Today, we’re going deeper into a subject that I know some people found a bit confusing the first time around, which I’ve been calling Life A vs Life B—though if you need something a little more specific, you could think of them as “survival life” vs “love life.” As you might guess, these are closely related to our previous discussion of Love A and Love B, and in fact, the latter leads to the former. Yet there is an important distinction, worth taking some time to understand.
If you cast your mind back a couple of weeks, you may remember our discussion of the mental ratios of good to bad that most of us use to judge ourselves, and how almost nobody measures up to their own benchmark for success. In fact, it’s almost comical how rigged these numbers are! If someone believes they’re living 90 percent good, their benchmark will be 91—and if they should ever make it to 91, they’ll most likely find that the goalpost has moved ahead of them. This is a symptom of love A.
See, your choice of love, A or B, is a choice of how to evaluate yourself. Either you go with the approach of the natural world, living with what your actions earn you (or what your subconscious has convinced you that your actions should earn), or you seize the offer of grace to give you the best outcome in the long term, regardless of what you’ve earned. So what’s new with Life A and B?
Simply put, the choice of love is the means, while the choice of life is the end. It’s the question of why you act in the way you do, and there is an easy diagnostic to determine which one is driving you. Just ask yourself what occupies your time and energy. Life A is all about the sorts of things that everybody knows (or thinks) that they want. Things like pleasure, money, sex, and time, like freedom from obligation, so that you can occupy yourself purely with the things you want to do. For most people, these things are what drive them every day and occupy all their time and energy.
But I’ve counseled plenty of people who have all of that, and are still miserable. None of those things are what make life meaningful, but we get hung up on them because the sort of life that actually does make life meaningful isn’t at all what you might expect. It requires dependance, and even pain—on paper it can look like everything we want to get away from. But remember what leads us here. Love B, that is, unconditional love, requires us to give up control of end results and simply focus on living in love in the present moment.
The life that results from doing this is dependent—first and foremost, on our relationship with God—but it is dependent on something that is not of this world, something unchanging and ever faithful. Likewise, pain will always be a part of our lives, but God promises to make everything work out to our best outcome when we trust in Him. The worst part of being in pain is usually the fear that comes with it, and this allows you to feel a kind of safety, and even joy, even in the midst of pain.
Or, to look at it another way, all the goals of life A that compete for your attention (freedom, money, pleasure, etc.) are really just symptoms of a truly good life, not the thing itself. Just as in medicine, chasing symptoms won’t resolve the underlying problem, which is the need for a life of true, unconditional love. A life that accepts even pain and dependance as the reality of life lived well and enjoys the security of knowing that come what may, all things will work out to your ultimate, long-term good.
Have a blessed, wonderful day!