By Judith Ashley
A version of this post first appeared in February 2015.
Yes, love is more than a feeling to me. We tell others “I love you”. We hear “I love you, too” said back. At times someone may say “I love you” first and we repeat back that we love that person “too”.
I write romance a blessing, a gift, a way to balance my life because for almost fifty years I worked as a private guardian and geriatric care manager and/or in child welfare and/or in an emergency after hour’s capacity for vulnerable adults. My professional life has shown me all too clearly that there can be a gigantic disconnect between the words “I love you” and the actions we’d expect from someone who truly does love us.
In my short story “Is He The One?” available through Windtree Press’s anthology Gifts from the Heart, my heroine, Sophia Denton uses Dr. William Glasser’s Basic Psychological Needs to sort through her feelings and find the answer to Jonathan’s proposal. She readily acknowledges they love each other (the feeling).
Her question is:
Is that enough? While she herself has not been abused, she is aware of the issue of domestic violence and child abuse. Committed to doing her very best not to get caught in that “but I love him” trap, she decides to delve deeper into the conundrum of love, to determine for herself if there is a disconnect between how she and Jonathan ‘feel’ about each other and how they treat each other.
Dr. Glasser talked and wrote about the importance of loving relationships in our lives. He also talked and wrote about the reality that the only person whose behavior we have control over is our own.
It is a myth to think that we really can “make” someone do something. There are people every day who literally die for their beliefs and that has been true throughout history. It is at times convenient to say “I couldn’t help it” or “S/he made me”.
When I hear those words, I know that isn’t actually true. I also know that if we are honest with ourselves and take responsibility for our actions, we know the real reason why we made the choice we did. Perhaps it is as simple as not knowing how to say 'no'; or maybe the person can fire us if we are defiant; or maybe it's just easier to go along with everyone. Standing up for ourselves and our beliefs is not always easy. People might no like me any more. I won't belong. Think peer pressure.
To help you sort out the connection or lack of between the feelings of love and the actions of love in your relationships, take some time and answer these questions.
1. Looking at your most important relationships and using a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 being high/good and 1 low/bad, how congruent are the words and actions of the people you love towards you?
2. Looking at your most important relationships and using a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 being high/good and l1 low/bad, how congruent are Your Words and Actions towards the people in your life you love?
3. When you look at the disconnect, what are the others attempting to get or accomplish with their behavior?
4. What are you trying to get or accomplish in those relationships where there is a disconnect?
Please share your thoughts and ask questions! I’ll do my best to expand on Dr. Glasser’s concepts in my answers.
Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance. She is also on the Senior Teaching Faculty of The William Glasser Institute and schedules trainings leading to Certification in Dr. Glasser’s Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.
Learn more about her work with Dr. Glasser’s concepts www.glasserconceptstraining.com
Learn more about her writing and The Sacred Women’s Circle series here.
Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.http://windtreepress.com/pages/authors/judith-ashley/
You can also find Judith on FB!