(This year I made my own card for Matt, and this is the front. This picture was taken on his 30th birthday this past September. I'm not really a big fan of Valentine's Day because it seems kind of contrived, but each year we like to have a little celebration, exchange cards, and write lovely words in them.)
A Little Reflection on Love
(A journal entry I wrote in the days leading up to Valentine's Day. It is the time of year to think about love, after all.)
The older I get and the deeper I get into marriage, the more I realize that love really is a choice. According to Erich Fromm in The Art of Loving, which I recently read an excerpt from thanks to a recommendation from a few students, "Love is an activity, not a passive affect; it is a 'standing in' not a 'falling for.'" Love isn't just a feeling, something we fall into and stay in, but it's something we have to actively work on and give attention to. Love is a choice, something we have to put effort into on a daily basis, and if we do that, the rewards are great. Sometimes, the romantic feelings come after making the choice to love.
Matt and I were taught this yet again last week. We got into a pointless fight, got mad at each other, couldn't see the situation from each other's perspectives, and we each focused too much on being right. We are two stubborn human beings with a lot of flaws. In the end, we just had to make the choice to move on and forgive. We didn't solve anything, and it didn't matter. We chose to love, and then we found happiness in ourselves and each other again. Oftentimes, the feeling of being in love comes after choosing daily to love someone, and that choice can be one of the most empowering aspects of life.