Choose Love in Every Moment

While reading Gerald Jampolsky‘s powerful book, Teach Only Love, a particularly compelling passage jumped out at me. The gist of it is this: In every encounter we have with another human being, that person is either offering love to us or in need of love from us. In that instant, I became a better person.

Not long after, I walked into my gym and saw Bill, a member I knew fairly well, doing standing calf raises with his back to me. Impulsively, I wrapped my weight belt around his forehead as a goofy way of saying hello. He was not pleased. He whipped around and, in so many words, most of which were unprintable, told me he would punch my face in if I ever did that again.

Instead of reacting on the same level of consciousness—”Oh, yeah? Take your best shot, you jerk!”—I thought, Cool! Here’s my chance to see if this love stuff really works! I immediately began radiating love from my heart and bathing Bill in its healing glow. I also tried to apologize, but he turned away, muttering angrily.

After hanging up my jacket in the locker room, I headed to the pull-up bar and began my workout. I dropped down from the bar just in time to see Bill striding purposefully toward me from the other side of the gym. “I mean it, Phil,” he fumed. “If you ever do that again, I’ll take you out to the parking lot and pummel you.” With that, he spun around and stormed away.

This time, I followed him, pumping love instead of iron. “Bill,” I called out, catching up to him. “I’m very sorry. I had no idea you would be so upset. It won’t happen again.” I continued apologizing until he turned to face me. “My sister used to do stuff like that to me,” he sputtered. “And I hated it.”

Bingo. Bill’s outburst had nothing to do with me; I had inadvertently triggered a painful childhood memory. What happened in the next moment was astonishing. The heavy, negative energy that had enveloped him, the almost palpable rage that had engulfed him, vanished. It was as if a magician had uttered “Abracadabra!” and had replaced a violent thunderstorm with sunny skies. Instantaneously.

I tried apologizing again, but Bill cut me off. “Don’t worry about it,” he said calmly, dismissing the whole incident with a wave of his hand. “No big deal.” An hour later, we were both in the locker room, preparing to leave. “So long, Phil,” he called out. “Have a good day.”

Wow. If I had responded to Bill’s anger in kind, the confrontation could have escalated out of control. Even worse, from that day forward the tension would have been thick between us, and my enjoyment of going to the gym every morning would have been tinged with dread. Instead, love healed the situation, it healed our relationship, and it very well might have healed the pain he had been carrying around all those years.

Here’s another way to choose love and turn adversaries into allies.

May you choose love in every moment. It is a wonderful place to live. After all, divine intelligence does not keep score by how many possessions you accumulate but by how much love is in your heart. Why wait another minute to begin living that truth?

Click here to view all my posts about relationships.


Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.

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5 Responses to “Choose Love in Every Moment”

  1. Kenneth Fach Says:

    Nice blog. The vital part of anything is Love. What goes around comes around, and let it be Love, not a material, human, mortal love, but God’s perfect Love that blesses, and adores all.

  2. J Says:

    I am so happy I found this post and I totally agree that whenever I live by that principle I am happier in myself and people I meet are so much nicer. If only I would remember to live it all the time.

    Thank you

    With best wishes


  3. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Yes, it is always a challenge to act in a way that is consistent with who we see ourselves as being. That’s why they call it spiritual “practice”!

  4. Raj Lahoti Says:

    Nice one Phil. I noticed this with my brother the other day. He got triggered by something I said, I was patient and showed love and care and didn’t react to his emotions. Minutes later, voila, he was calm and even said sorry. He just needed to process the emotions and I was there to hold space for him.

  5. Phil Bolsta Says:

    That’s awesome, Raj. It’s great that you “get it” at such a young age. It takes many people a lifetime to get a clue, and of course, many others never get it at all.

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