Sometimes when we say, “I love you,” we are really saying that we love an image that we ascribe to. But real love exists on a full spectrum. It is just as powerful in the storms as it is in the sunshine. Don’t let temporal disappointments or fluctuating circumstances rob you of the rewards of real love. Love is not fickle. It is not forceful. It is a commitment of magnanimous proportions that stands firm where emotions wax and wane.
“I love you” is not just a handy phrase to throw around, it is decision. You are choosing to devote yourself to that person when you feel like it, and even when you don’t. There will definitely be times in your relationship when you are enraged, frustrated, disappointed, or distressed. There will also be times when you are exhilarated, enraptured, delighted, and smitten with ecstasy. This is perfectly normal. Emotions are meant to fluctuate and evolve. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be human. But love does not react to emotion. Love is what grounds us. It is where the center of our relationship can exist.
Let go of your expectations of how love should express itself because everyone’s interpretation is different. So many moms catch themselves thinking, ‘If my husband loved me, then he would…(go ahead and fill in the blank),’ but it just doesn’t work that way. If, in your mind, love translates to certain actions and emotions, then you are just setting yourself up for disappointment. Love just IS. And sometimes the unconditional loving is the hardest part. There is no valid interpretation for it, and you just have to know that it is there through all of the fickle emotions and scattered actions that characterize our lives.
But, here’s a promise: when you live by your principles and not your whims, you will push through the difficult times and have an even greater and deeper love on the other side. So, leave the expectations behind, and understand that you don’t have to be on the receiving end. Love is a gift that you give every moment of every day, without expecting anything in return. That’s how you live out, “I love you.”