In-laws and the people at church can be some of the most challenging relationships.
Is that just me?
I don’t think so. I’ve spoken with too many women who have struggled, too.
During the first part of my married life the relationships with the women in the family I married into and with the woman who married into my family were difficult, strained, and rough to navigate.
I remember feeling like an outsider to the family I married into and struggled to feel accepted by them. Things were said that were hurtful at the time (I’m sure on both sides).
You would think, having experienced this myself, I would have been 10x more kind to the girl my brother married. I tried to use my experience as a way to be more kind and understanding of her ‘outsider trying to break in’ status. It wasn’t easy.
Decades have past since those days and I love all of these women. They are amazing!
It makes me sad to think I missed out on many years of all of us being friends in the beginning because of my own thoughts about them and choosing to feel a victim to the circumstances rather than choose my own story and thoughts I would have about in-laws.
I missed several years of loving the people my husband I loved most loved.
Why had I not decided I would love the people my person loved?
In the coming years, we have children who are going to find someone to spend the rest of their life with. They will love them and their spouse will love my son/daughter.
More than anything, when it comes to my children marrying, I want my children to marry people they adore and love and have the person they marry adore and love them.
I have a choice.
Jody Moore, an amazing podcast-er, said that she has already decided she loves all of her children’s spouses. (Her kids are barely teenagers.) She said, “I’ve already decided I love my children’s spouses because I love the people my people love.”
A couple of days ago, I had a conversation with my family about loving the people they love (aka their future spouses).
I explained to them the years I missed by not loving the people my people loved when I was younger.
We all decided then and there, we are going to love everyone who marries into our family. No matter what. We already love them because someone we love loves them. The love is already done.
Why did I not decide to love back then? I’m sure I had my reasons. I also had choices. I wish I would have chosen differently.
Now, I know.
I choose love.
Because anything else only hurts me.
I’m going to say that again.
Anything else only hurts me.
I’m the ONLY one feeling those hurt or angry or upset feelings. They aren’t hurting anyone else the same way they are hurting me. We may hope our angry or hurt feelings are affecting the person who hurt us but the truth is, the only one feeling our feelings is us.
Why not choose love?
I thought this same thing when I walked into church this past Sunday.
When you’re part of a congregation sometimes it can be difficult to let go of things. Or you can feel lonely in the middle of a bunch of people.
It’s a choice to love people.
Walking into my ward on Sunday, I thought, “I love all of these people.”
I repeated it to myself many times for the two hours I was there.
The thing is, you can make these decisions ahead of time. You don’t have to wait until the moment arrives.
As a family, we’ve decided now we already love the people who marry into our family. No matter what. We love them. We are super excited to meet them and put our arms around them and tell them we love them. We are looking forward to those days.
There’s a lady in my ward who made this decision before she even arrived several months ago. The first time I ever met her, she said, “I LOVE you, sister!” and every time I’ve seen her since then she says some wonderful version of, “I love YOU, sister!” And it’s not just me she says it to. She says it to everyone.
And she means it. The love emanates from her.
She decided everyone is loveable.
Being around her fills me with hope for myself. The minute I see her I know she’s genuinely happy to see me. She throws her arms around me and tells me I’m loved.
Everyone in our ward looks forward to seeing her.
She had no reason to love me when she first met me. I hadn’t done anything to warrant her love.
She had already decided she loved me, sight unseen.
Her decision happened long before she stepped in our building.
To her, I was loveable because I exist.
To her, everyone is loveable because they exist.
Of course, I can’t feel the love she is feeling. Only she feels the love she is feeling.
But I want to!
I want to feel about people the way she feels about everyone she meets.
It’s powerful and amazing.
All I have to do is decide because
It’s a decision to love.
It’s a decision to let go of hurt, anger, loneliness and choose love.
Anything else is hurting you.
It’s time to start hurting.
It’s time to stop missing out on years of amazing people and relationships.
It’s time to decide.
Love really is the only way.
I’m choosing love.
What do you think, are you in?
Have you’ve been having struggling with one or more of your relationships? I’d love to help. Let’s talk. Book a Confidence Call HERE.
To choosing love,