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As I’m sure you’re aware, today is Valentine’s Day. And what better topic to discuss today than love? Love is simply the best emotion we have at our disposal as human beings. It feels wonderful to experience for ourselves, it shows others the best side of us, and it’s worth working hard to spend as much time as possible there.
Now, I truly believe that we are capable of choosing to experience any given emotion at any time. We all know how difficult it can be to think positive thoughts during testing circumstances, but I want to show you today how you can choose to experience love even when you think it’s impossible.
Join me on the podcast this week to discover why we are so reluctant to think positively in testing circumstances, and how our brain only stands in our way on this. Love is such an incredible feeling, we owe it to ourselves to experience it as often as we possibly can, and I want to explain why choosing love, even if it all ends in tears, is never a mistake.
Join me for the next Ask Jody Anything coaching call!
What You’ll Learn on this Episode:
- Why we are capable of experiencing the emotion of love any time we want.
- What love feels like and what makes it such a special emotion.
- Why the object of your love is completely irrelevant.
- How our brain resists our wanting to experience positive emotion during perceived negative circumstances.
- Why we have to be able to love ourselves before we can sustain love for others.
- The emotions that we sometimes think are love but are not a true sense of love.
- Why feeling love for somebody else, even if they break your heart, is never a mistake.
Mentioned on the Show:
- Join me for the next Ask Jody Anything coaching call!
I’m Jody Moore, and this is Better Than Happy episode 239, Love Wins.
This podcast is for people who know that living an extraordinary life is not easy or comfortable. It’s so much better than that. This is Better Than Happy, and I’m your host, Jody Moore.
Hey, everyone. Welcome to the podcast. Thank you for joining me today. Thanks for sharing the podcast, thanks for listening. Whatever you’re doing, maybe you’re doing the dishes, cleaning up the house, running the kids around, maybe you’re on a walk, maybe we’re on the treadmill, wherever we are, thanks for bringing me with you. I’m excited to be here with you today and talk to you about love.
You know what today is? Valentine’s Day! Now, before you go being impressed thinking that I thought ahead and planned a podcast about love for Valentine’s Day, let me just tell you the truth. I was going to publish this episode next week. I have a different episode I already recorded, but as I started recording this one, I was like, “Wait a second. Let me look at the calendar,” and so I rearranged them so that this one would come out on Valentine’s Day. It was sort of a coincidence, and then a little bit of after the fact planning on my part. I’m excited to talk today about love.
Love is the best emotion. It really is. It is the most useful, it feels the best. It can be hard to get to at times, it’s a hard emotion to stay in. I haven’t figured out how to stay in love all the time, but it’s where I’m constantly striving to get to.
I want to begin by mentioning that if you’re new to the podcast, there’s a podcast roadmap that I recommend that you go print. It will take you through the eight episodes in the order I recommend you listen to them to get you up to speed on what I teach here on this podcast. If you haven’t done that yet, or maybe just by way of reminder even for those of you who have been listening for a while, emotions are something that we create with our thinking. We don’t talk about it that way. We talk about emotions as though they just happened. We say, “Oh, I felt so frustrated earlier today,” or, “I’m in such a good mood today,” as though we’re making an observation of what is happening to us.
Emotions are something that we create within us. If that’s true, which if you listen to 239 episodes of me, hopefully, I’ve sold you on the fact it’s true, but at any rate, if that’s true, then any emotion that we want to feel is available to us. If you’re not with me yet, if you’re thinking maybe it’s not true, I’m going to try to convince you of that here for just a minute. Any emotion in the world is available to us at any given time.
That means I could be standing in line at the DMV and any emotion I want is available to me. Now, if I’m not thinking about it consciously, if I’m just letting my brain run on default and do what brains do, then standing in line at the DMV, or probably sitting on a chair in a line at the DMV, might be an opportunity where I would feel impatient or bored or restless, or some other emotion like that. It wouldn’t be because I’m in line at the DMV, it would be because of what I’m thinking. If I’m thinking, “I’m never going to get out of here. This is going to throw off my whole day. I really don’t want to be here. There’s so many other things I need to be getting done right now. I don’t even know when I’m going to be up”. Notice they don’t use a linear, numerical numbering system. You don’t even know when it’s going to be your turn, right? All of those thoughts would create our emotions.
I want you to imagine that you’re sitting in that chair at the DMV and you’re feeling all those emotions because you’re thinking all those thoughts, and suddenly, you get a text message from your spouse that says, “We just won $10,000,000 in the lottery”. Now, you’re still sitting at the DMV, you still don’t know when your turn is going to be, you still have all those other things on your to-do list that you can’t go do right now as long as you choose to stay at the DMV, but you might start thinking something differently.
