Love is a Verb

Nancy Trites Botkin

“Love taken seriously is a radical outlook, a major departure from the psychological orientation that rules the world. It is threatening not because it is a small idea, but because it is so huge.” - Marianne Williamson

The woman on the stool next to me quietly wiped tears not wanting to totally lose it in the bakery where we were having coffee. Blowing her nose, she laughed, “Glad I don’t know any of these people.”

We’d gone for a long walk, talking about her life and marriage which was in a stalemate. She turned to me, eyes again overflowing, and choked out a soft, “But he loves me.”

Ahhh. Love.

Love is a great starting place. Of course, you love him, and I don’t doubt that he loves you. But ‘love’ is not the determining factor to make a relationship work. Love is simply the ticket to the show. Since the ‘show’ is always in the big tent, you absolutely need that ticket.

When I was 21, a Junior at Wheaton, the man I first married sent me a letter stating 25 reasons why I would not make a good wife, and 27 reasons why I would make a good wife. I said yes because I was up by two points. When my favorite professor begged me not to marry so young, my wholehearted response was, “But he loves me!” And he did.

Once you’re inside the tent, you start to realize that the ticket isn’t for the show.
The show is you—a life created and lived out loud by two of you.

Love is a verb.

Love is not simply words or feelings. Love is action. Love is in every little choice you make every moment of every day. Each choice defines movement and shape. Each choice made of love in action builds and keeps building a solid whole.

Are you up for playing in the big tent? Or do you cling to the ticket, waving it from your seat as proof that it is all you need? Or are you ready to risk stepping up onto the stage?

The show is you. Both of you. In action.

Are you willing to spot him on the high wire? Is he able to catch you on the trapeze? Do you have a spotlight following you, or does the light only shine for him?

What are his strengths, his gifts? What is he here on earth to create? Why are you here at this time and place? What are you meant to bring to life?

Why are you with each other? No room for pretending on the highwire. You have to trust and commit. Are you willing and able to create a life together, to hold each other up to reach the greatest heights, be it meaning, impact, or simply in being?

You may have put on a really good show. You may think you have fooled everyone. But deep down you know.

Love is a verb.

Choose to live love-- in action.

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About The Author

As the Co-Founder and CEO of the Think8 Global Institute Mark trains and models start-ups, SME’s and Fortune 500 companies to new think the way they do business.