Uncover it. Unwind it. Change it.”
Get curious about our brain – our thoughts. What is the part of our one-sentence story about that person that denies you the feeling of love for them?
- She seems really really nice to people, but she is really a hypocrite
- OR She is always looking out for herself first, she is so selfish
- OR Even though she really comes through for me at times, she is so unpredictable and is so judgmental, I don’t even want to ask her for help anymore
These are just examples. But now, let’s get curious!
- Why does it bother me that she is only nice sometimes and not at all the times?
- What do I fear? Why would her looking out for only herself make me feel threatened?
- Why can’t I let her be unpredictable? Why does it matter so much to me that she doesn’t judge me? What insecurities does this show in myself?
Our monkey brains are probably asking: Why do we need to get to the bottom of this? Why can’t we just ignore our feelings and pretend to be okay – be as nice as we can when we are with them? Or avoid that person? Why spend the time and energy to do the thought-work?
Let me give you a couple of reasons:
Submission to the Lord – the Father of all the people in our lives. In my prayer closet, struggling with the Lord to love someone who felt so unlovable to me, the thought came to me, “This is where submission comes into play. Everything in me says, ‘I don’t want to’, but the Lord says, ‘I put these people in your life for a reason. Learn from them, support them.’ This is FAITH. This is PATIENCE. This is MEEKNESS.”
These negative thoughts deny ME the feelings of love. The one I am punishing is ME.
“When you choose to feel a negative emotion, it’s like your punching yourself in the face.”
Vice versa, loving someone is a reward for ME! Remember that from yesterday? When I choose to love someone I am the one who gets to feel that love.
“Go all the way to love!”
Why would you go part way? Why would we only go to “toleration”. Sure, that is better than “hate”. But, why not go all the way to love? You can. I can.
If you need to protect yourself, absolutely do so. But you do not have to be angry to take action to protect yourself. “I love you, but I am leaving because this is not good for me.” You can love someone, because everyone on earth is 100% lovable, just the way they are. You can love someone, and leave someone.
“Do not leave them until you love them. Do not (choose to) avoid them until you love them.”
Why is this. Let me remind you of what I’ve quoted before – it is actually part of the meditation I wrote for myself this week:
“Love is always going to serve you best. It is going to create your best results for yourself because … it’s going to drive your best action. You are your best, most creative, most confident, most genius self when you’re operating in love.”
For our own sakes, make decisions – even decision like should I leave this person – from a place of love.
How do I increase my ability to love? Let me tell you how: Loving people that are hard to love increases our ability to love. It increases our love capacity faster than anything else we could do.
Now this work is not like a box you get to check off. Likely you will still have those same negative thoughts at some point. The brain wants to slip back to its natural pattern. It’s okay. Do the work again to get back to love.
Loving those who feel unlovable to me is a problem for me. It is hard. It doesn’t come naturally. I imagine that is the case for 99.9% of the world. But I am not throwing in the towel. When I get down on myself, and when I start crying in my prayers, realizing how far I have to go to get to love, I am reminded, “Rach, you haven’t given up. You haven’t stopped learning and trying. You are doing exactly what you should be doing in this classroom of life. You are making mistakes and you are taking it to Me and taking it to your own brain – to your own thought-work. ‘Be of good courage, and (I) shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.'”
“All of us have problems. We face them every day. How grateful I am that we have difficult things to wrestle with. They keep us young, if that is possible. They keep us alive. They keep us going. They keep us humble. They pull us down to our knees to ask the God of Heaven for help in solving them.”President Gordon B Hinckley