Choose Active Love

I'm writing a book! 

I've wanted to do this for years, and after my recent experience with completing the 90 day Athlean X program, i see how to structure my time to make it a reality! I'm very excited about this and going to share my posts here. I may edit, comment or even delete them over time, but it is getting me in the practice of putting my work out for others to see. I am not going to edit much to start, and i welcome all feedback. Here we go! 

 

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PREFACE

How many of your actions with others today you will be proud of tomorrow? Not only the big relationships, but also how you handled the ones that seem insignificant. Did you connect about what matters most to you? Did you avoid a challenging conversation? Did you allow the pressures of productivity to keep you too busy to respond to others?

I am fascinated with relationships, I have been since I was a child, and it has lead to writing this book. In my work I’ve met many brilliant, loving, willing people who have at some point lost their way in relationships. How do we keep them alive and growing? Why does this continue to be so challenging throughout life?

It’s not that these people aren’t having good relationships; they may even be happy and content. It’s that in “settling in” they become complacent. We start ignoring our desires. We doubt our small hunches and intuition to have important conversations. We stop sharing the feelings and ideas that could lead to profound intimacy.

Many of us have learned to sacrifice long-term depth for short-term efficiency. We have stopped seeking opportunites to have soul nourishing relationships. The cumulative challenge of maintaining a relationship may have worn you out. You may have forgotten how to be playful, spontaneous and curious. This leads to passivity not only in relationships, but in all areas of life. What if you could find time to connect? What if you could become active and engaged each day rather than passive and avoidant?

Could you have the difficult conversations you’ve been deferring? Could you setting aside 15 minutes to invest in future experiences?

Many of us adapt to react to immediate issues in our environment; our phones, our chores, our work. How many times have you used these tasks to numb out or avoid a challenging interaction? Active live requires coming out of your comfort zone. Active love means expressing the vulnerability underneath the productivity. Active love means wanting to be curious about others more than you want to be right.

In short, it means choosing not to defer your contribution to the lives of others. Every day you are building a thriving tribe that shares your values and supports you as you support them.

This kind of depth, meaning and love is essential to our survival. Not only in our most intimate relationships, but in everything we do.

It’s about deep listening. It's about sharing your emotions and opening up, even when you want to hide and close down. It's about  vulnerability, saying the truth, especially when you don't know what to say. It's about putting down your phone and giving your full engagement, no matter what arises.

Listening
Opening
Vulnerability
Engagement

This kind of love doesn't survive in passivity. It requires active engagement. I know, there are no one-size-fits-all rules for relationship, each one is completely unique. Though, I can say there is a through-line: relationships are essential to everything we do, and these concepts apply to all of them.

Unfortunately, mainstream culture isn't built for this kind of relating. We spend our finite time trying to be productive, efficient or comparing our lives to others. It seems there is never enough time to keep attention on what matters most to us.

We spend what little time we have left for relationships on upholding the status quo. This means talking about work, sports and the weather. Our culture rewards deflecting intimacy with trivia, screens and storage units. Many have lowered their sights from believing they can even have good relationships. Most of us couldn't even say where our relationships are going.  We're too busy reciting the short-term placating of phrases like "everything is great."

We may even go seeking new relationships, optimistic and hopeful, we engage again. Everything seems new and full of possibiltiy. Then we hit the same intimacy thresholds we hit before.

The good news is that we all have the ability to wake up from the Status Quo Coma. We are creating our relationships every day. It's never to late to wake up, create active love and grow a thriving tribe.

The world may be full of conflict, uncertainty, and avoidance of meaningful connection. The upside is that there is no such thing as 50% responsibility in relationships. You can choose to be 100% responsible for the connections in your life. You can not count on your past, your social media or even this book to define your next steps. I can only point you back towards yourself, because you know. You know exactly the conversations you need to have. Only you can know where your intimacy thresholds are.

It starts by choosing today to be active in your expression of love. To change your family tree and plot your own course. Love and support abounds for those who are willing to step into the heart of uncertainty and choose love. Now more than ever, we are each 100% responsiblie responsible for plotting our own path.

The most fulfilling life you can live is one where you respond to that which calls you beyond your comfort. This doesn’t mean living a life of martyrdom or shunning pleasure. Rather, it means that to find meaning and fulfillment you commit to doing what is right, rather than what is easy. Far from being passive, responding to life asks that you give everything you've got. Doing so, I find, will lead to getting everything you want.

Start now. If you read nothing else, you can apply this today: notice one area of life where you have become passive and act. What would it mean to take 100% responsibility in that area?

One loving act at a time, we can change the world.