Let’s talk about falling in love because it’s my favorite subject in the whole world and when everything is crashing down all around it’s one of the best things any of us can do. People fall in love in the midst of war, natural disasters, even at funerals.
Falling in love need not just be with a husband or a wife, one can fall in love with a baby or a sunset, or with Jesus Christ Himself. He is the lover of our souls, so He is perfect for falling in love with. Fall in love with life.
Falling in love is where your stomach starts doing flip flops and everything is exciting and new. Your heart soars and your pulse races and you are on the edge of your seat, full of wonder and anticipation. Falling in love is not this superficial thing, where one loves a pair of shoes or a good book, although I think I may have come close to falling in love with a good book a few times.
Marriage itself does have its seasons, so love will ebb and flow. There is the romance and the honeymoon phase and then very quickly there is…life, drudgery. One need not stay there however, marriage is not where love goes to die! I wrestled with this when I was younger, I loved my husband but I just wasn’t “in love” with him, or in love with much of anything really. Actually, a few times I even wondered, what the heck was I thinking? This man? These kids? Did I make the dumbest decision ever or what? I’m wasting my life. I’m missing out. I’ve settled.
It took me a while to figure out that when I wasn’t feeling “in love,” I really wasn’t in love with much of anything. It had nothing to do with my husband at all, it was entirely me. I controlled the horizontal and the vertical, so if I wasn’t “feeling in love,” who really controls the feelings? We do, the one thinking the thoughts that lead to the feelings. We chose to fall in love, it is not a passive experience. We program our own selves.
There are some biological love triggers, attraction cues, that create this physical facsimile of being in love, but those influences are surprisingly slight. Teen agers tend to get hit with a powerful concoction of hormones, crushes, desire, an imitation of falling in love, but once that season passes, we really do have tremendous control over falling in love, mind over matter, and where our minds go, the rest of us follows.
It was a ground breaking revelation and a rather empowering one, because suddenly I could fall in love whenever I wanted, and enjoy the stomach flop flops, the excitement. The more I practiced, the better I got at it. I practiced falling in love with the Lord, with the beauty and wonder of sunsets, with the stars. I set about stalking all the romance I could find in my world. I wrote my own love story and I eventually learned how to fall in love with my husband all over again.
I don’t walk around feeling madly in love every single moment because that would be exhausting and there are other things in life to be experienced too, but I do take the time every day to spend a few moments falling in love with something. It’s a skill that must be practiced and cultivated until it becomes second nature.