“The course of true love never did run smooth.” – William Shakespeare
Poolside, relaxed, and drink in hand.
This is where I found myself this Valentine’s Day weekend.
In paradise with my lovely bride, Beth.
We were married in 2003, and 12 years (and four rambunctious kids) later, we remain totally in love with each other.
But it wasn’t always that way.
In honor of Valentine’s Day and the wonderful weekend I just spent with Beth, I’d like to share an excerpt from my new book On Fire that shows that even though nothing worthy is ever easy, true love is definitely worth the wait.
Excerpt from On Fire: 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life
ARE YOU READY?
This is a place we all find ourselves at times in our lives.
Hosting a pity party. Feeling painfully alone, broken in disappointment, with only negative thoughts as company. But haven’t you ever noticed that it’s the only party that no one else ever attends with you?
It’s a gathering with room for only one.
When you’re all alone, the voice of fear can overwhelm. It can begin to feel like the only thing that’s real. When we spend too much time concerned only about ourselves, the inner voice in our head begins to echo, doesn’t it? Reverberating from side to side to side, the voice grows louder each time.
The echo of fear silences opportunity.
Ah, but love can break open the echo chamber.
Fear is a cage where we feel totally confined, but faith is the key that sets us free. So I began praying about, reflecting on, and journaling about what it meant to be in love. I began to wonder, What does a successful, significant, joy-filled life even look like? And I began considering what I’d really been wanting from Beth—or any relationship—in life.
It didn’t take long before I realized that my desire had been selfish.
I was transfixed on what that relationship, and to be honest, most relationships, might do for me. I was so focused on what I wanted. I wanted Beth to be my date, my girlfriend, my wife, my security, even my proof that I was normal. But in focusing everything on my desires for the relationship, I was unable to just enjoy who Beth was and the wonderful relationship we had.
I decided I had to stop trying to convince her that I was lovable.
I let go of my fear that I would always be alone.
I opened the door of my heart and loved her even though it wasn’t exactly the way I had planned.
In making this choice I unlocked the seventh key to igniting a radically inspired life: choose to let go of fear and operate, lead, and live from a place of unconditional love. [Tweet this] | [Share on Facebook]
It was a mighty inflection point.
When we were out together, I stopped worrying about me. The focus shifted to actually caring about her. Instead of me trying to get anything from the relationship, I began to just enjoy whatever time we had together. Instead of focusing on dating or desires, the focus shifted to simply loving her and enjoying the moment.
No strings attached. No expectations. No hidden agenda.
And it was enough.
It was more than enough. It was awesome.
Today is your day. Live Inspired.
When have you let go of fear and operated from a place of unconditional love? Share your personal story in the comments below.
Want to read more of John’s upcoming book? Click here and sample the first two chapters for free!