Words Reveal Your Thinking

For the last decade, I’ve had an ongoing fascination with linguistics. I strongly believe that the words we choose to use reflect how we think.

Let’s look at the word "love."

Most people use the word love in a passive sense.

Examples:

I fell in love.

I feel love for you.

In this context, love is something that happens to you. You’re merely a passive participant in the process.

When I think of personal relationships, I prefer to think of love as an action verb (even though grammatically that may not be an accurate statement).

I am loving you... as in... I’m doing loving and thoughtful things for you.

In this use, love connotes an action you take and a choice that you make.

I choose to love you.

I choose to take loving actions toward you.

I choose to say loving things to you.

I choose to treat you in a loving way.

When you think of love as an action, it connotes choice.

I choose to love you.

When you think of love merely as a passive thing that happens to you, you’re just in the right place at the right time.

I fell in love with you. (I had no choice in the matter.)

I fell out of love with you. (I also had no choice in the matter.)

Whether any of the above is actually empirically true doesn’t matter.

The question is: Is what I say useful to believe?

By this standard, I think it is.

If you act as if love is a choice and action... it leads you to choose who you love, and what actions you take to love them.

If you act as if love is a function of coincidence, fate, or statistical chance, that leads you to make no choices, take no actions, and make no efforts.

When it comes to love as a choice and as an action verb, a useful follow-up question to ask yourself today is: Did you love anyone today?

Did you choose to love anyone today?

Did you choose to take an intentional action TODAY to be loving towards another?

Or are you merely a bystander in the entire process, allowing momentum (or lack thereof) to make choices for you?

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