February Month of the Heart: The Most Important Choice You’ll Ever Make (Part 2 of 3)

One of the most important choices you’ll ever make is choosing a mate.  Yes indeed  Love of Other – Romantic Love, is key in our success in life.  This is in no way saying that not choosing to be with a partner makes us unsuccessful.  I’m just saying that the partner we choose is important in dictating our lifestyle and so much more.

In coaching clients, and in my own life,   I emphasize that  honest self-exploration is important to be the best partner you can be.  Two halves do not make a whole…never truer than in a relationship. Don’t know about you, but when my heart is right all else can flow and  I can better cope with life’s challenges.

Of course love is important, I think life IS sweeter when shared with another.  Love isn’t always a bed of roses though!  It is a choice that brings happiness and angst.

We each spend countless hours budgeting, tracking our time, our Facebook connections, Tweeting updates,  planning for retirement and so on and so forth yet may not be as deliberate in thinking through our choice of  mate.

Of course we cannot see into the future but we need to use both heart and mind in our decision-making  process.  And while I too ebb and flow my attention into planning and getting my life in order, I have come to realize that  no single choice has had such a profound impact on me than that of a mate.  It has brought sheer joy, a child, a  home, security…

That same choice  when it goes sideways can bring on the deepest darkest  depression,  insecurity, financial ruin and a tear in the family….People of all ages seek love relationships however they are defined.  This New York Times article“The 36 Questions, An Answer to Their Prayers?” is a very interesting read, especially if you follow the links to the first article and the 36 questions themselves.

While there are no guarantees, we really, really need to be conscious that we don’t make the mistake of wanting to  be chosen so much so that we might not be as choosey as we need to be.  Like the song says, “people fall in love  in some of the strangest ways…” I think we accept the love we think we deserve.  What do you think?

Based on the research around falling in love one of the 36 questions intrigued me so much so that I am willing to give it a try.  Specifically, the challenge is to sit face-to-face with your “beloved” (or in the study with a near-stranger) and stare into each others eyes continually for four minutes while being silent.  The objective is to experience, through the windows of the soul, what you see and how you feel you are seen.  Sounds vulnerable and it no doubt will make me giggle, squirm, and still try it.  How about you, are you game?

Once you find the “one” there is a commitment to continually grown individually, collectively and when the going gets rough, to work it.   At any season of life we can learn, love again, rekindle love, find love, but most of all be love.

Here are some books that I find helpful and share with my coaching clients when we work the relationship slice of life:

Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love” by Dr. Sue Johnson
The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate” by Gary D. Chapman
Hearts in Harmony” by Katie and Gary Hendricks

Live by choice not by chance and do chance it (love) – It is worth it!  I strive for a Valentine’s Day everyday in every way to myself and for other.  My favorite piece on love comes from Kahlil Gibran in the Prophet:

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

Choose well and opt for being choosey more so than being chosen.

Do you have favorites quotes, quips, poems, thoughts that you would share with us?
What is your experience with love?

Please share with us in the comments, below