You might start feeling different emotions because of the different thoughts you’d be having. Maybe you would be excited, maybe you would be overwhelmed, in fact, with excitement. Maybe you’d feel a little guilt because you don’t believe in gambling and you think you shouldn’t have been playing the lottery. Maybe you would feel a whole range of emotions, I don’t know.
My point is that you would still be in line, but you would be feeling something completely different, most likely, if you got that kind of a text from your spouse. Maybe you’d be suspicious, thinking it’s just a joke. It’s our thinking that creates our emotions, and notice how we have the capacity, actually, to be in a line in at the DMV and still feel extreme excitement. That doesn’t mean that you have to. It doesn’t mean that you want to, necessarily, feel those kinds of emotions in those kinds of situations, but I want you to know that all emotions are available to you at any time.
We like to use the platter of emotions analogy. I will sometimes say to my client, “Listen. I got a whole platter of emotions like we’re at a party and I’ve got a whole platter full of appetizers. This platter is full of emotions. Every emotion you can think of is available on this platter, and I’m going to serve it to you. You get to choose whichever one you want”. Notice that sometimes, the one that we pick is resentment or disapproval or disappointment or irritation, something pretty far from love. If somebody offers you a platter of emotions and you have the ability to choose any one, my recommendation is that you pick love. It’s the best one, right?
Let’s dive into this a little bit deeper. I want you to know that love, the reason I recommend you pick it is because it feels so good in your body. It feels peaceful and calm. It feels full. It feels like what I am pretty sure God feels like all the time, because God is love. It’s us at our most divine, most connected, most trusting, most loving state. The object of our love is irrelevant. I can feel love about so many different things. I can love my home. I can love my car. I can love the outfit I’m wearing today. I can love the new floor lamp I just got in my living room, which I do love. I can love my kids, my husband. I can even love myself. The object of my love is irrelevant. The object of my love doesn’t feel my love, I feel my love.
Now, our brains are really good at disapproving of things, at not liking things, at thinking that there’s something wrong with things, or people, or houses, or cars, or floor lamps, or outfits, et cetera. That is what our brains are looking for because they just think it’s useful to notice what’s wrong so that we can try to correct it or change it or avoid it and not get into trouble. We’re not as good at loving things, we’re not as good as liking things.
Maybe you know people in your life like this, that are especially good at not liking things. For example, maybe they go to a movie and they say, “I didn’t like it,” or, “It wasn’t very good”. You find yourself thinking, “Of course they didn’t like it. They pretty much don’t like anything”. Then, you might also know people who are the opposite, who are really good at liking things, at loving things, even, and they’ll say, “I love that movie, it was so good,” and you might think, “They’re not a very good judge either. They like everything”. Okay?
Now, notice that the person that dislikes everything… I think most of us don’t want to be that person. We kind of think, “It must be miserable to be them. It’s kind of a bummer to be so negative,” but also, I find that most people would tell me they don’t want to be the person who just likes everything. They’re like, “That person’s naïve. They don’t have very refined taste,” or, “They’re just not as intelligent or cool in some way”. I want to offer to you that that is some flawed thinking. The more you like things, the more you love things, the more you get to experience the feeling of love or like, which feels so good. It is always useful. Love always wins.
What does love feel like? Do you know? What does it feel like in your body? Emotions are just sensations in our body that we feel when our internal organs release hormones or chemicals because of thoughts we’re thinking. That’s all it is. These hormones and chemicals, they circulate through our bodies, they create different sensations. A lot of them happen in our gut, some of them are in our throat or our chest. A lot of them are in the core of our body. Some of them travel, even to the extremities of our bodies, but we feel a lot of emotions in our core, especially in the abdomen and gut region, right?
What does love feel like? Do you know? I want you to kind of explore that for a minute. I think that it feels whole. It feels complete. I feel full, but not like the kind of full that I ate a lot food and now I’m full, but just full like there’s nothing missing. Nothing empty. I feel a little bit of a flutter in my chest sometimes, like an excited flutter, almost like anticipation but notice love is different than anticipation or excitement.
Let’s go back to our lottery example, only because that’s a good example of excitement. Notice how we start feeling super excited if we won the lottery even though nothing’s changed. We don’t have any more money in our account yet, we haven’t bought anything different yet, we haven’t done whatever we think we’re going to do with that money, it hasn’t even happened. We’re super excited.
I think that anticipation and excitement are different than love because behind anticipation and excitement is the thought, “I’m going to feel complete at some point. I’m going to have what I think I need,” or, “I’m going to experience what I think I’m trying to experience, and then I’m going to feel that full, complete feeling which is love”. Anticipation and excitement are fun to feel, they’re highly energized emotions, nothing wrong with them, but they’re sort of waiting for that thing before we relax into, “Everything is complete now”. It’s like everything is going to be complete, I’m going to go on this vacation, or I’m going to do this thing. That’s a fun feeling, not the same, though, as, “Everything is complete right now”.
