Exercise has a deeper definition than just the physical exertion piece. Webster also defines exercise as “something performed or practiced in order to develop, improve, or display a specific capability or skill.” Do you ever look at “love” like an exercise? Something you have to practice to strengthen? Do you see it as a skill? A skill obviously benefits others because they gain from your knowledge, but you gain intrinsically from your skills as well. Speaking of skills, if you are career-driven then you should know that empathy, emotional intelligence, and personal connection are several of the projected top-10 skills to have by 2020 by the World Economic Forum. In a world of uncertainty, these are considered indispensable skillsthat will carry you through any change. In short, these things are not going away no matter how many robots are built. Nothing can truly replace human connection.
Back to exercising and how this connects. Love is far deeper than just an image of Hollywood romance. It is the deepest expression of interest, acceptance, and support of others. This is shown in more ways than just romance. A great way to practice this skill of love is by not simply selecting those that are easy to love, but working through the critical thinking and submission of self required to love the more challenging people. Our spouses are often different from us and present this very opportunity. We often grow in different directions than even our own parents in some ways. Whoever you are, you are sure to have a relationship opportunity like this. You just have to see it as an opportunity rather than a pain. We all walk toward opportunities, but we all walk away from perceived pain.
My challenge to you today is to find your opportunity to love the tough one(s), and then take it. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable in it. No exercise that truly benefits you comes without work or discomfort in yourself.