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PostSubject: Love Like Crazy   Love Like Crazy Icon_minitimeThu Sep 01, 2011 1:53 pm

At any given moment, life is offering up at least a dozen (probably several dozen) reasons for you to be worried, frightened, unhappy, maybe even discouraged, offended, hurt, or angry. You could tell me the circumstances of your life and justify your logical emotional experience. You could explain to me exactly why you feel the way you feel. No matter what your circumstance, I would advise you to lean in, stop resisting, embrace all of it - begin to love what is present, maybe even 'Love Like Crazy' the current experience. Focus on all the blessings, all the good parts, all the 'silver linings in the clouds' and pull your energy and attention out of the thoughts about anything that isn't as you desire it to be. Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain, said it this way:

"Drag your thoughts away from your troubles. . .by the ears, by the heels or any other way you can manage it."

This is a topic that I speak with my clients about daily, and they struggle like crazy instead of simply choosing to Love Like Crazy. Because we overvalue our logical minds, and believe that we have to solve the problems, figure it out, pinpoint the issue and take immediate action steps, a recommendation such as this one feels too passive, too simple and sometimes it feels like denying the truth of reality. When I challenge them to shift their attention away from the obstacles to consider what benefit they might experience as a result of the circumstances, they can begin the process of getting curious. Curiosity allows us to leave the value judgment behind and start to consider the possibilities. It actually becomes interesting to stop doing what is predictable and stop creating the predictable pain and discomfort. We may not be able to change the circumstances, yet we can always change our response to the circumstances.

A brilliant example of this from my client, Terry, whose wife ,of 21 years, told him she "loved him, just wasn't in love with him anymore" and wanted to separate. Terry immediately felt huge waves of fear and resistance to his wife's unexpected news. His thoughts were racing and his heart was pounding and he was tempted to overreact. He could feel the pain and anger welling up inside of him, until he remembered our recent coaching conversation. We had discussed a power struggle he was in with his colleague. I had encouraged him to seek a deeper understanding of his colleague's perspective before responding to it. I had asked Terry to make an explicit commitment to me, as he coach, to be respectful of his colleague and to be certain that the colleague actually felt appreciated and respected by him especially when they were experiencing a difference of opinion. He challenged himself to bring the same level of appreciation and respect to this moment with his wife. As he took a deep, cleansing breath and allowed himself to get really curious, he began to feel a huge sense of compassion for his wife. By setting aside his fear and disappointment he was able to get a sense of her discomfort and how hard it was for her to acknowledge her unhappiness and initiate this conversation with him. He opened his heart to his wife when it felt like the best thing to do would be to prepare for battle and tell her how bad her timing was for him. It wasn't an easy or effortless conversation, however as he listened to his wife without defending or correcting her, he could sense a very palpable change in her energy. When he stated his commitment to loving her and supporting her happiness and asked specifically what he could do to support her, she was quick to share how surprised she was by his response and how deeply she felt loved by him in that moment. She was able to acknowledge that she desired more of the 'connection' that this kind of conversation was creating and they ended up reminiscing some of their deepest loving moments, just for fun. It shifted, from a conversation that could have predictably gotten very ugly and uncomfortable, to a conversation that reminded them of how blessed they actually are to have each other. Terry made the choice to Love Like Crazy and interestingly enough his wife came along willingly and with huge delight in his unexpected support and attention. They continue to explore what is possible versus settling for what might be predictable, and taking personal responsibility for their continued happiness and connectedness.

Now, more than ever before, we must get really good at feeling great and choosing to Love Like Crazy. When your thoughts or experiences invite you to become fearful, angry, or prideful, consider a different approach. Take a deep, cleansing breath and get willing to get curious and grounded in your love for others and for life, in general. Do this when you least feel like doing it and this is when you will reap the deepest rewards. Overall, choosing this response is quite an unusual gift to give to others, and it also pays huge dividends toward your own health and well being.
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