Episode 52: Phases of Love with Mike Houghtaling

 Connect with Mike on Facebook HERE

You’re listening to the Love Tidbits Podcast, where you’ll discover a small, tasty, delightful, bite-sized tidbit of love ~ I’m your host, LeAnn Austin 

Hey y’all, welcome to Love Tidbits, Episode #52: Phases of Love with Mike Houghtaling 

I love observing and connecting with other humans, especially noting how they feel and implement love into their lives.

We have the amazing Mike Houghtaling sharing some beautiful love insights with us today. Alright Mike, briefly introduce yourself. 

Hi LeAnn, and thank you for the invitation. We have lived in Fayette County for 35 years. We have five kids, seven grandkids, and I’ve been married to my wife for 42 years.  

So beautiful. I love that. Alright, so first question. How do you incorporate love into your business and or your life? 

Well, I’m retired now, so let’s talk about my life. I was an addict for 38 years, and what pulled me out of my addiction about 16, almost 17 years ago, was finally understanding the true nature of God’s love for me.

I thought that I had done so many terrible things that I could not be lovable. I couldn’t look in the mirror and value myself.  I couldn’t say you are a good person to myself. So in all these decades of struggling, I finally got engaged with a 12 step program, and I began to understand God’s love in four phases.

First, I came to believe that, to really believe that he did love me, that he didn’t just love you and everybody else, but that he did love me, and that was huge. And so I began to  believe that and to accept his love. 

Phase two for me was I was able to love him back with a part of that love. So I came to understand his true love for me, and I began to love him back in a way that I never had before. 

And then the third step for me was, after four decades, I was finally able to learn to love myself.  Because if I’m good enough for God, then I’m good enough for anybody, including myself. And for the first time in many years, I could look in the mirror literally and say, I like you, and you’re a good person. You know, you are enough and you’re worth all of His love and all of these blessings. 

And then the fourth step of understanding God’s love for me, was with God’s love, being able to feel a true, purer love for other people.  And so I accepted God’s love. I loved him back. I began to love myself, and then I was able to truly love my fellow man. 

Oh wow, what an incredible journey that you’ve been on. Oh my goodness. 

Well it took long enough. I’m a slow learner. 

No, not at all.  And I love just each part of that, and just looking in the mirror and telling yourself, hey, you’re amazing. I love you. Whatever. You know, that’s so cool. And how incorporating God and others and everything, that’s just so beautiful. 

Well, I kind of thought that God’s love was conditional for me. That I got more love when I did more right. And I was less worthy of love and received less love when I did more things wrong. And I came to learn that you don’t earn God’s love, it’s just there. You either accept it or you don’t, but you don’t earn God’s love.  

And knowing too, that you’re a hundred percent valuable, and lovable all the time, no matter what. 

That’s right.  Because love is love, and I like to say there’s nothing you can do to make God love you more. And there’s nothing you can do to make God love you less. Yes.  He loves you because he is love. Ah, so beautiful. I stole that from a preacher. That’s a good one to steal. 

Alright, so question number two. What is something you love about you and why? 

Well, that’s hard, because in all these years of self-loathing, it’s difficult to place value on yourself and accept praise from others, or even, heaven forbid, praise yourself.  But you know, I like people, and I like my ability to try to relate with them, and to try to love them, and try to connect with them.  And so I think I have a pretty good ability, most of the time, to connect with other people.

Yes, I totally would agree with this, and that’s how I’ve been blessed to connect with you through different things. And that is one thing that I admired and why I wanted you on this podcast is because you radiate love. You are just, everyone is so excited to see you and be with you. And that is such an amazing characteristic. So yes, I agree. 

I can give you a list of people that are not always excited to see me, if you would like one That’s okay.  No, we don’t need that.  There’s always going to be some people, but that’s alright. The majority of them, I’d say yes, they do. So that’s great, alright. And I love seeing them. No doubt.

Okay before I ask you the last question, is there anything else you’d like to share? And where can our audience go to find out more about you.  The only social media I’m really active on is Facebook. And so I’m there as Michael, m i c h a e l Houghtaling and there’s a, believe it or not, with a name like that, there’s a bunch of Michael Houghtalings on Facebook.

It might be easiest for a viewer or a follower of yours, to go to your Facebook page and then look me up as your friend. Perfect. Instead of just going to Michael Houghtaling and wondering which one. So since we’re friends, they could find me that way. Okay, excellent. And I’ll also put your link in the show notes as well, so that’ll be great. Alright, so the last question. What is your favorite quote about love? 

When I was in high school, a high school English class, my teacher, Ray Powell, a queen among queens of English literature, had this poem on the wall of her classroom.  And I wrote it down and memorized it, and still reflect upon it, from time to time. But for me, this describes the way that we interact with each other.  The way that we show love for each other by being vulnerable and then by showing respect for that vulnerability.  

This is by Yates, William Yates, and he said:
“Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet.
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

Hmmm, something to think about y’all. Thank you, Mike. Thank you LeAnn. Thanks for sharing your tidbits of love with us. 

Have a good one y’all ~ and here’s to love. 

If you’re enjoying this podcast, please share and leave a review, to help others hear tidbits of love. 

What would it feel like to finish your goals, enjoy your relationships, especially with your daughter-in-law, appreciate your body, and embrace being you?  Join my Lovin Me program today, and see yourself in a whole new way. 

You’re already really good at loving others. I’ll help you become an expert at loving you. More information at leannaustin.com

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