#IAMChoosingLove was born November 24, 2015. Four simple words were gifted to me during meditation: ‘I AM Choosing Love’. Soon after I heard, ‘Because we always have a choice to love. Will you join me?’
Yes! I was ‘in’ and quickly invited friends to join me. We knew it was an inspired idea, yet none of us had a clue as to how it would manifest or what it would do, if anything. One thing was sure, these four powerful words, I AM Choosing Love resonated deep within our hearts; we were intrigued, curious and eager to give it a try. Little did we know that ‘playing around’ with it as a simple online hashtag would magnify and expand Love into our daily lives, transforming us in ways we never could have imagined.
Following are stories of how #IAMChoosingLove transformed the lives of six everyday people. Enjoy……….
“I’ve always considered myself a kind and loving person so when I was asked to be part of the online #IAMChoosingLove campaign I didn’t have to think twice before I said yes. It seemed like a very natural thing for me to do. What I didn’t expect was the massive emotional impact I experienced when I began to use those words and respond to comments posted by other people.
For me choosing love means that I have to take a breath, think, and respond in a way that is loving and kind even when I’m upset or offended. I am now aware of the many times I have unnecessarily created pain for someone else because of an impulsive response. Choosing love has helped me grow emotionally and spiritually.”
“There can be no doubt that love is a choice, and my life has been transformed by the commitment to choose love…love rather than fear, love rather than anger (a bi-product of fear), love rather than expectation. The biggest breakthrough for me was realizing that choosing love is an opportunity that presents itself constantly throughout my day…a choice when someone is unkind to me, when someone bumps me with a shopping cart, when a total stranger verbally vents his/her anger at me for no reason other than I was present, or when a loved speaks harshly to me. The temptation may be to react with anger, but the opportunity is to react with love. And every time I choose love, the world feels so much kinder, so much more compassionate, and so much more loving in return. Love sparks hope, forgiveness, and connectedness. For these and countless other reasons, #IAmChoosingLove”.
“One day, as I was reaching into the refrigerator after a particularly stressful moment, I thought to myself, “No, not this time.” I am not going to stuff my stress with sugary, carb-laden food. I am not going to harm my body. I thought, ” #IAmChoosingLove. ”
I am choosing love for my body – this body that has supported every activity I do every day, perfectly, for many years now. I am going to choose to be my body’s best friend. I am going to shut out the voices in my head telling me my body is “too heavy”, “too this..or too that”, and let my body know it can rely on me to feed it the foods it needs to feel most alive, happy and full of joy, the foods it needs to support me in the life I live, the work I do, the communities I serve.
As I made a better, healthier choice that day, I thought, “Stopping to think #IAmChoosingLove for a second, before I made a wrong choice, made me feel so much better, it made me feel FULL – of hope.
“Judgment of our self and others is the culprit of superiority, inferiority, and feelings of separation. Within these, many negative emotions can arise, e.g., anger, jealousy, bitterness, anxiousness, etc. When you take note of how many times during your day you habitually judge yourself and others, it is an eye opener. Even if you consider yourself a pretty open-minded person, pay attention to how often you judge. I think you’ll be surprised. I was simply amazed at my own habitual judging, and it never felt good! It goes against the grain of your true nature which is love. Love knows nothing of judgment. Replacing judgment with “I AM Choosing Love” mantra places you smack center into your heart where love lies and judgment transmutes to compassion and kindness.
Just this morning I did my weekly errand to the recycling center. There was a middle-aged man whom I could smell from 50 feet away and it was not a pleasant odor, to say the least. He had arrived there by foot and could have possibly been homeless. I found him initially very offensive and somewhat threatening. How quickly I had judged – such a knee-jerk reaction! With this awareness, I made the choice to quietly state the “I AM Choosing Love” mantra, and instantly left my judgmental thoughts and acknowledged the gentleman with a smile and loving heart. I received a smile back and that was the end of it. Yet, it was a powerful moment and none of us can underestimate the ripple effect of such a small act of kindness. I know I personally felt a whole lot better as a result. The I AM Choosing Love mantra has enriched all of my relationships, including my 37 year marriage which was already very loving.
Claiming #IAMChoosingLove, as simple as it sounds, is powerful when used with the intent of choosing love over fear or hate which stem primarily from judgment. “Judge not that you may not be judged.” Can you imagine a world where everyone is choosing love? It begins with each and every one of us. We are living in extreme times – love is the answer; the great neutralizer – choose it.”
“I have had many aha moments concerning love. But everything hinges from intention. That moment when I consciously chose. When I decided love is what I want in my life. For me that choice is perfectly described with #IAmChoosingLove. Love begins with a choice, many choices: To be kind. To show compassion. To listen to the needs of others. To say ‘I Love You’. To notice the sun and flowers by day and to appreciate the rain that makes it possible. To walk into the darkness of night and say thank you for giving me the stars. Love is everywhere… the clouds that move and roll across the sky. Love is in the rising and setting of the sun and all those magic moments in between.
Recently these words came to my mind: The words we never speak will never be heard and the love we never show will never be felt. It reminded me of the childhood game, ‘Show and Tell’. Show and tell others that you love them. We are each a unique example of love. We are all somebody’s angel. Find those people in life that you are uniquely made to serve and give them all the love you can. Freely let it flow. Trust your heart and speak the love you feel. Trust love and do not be afraid. Perfect love is void of fear. Perfect love will bring joy. Perfect love will cause you to lose sight of yourself and you will begin to see yourself in the eyes of others. Look into the eyes of a child… of your best friend… a dog or a cat… and look! Really look! Love is there waiting to be seen!
How do you know you are doing it right? You will feel it! Love feels amazing! Love shines in the eyes of those who have it in their hearts! So help activate that spark that is always there in the people around you who perhaps may have forgotten. You can be their angel; a messenger of love.
To me this passage exemplifies what love is beautifully: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love requires courage. Love seems to have a sense of vulnerably and softness, but love is POWERFUL and STRONG, FEARLESS and BRAVE and yet very tender and sweet. Your love can change the lives of others and it will definitely change your life.
So make a great decision today. Join us in using the #IAmChoosingLove hashtag and spread the message of love. You’ll be happy you did and you will bring joy into the lives of those you touch. I love you and wish you all the best.”
“My heart opened. My self worth soared. More and more, I see people through the eyes of Love and Joy. I am experiencing our Oneness.
#IAMChoosingLove is the most beneficial, expanding way of being (and habit) I have ever fostered. It is a gift. It is useful. It is my new awareness, my new way of life, my new ‘coming home’ to me-ness. I wouldn’t trade it for the world – and I don’t have to because Love is our world.
Part 1, ‘How’ to choose Love, pragmatically answers the question ‘how do I choose Love?’ A step by step process is given so that you (and everyone) can choose love – everyday, in every situation!
The invitation to choose Love is given to all. Will you join us? – Joan Kappes
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