“Love is a decision— not an emotion”


“Love is a decision— not an emotion”

Let’s talk about love—lovingkindness. It’s one of the foundational attitudes of mindfulness and without it, well let’s face it, you might be paying attention but not with an attitude that will reduce your stress.

Lovingkindness allows you to see the world, your world, in a light that grants you the freedom to choose how to respond to life experiences. What do I mean by “freedom”? Most of the time we spend our lives in autopilot mode. Reacting to unpleasant, neutral and pleasant experiences from the memories of our past without thinking. Every piece of data we receive, and everything that goes back out verbally and non verbally, passes through a filter we have created from years of past experiences embedded with our genetic makeup. Too often we view this filter as a permanent, unchangeable part of our existence. But everything in that last sentence, as Luke Skywalker had a habit of pointing in out in The Last Jedi, is wrong.

That filter can absolutely change. When we make lovingkindness an integral part of that filter, on purpose, we totally change the way we see life experiences. Remember that person who cut you off in traffic without signaling? Remember how you cussed? What happened to your mood, your blood pressure, your stress? Well sure, we could simply say that person is an a—hole. Or we can take the lovingkindness approach and open ourselves to a world of possibilities. What if that person was on the way to the hospital to see a dying family member, totally consumed with sadness and anxiety? Would that change your mood, blood pressure, stress? Of course it would. And I know what some of you are thinking (because it’s the way you filter information)— he/she is probably just an a—hole. Be here’s the thing. It doesn’t matter if the lovingkindness interpretation is true, but it allows for the POSSIBILITY.

Allowing the possibility of an alternative view doesn’t make you weak. It gives you the strength, the freedom to change the way you see the world and interact with it in a way that opens your heart and decreases stress. Now if you love all the stress you carry around with you, then by all means, keep doing what you’re doing. But if you are interested in trying out lovingkindness then send your email to mark@mindsatpeace.net and I’ll send you a lovingkindness meditation to try out. No stress with that.

I’ll be starting a new stress reduction course in January 2018. Why not make this New Year’s resolution one that will decrease stress, strengthen your mind, and strengthen your world. Stay tuned for details.

With peace,