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The Love that Lasts: Standing In Love vs. Falling in Love
by Matt Moody Ph.D.

Emotional feelings fluctuate! Romantic excitement ebbs & flows—it comes and it goes! This is why the State Commission on Marriage and Family identified "commitment," and not love, as the most important element in making a good marriage.

But love and commitment need not be seen as two separate realities. Commitment can be conceived as an important aspect to a type of love that fosters rich relationships. In his book, The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck describes love thus:

"The will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth. . . . Love is not effortless. To the contrary, love is effortful. . . . Love is an act of will--both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love. . . . The act of falling in love is an act of regression. . . Real love is a permanently self-enlarging experience. Falling in love is not. . . The person who truly loves does so because of a decision to love. . . . True love is not a feeling by which we are overwhelmed. It is a committed, thoughtful decision. . . Commitment is the foundation, the bedrock of any genuinely loving relationship. . . . it is our sense of commitment after the wedding which makes possible the transition from falling in love to genuine love."

True love is not so much a matter of romance as it is a matter of anxious concern for the well-being of one's companion. Couples who stay married for a lifetime are inevitably faced with the task of keeping romantic love alive. But as long as two partners are committed, romantic feelings can be renewed and made fresh!

Falling in love is a fragile and faulty emotional state, but being loving is a committed decision one makes, and not a fleeting feeling one has, and then, . . . does not have. It takes the total commitment of two, to make a marriage, but the decision of only one, to break it. Everlasting Love is something you "stand for" rather than "fall in."

(Changing Your Stripes Manual, page 8-12)

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* * * * * * *

The highest expression of Love is NOT an emotion.

The kind of love that stands . . . is created through a committed decision. When we are truly loving, emotional feelings that flow from us, reinforce this commitment; whereas, the kind of love that falls . . . is based directly on emotion. As emotional feelings fluxuate, the "love" that falls comes and goes just like the up and down emotional "feelings."

* * * * *
Because emotions follow you,
you should not follow your emotions.
If you are being untrue in an emotional moment,
then the emotions that flow from you
only amplify your falseness.
 * * * * * 

This is why Sioux Indian holy man Black Elk said: "It is in the darkness of their eyes that men get lost, when we cannot see our way, we think darkness is shrouding our pathway, when really the darkness is in ourselves."

* * * * *
Because of the darkness within me,
I bring to my world, perceptions of dismay and darkness.
Because I am false, I see falsely. My worldview Changes . . . as I Change.
As I choose to truly Love, I see a World that is only seen
and experienced through the eyes of Love.
 * * * * * 

When you are truly being Loving, . . . your very Being IS Love. And Being Love is the highest attainment of purpose and existence. Human Be-ing has its richest fulfillment within the relational Bonds of Love that Stand!

* * * * *
"We are each of us angels with one wing,
and can only fly embracing each other."
 * * * * * 

(Changing Your Stripes, page 90)

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