When I consider the different relationships we have in our lives like those with our parents, children, significant others, friends, coworkers, and others, I think of the different compromises we make to strengthen and grow those relationships. If we choose to ignore investing in the emotional equity of our relationships, they can diminish. We often give willingly to our relationships because we want to. Other times we give because we make the choice to. Then there are other occasions, still, where we act out of negative emotions like guilt, definsiveness, sacrifice, and suffering.
I've heard people say that love is sacrificial, but I beg to differ. I believe love is a choice more than a feeling. Therein lies the difference between sacrificing and submitting. Sacrificing is making a decision because you feel like you have to or because you are guilt-ed into it. Submitting is choosing to love someone by yielding to what is best for the person and your relationship.
For example, I live with my brother. Every Sunday he takes out the trash cans. I hate taking them out, and he does it every week without complaining. Every now and then he leaves a dish hanging around the sink, and I will wash it. I don't really feel like it or want to, but I do it by choice because I know the investment in our living situation and respect for one another is more important than what I "feel like" doing.
Over the years, I've seen my parents make the decision over and over again to choose love, and I guess that is why they have been married going on forty years. They think of the other person and make choices for the other repeatedly. That's what I'd call a grown up, adult decision. It is full of maturity. Choosing love also dictates how you handle disappointment.
Choosing love doesn't mean you are sacrificing or diminishing self-love. I think you can often choose love and choose to submit out of having a deep sense of self-love. I've also heard it said that when you love, "My will for you is your will for you." That means you support the people you love over what your desire may be.
When it is your decision, the other should choose to love, submit to, and support your will. You should do the same for those that you love. If it is a joint decision, it is time to evaluate the situation, compromise and make a choice for everyone involved.
Each day try to choose to give to love and invest in love because you can!