Love is also different than a lot of the false pleasure dopamine-hit types of sensations that many of us are living off of. When I say ‘living off of’, I mean they’re the things we look forward to, they’re the little moments of pleasure and release from negative emotion in our day, and some of them are maybe unhealthy in certain ways, or maybe not serving us. The quick dopamine hit that I get from food is different than love. The dopamine hit I get when I go shopping and buy something new, is not the same as love. It’s not the same as the validation that I get from other people. Maybe it’s validation because I did a good job on something. People tell me I did a good job, they validate me and then I feel validated, or maybe it’s validation because I’m complaining about something and people tell me, “Gosh, that must be hard,” or they join right in and they contribute to my pity story, or whatever my negative story is. All of those things give us a quick dopamine hit.
Notice they don’t feel the same as love. They don’t feel full and peaceful and complete. They’re pretty fleeting. I have tried to buy the right clothes, the right amount of clothes, the right combination of clothes, to just feel satisfied and complete with my closet and my clothes. I have never achieved that yet. I get excited when I buy something new, it’s fun, the first time I wear it, it’s fun, and then very shortly after, it starts blending into my closet and it’s not fun or doesn’t fit right or I just ignore it, and I just haven’t found love in my closet. I don’t know, maybe it’s possible, maybe I’m doing it wrong, but I haven’t found that yet. Love, on the other hand, is that full, complete feeling.
Now, I want to talk to you also about some of the common sayings we hear about love that are wrong. They’re a misunderstanding of love. Sometimes we say, “Well, love hurts,” or, “I don’t want to love this person because there’s a danger I could get hurt. I’m afraid if I love him, I might get hurt”. But you know what’s true, you guys? Love doesn’t hurt. Love never hurts. Love is never a problem.
What hurts is disappointment. What hurts is self-pity. What hurts is telling yourself that you’re a fool and you never should have loved him, or you should have known better or you should have seen what was coming. That’s what hurts. Okay?
Most people, again, don’t consciously understand that their thoughts create their emotions, so they don’t understand that I could love someone and then if he or she turns out not to be the person I thought they were or they don’t feel the same way about me, or they don’t honor our commitment to one another the way I thought we would, that’s not what hurts me. What hurts me is my thought that they should have. What hurts me is when I stop feeling love. I deprive myself of love, and now, I start feeling self-pity or disappointment, or whatever kind of hurt I’m creating. It’s okay to feel those emotions. I’m not here to say that you wouldn’t want to feel those emotions and think those thoughts in that situation. We’re still the creator of it and it doesn’t come from loving, it comes from the other thoughts we have afterwards.
I have this example come up on a coaching call this week where my client said she was concerned because her husband lies to her sometimes about certain things and she’s thinking, “What if he’s lying to me about other things?”. We explored this: what’s the worst that could happen? What are we really afraid of? She said… I’ve heard this before, maybe you can relate to this. She said, “I don’t want to get to the end of my life. I’m 90 years old, and suddenly I learn that he’s been cheating on me all this time. He’s had this other family or this other wife or he’s had this other girlfriend or whatever. I’ve been a fool. He’s been lying to me all this time”.
I said, “Let’s just really play that out for a minute. What you’re saying is you don’t want to be happy and experience love and connect with this person and live an amazing, extraordinary life with the kind of marriage that you always dreamed of, and then find out aged 90 that there were things going on that you didn’t know about, that you should have been thinking, “He’s a problem, and I don’t love him, and he’s not behaving the way a husband should”. You’re telling me that that would be worse than going through your life right now being suspicious and disconnecting and distrusting and judging and separating yourself and sabotaging your marriage right now in the name of, “One day, maybe, I’m going to find out maybe there’s something going on”. That’s crazy, right?”. I mean, really, if you think about it…
I’m not saying that you should have to turn a blind eye and not pay attention to what you think is going on around you, but I’m kind of like, “Hey, I’d just rather not know. Just don’t tell me because I’m fine with just feeling love and connection and commitment”. That’s an extreme example, and I’m not telling you, again, what to do or what decisions to make in your relationship, but think about, “Why do we think I want to deprive myself of feeling good because one day, I might feel bad?”. That does not make any sense to me at all.
I also have had clients say to me, “Well, I just don’t think that this person deserves to be loved by me. They’re behaving ‘badly’. They’re misbehaving in some way. They’re not acting according to the way I think people should act, maybe even according to the way the law says people should act. If I love them, it’s just validating that, it’s just giving them permission to keep misbehaving”.
