Choosing Actions-Choosing Love

Actions speak louder than words. We’ve all heard this phrase before. But, do we all strive to live by this philosophy?

“Pick me, Choose me, Love me”
The infamous words from Grey’s Anatomy. But why are they so infamous? Maybe because we all long for belonging and to be chosen and to be loved.

We all want to be chosen and loved. But what does being chosen actually look like? 

While words can sound wonderful and are extremely important, being chosen is not just based on words alone- it’s based on words in connection with, and backed by, actions. 

We need to link our words and our promises and/or apologies {“sorry”} with our actions. This is how we build and repair our relationships with one another.

We’ve all heard it. We’ve all used it; “I’m Sorry”. But how sorry are we if we don’t change our actions to match our words. When we don’t pair our words with our actions, we communicate, “I’m sorry – just not sorry enough to make a change for you. Just sorry I made you feel bad”. This mentality simply does not lead to long lasting secure relationships. It does not promote care, understanding, safety, or love. Secure relationships are built on words paired with actions to show “I care about you”, to show “you matter”, to show “love”, to build trust. Our actions are not more important than our words, but instead strengthens the meaning behind our words.

Actions matter. It’s when someone follows through on their promise. It’s your loved one paying attention to you in a crowded room. It’s your partner speaking to you through your love language.  It’s your loved one making an effort to learn your love language. It’s that friend who hears you, when everyone else talks over you. And it’s your partner choosing integrity when nobody else is watching.  It’s not always easy, and it is always a choice. 

If you’re fortunate enough to not know or to have never experienced being second choice by the person who is supposed to choose you- your heart drops, {very similar to that feeling when you take that first big drop on a roller coaster}. It takes your breath away, in the worst way imaginable, {like a soccer ball kicked straight into your gut} And it shatters any semblance of the heart that was left. And then every time you replay that moment in your mind, any pieces that survived are crushed to a degree you didn’t even realize was possible.

Being in a relationship-a marriage, parent-child relationship, friendship, family, your tribe- means you choosing the other person, with your actions. Not just choosing them today or when it is convenient or when they won’t find out. It’s choosing them always. If you want to make the relationship work, your actions need to choose your partner, not just your words. 

When we choose to put our words into action, we choose love. When we choose love, we feel loved. And when we feel loved, it’s not just a feeling, it’s also science. According to Helen Fisher, PhD, when we experience love our brain produces oxytocin and activity in the ventral pallidum (a region of the brain which has been associated with attachment). That’s science for, we feel good and we feel connected.

Choosing others with your actions does not always come as our first response. And that is okay. We are human and we make mistakes. Our relationships are FULL of rupture (mistakes we’ve made) – repair (how we act to fix our mistakes) moments. When we forget to choose our partner or our child, friend or family member, it’s how we pair our “sorry” with our actions. It’s making that extra effort to bring a peace offering when you’ve unintentionally hurt their feelings. It’s making that extra effort to be at your child’s game or recital, when you’ve accidentally missed the previous one. It’s choosing to go home at a reasonable hour, when you know your spouse has been with your children ALL DAY. It’s choosing to hold your partners hand or put your hand on their knee when you’re at a crowded party. It’s making a phone call to your friend when you hate phone calls, but you know they hate texting. Your actions will always speak louder than words {but words are always nice to hear too}. 

Choosing Actions. It’s a choice you have to make everyday. A choice that you need to be intentional in making. What actions have you chosen today to let your tribe know you have chosen them? 

The information contained herein is not therapeutic advice nor a substitute for therapy. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any mental health problem. If you are located within the United States and you need emergency assistance please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you are located within Colorado you may also call the Colorado Crisis Line at 844-493-TALK (8255).

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