The Love Diary Challenge!

Let me start by saying that love is not beans*! Let me also say that Hollywood has lied to us all! Yup, that’s right. Most of Hollywood’s depictions of love fall very short of the truth (I’m sure you agree). I was watching a movie the other day and I remember rolling my eyes like here we go again – lies!!! Lol.

Anyways, I say all this to say that even though love is and should be beautiful, fun, rewarding, fulfilling, it is also a lot of hard work and only those truly committed to it can make it work.
The art of loving another human being requires being attentive, selfless, fully committed, and patient and unless you have the willingness to exhibit these traits on a consistent basis, you will quickly realize (if you haven’t already) that Hollywood has lied, you will quickly become frustrated, and you might even begin to doubt your love for the other person. Side note – I’d like to believe these results become more pronounced when you’re married cos at that point, you can’t go anywhere (in an ideal situation).

I have also come to fully realize that if you want to truly love another human being and in this case I’m referring to your lover, the best guide is in the Bible – 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 to be precise. You’ve probably read it before – many times perhaps - but if you really want to unlock the secret to successful love, I would suggest you study each point in depth and measure yourself against each one. You might not be so pleasantly surprised and you’ll probably realize how much work you have to do.

I’d like to highlight one of the points in that scripture that says love “keeps no record of wrongs” because that’s probably one of the hardest ones for most people.  Even outside romantic relationships, most people find it easier to keep records of the wrong that has been done to them. For example, studies show that when a customer is happy with a service or product, they’ll tell 5 people but when they’re unhappy, they’ll tell 11 people! I’d like to think that that’s in part because we remember the wrong more readily and for longer because the good was expected so doesn’t require as much acknowledgment. And when you think about it, that is a fair point.

Back to relationships now, when the one we love does something great, we celebrate it in the moment, maybe tell a few people, and sometimes thank them explicitly but when they do something that upsets or disappoints us, in most cases, we tend to make a much bigger deal about it – we address it (rightfully so), we might make a fuss about it, we might tell a few people (not a good idea), and most especially, we might keep record of it and bring it up pretty often especially when the next upsetting situation happens. And what we might find over time is that we have a mental bank or in some crazy situations, a written bank of our lover’s faults.

So, why is this important to note? Well, because keeping a record only does more harm than good to any relationship. Addressing the situation and letting it go promotes love but holding on to it (even when we claim to have forgiven) only promotes bitterness and hurt feelings, which when left  unchecked can really affect your relationship in ways you didn’t even know were possible.

This is where my challenge to us all comes in! Because keeping a record of wrong – deliberately or not – is the natural tendency of us human being, I would like to challenge all of us to keeping a Love Diary for the next 21 days!!! (because that’s the number of days they say it takes to forming a new habit). Get excited!!! Lol. Ok, seriously though. In that diary, I challenge you to keep a record of ALL the great things your lover does each day. Things you consider a big deal and things that were a big deal for them to do. Record the big and little stuff. The stuff that made you smile, the stuff that reminds you of why you love them. The stuff that you know they went above and beyond to do. The stuff that warmed your heart. WRITE all of them down – everyday. Don’t go back to read the previous day’s entry. Just keep writing each day. Keeping a record of good, which is the opposite of what love doesn’t do, will serve as a good reminder that the person is human but is making an effort to be the best human being they can be - for you! Don’t let them see the diary and after the 21 days, read everything you’ve written and then show your lover appreciation bearing in mind all you’ve written. Let them know you appreciate them deeply for all they do. I honestly believe exercises like this will help change us (the diary writer) tremendously because we have a tendency to quickly forget the good people do for and to us. This might not seem like much to do but once again, I challenge you to do it and watch as it not only changes your love for your lover but how it changes you!

*Nigerian slang for "child's play"


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