I want to tell you that that is also a lie. You loving people is never a mistake, it’s never a problem. Love is an emotion, remember? You feel it because of a thought you’re thinking, it’s not your behavior. It doesn’t mean that you have to do or not do anything in order to still love people. Loving other people doesn’t reward the other person, it rewards us because we feel the love.
I’ve heard people say things like, “Well, I just think that he doesn’t love me,” or, “He doesn’t love me very much. He doesn’t love me as much as I love him,” and they tell me this as though it’s a bummer for them, it’s a problem for them. Sometimes, it’s about a spouse. I hear this a lot about mothers or mother-in-laws: “She just doesn’t really love me”.
I’ll ask my client, “Who is that a bummer for?”. They always say, “It’s a bummer for me,” and I say, “No. It’s not. It’s a bummer for her,” or, “It’s a bummer for him”. That other person who’s not loving you is denying themselves of an experience that is amazing, that is us at our best as humans, that is us feeling complete and whole. That feeling is love, and they’re denying it. When you love them more than they love you, you’re the lucky one. You win. You’re getting to feel more love. Are you with me?
Now, if you’re not loving yourself first, then it’s going to be very challenging, if not impossible, to truly love people or things outside of you. You have to be able to love yourself first. Allowing people to mistreat you isn’t loving you. It’s the opposite of that. It’s an attempt to manipulate or control or appease someone else based in fear, fear for yourself, fear of what might happen afterwards or a lack of love for yourself, a belief that you’re not worthy, that you’re not loveable. When you love you, you won’t allow people to mistreat you, and you don’t have to get mad at them to do it.
When we try to manipulate people into being different than they are, we aren’t loving them. I really want you guys to hear this one because I see this happen over and over again. We try to manipulate people into being, sometimes, just a little bit different than they are. For example, I’ll have clients say to me, “My husband is great. He supports our family and he’s a good man, but,” and then they go on to tell me about the parts that are wrong. They’ll say, “I mean, I love him, but I just wish this thing were different”. Maybe it’s, “I wish he were a little bit more ambitious. I wish he could remember, I wish he could help out more around the house. I just wish he were a little bit different in this way”.
What I tell them is, “You’re not loving him. You’re loving this pretend version of him that you think would be just a little bit better. You’re denying yourself love in the name of trying to control him”. That feels justified sometimes, sometimes we even disguise it as righteousness or virtuous, but it is not loving people. It’s loving this other version of them that would be just a little bit better if it were just a little bit different.
I want you to think about this with people that don’t share your same values, like people that use different language that you use. Do you love them, or do you judge them a little bit and think you would be really able to judge them if they were just a little bit different than they are? Not everybody shares our values. Not everybody shares our ideas. What are we taught? Love one another.
This is also true when we pretend, when we people-please, when we don’t tell the truth about who we are in the name of trying to get people to like us more. We’re not actually allowing people to love us, we’re just allowing them to love a pretend version of us. It’s not truth. It’s not a true connection.
Love is the opposite of fear. It’s the opposite of fear. Love says, “Yes,” to all of this. “Yes” to who you are, “yes,” to who I am, “yes,” to this entire experience”. Love says, “I know what to do in any situation. I know what to do”.
Now, like I said earlier, I personally have not figured out how to stay in love 100% of the time. I don’t know if anyone is able to other than Christ because Christ was the perfect example of it. I will never forget, on one of my calls on Be Bold, it was a Q&A call, so people were putting questions in the Q&A box, and somebody typed in, “You talk about loving everyone all the time, that that’s our goal. I just don’t understand what that would look like”. I say, “You know what that looks like? Jesus Christ. We have lots of examples and stories of what it looks like. He’s the perfect example of it”.
That is always my goal. I try to own the truth, which is when I’m not loving others, it’s because of my human brain and the limitations that I place on myself when I’m unable to manage that brain. Every person in the world is 100% loveable. My inability to love is the only thing in my way. Love is my goal.
Now, again, loving me is the hardest work to do. That’s why I talk a lot on this podcast and in everything I put out there about loving yourself. The better we get at doing it, the better we get at loving ourselves, the better we are at loving everyone else. I’m all in on that, how about you?
I love in Les Mis, the line that says, “To love another person is to see the face of God”. God is love, right? He did it perfectly, and so did Christ. Increasing your capacity to love will always be in your best interest.
I hope that you will be with me on this journey to do that because love wins. Have a beautiful, amazing Valentine’s Day. I’ll see you next week with another episode. Take care.
If you have a question about something you heard me talk about on this podcast or anything else going on in your life, I want to invite you to a free public call, Ask Jody Anything. I will teach you the main coaching tool I use with all of my clients and the way to solve any problem in your life, and we will plug in real-life examples. Come to the call and ask me a question anonymously, or just listen in. Go to jodymoore.com/askjody and register before you miss it. I’ll see you there.
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