So it has been a while since I have been able to share my One Word Challenge. I assure you that doesn’t go without many lessons in between. I have been learning so much about myself and about others. I have been learning about loving interactions as well as what love truly mean. Love is not always a lovey-dovey feeling where you are constantly wanting to make-out with the person. Love is not always liking the person either. Love has its share of hardships and struggles, but love is always a choice.
There are many times to which I have felt I cannot truly love a person because they have hurt me so greatly. Well the fact of the matter is, I too have hurt myself greatly. It is a two way street and if I was truly going to hold myself accountable for something I did, not the other party, then I need to own up to it. Honesty. A big dose of honesty. I have realized though in being honest with myself it makes everything clearer in a seemingly cloudy situation. Relationships you see can be quite messy if you allow them to be.
Love is pretty limitless and straight forward you see. It is our misconception to what WE think love is that makes it messy. Can we actually conceptualize love? I think we can start this journey by first and foremost choosing to love. It is a paradox. By choosing something we don’t fully understand–it seems a bit absurd. We know what it takes to love by the examples set by those who have gone before us. Take for an instant Jesus. This man died for me. If you look at the events surrounding His life, He set an example of complete and total love. Look at who His best friends were. They were sinners like you and I. They were those who were cast aside, deemed unworthy of normal folks, and most of all looked down upon. Sinners that didn’t deserve the attention of the others. He surrounded those individuals with love. You see, when it comes down to it, we are ALL sinners. It is in our human nature. We are always going to hurt ourselves and others. Always. So what do we do to start this journey of love?
1. Pray. Pray fervently. Learn who God is. Learn who you are in God. That is where you will really learn to grow in focus and in purpose. Here too is where you will learn about your vocation (your duty and calling in this life).
2. Learn to integrate God into every decision you make. If it is not out of love for God, rethink your decision. This is where we give up our selfish ways. We surrender our wants and desires for God’s Will for us. Let go of anything holding us back. Remember WWJD bracelets? A constant reminder of our actions? This is a really hard step. It is extremely hard to fight against selfishness as it is written in our human DNA.
3. Talk to God about those who have hurt you. Learn to love through forgiveness. As you forgive others, God will forgive you. That is an important part to this puzzle. This becomes easier as you will grow in understanding toward others through forgiveness. I have learned in this step a lot of times the person hurting is a misdirection their hurt on to you. For right, wrong, or the other reason–we should try to see that and love them despite their hurtful actions.
4. Be honest with yourself. If you know you are struggling with something….something embarrassing. Something that you could never tell a soul about or you might just die. Well guess what? God already knows what you did. It takes something of true humility to be completely honest with yourself and lay it all out there. It takes true humility to own up and make up for what you have done. It changes you. It simplifies your decisions. It makes things more clear.
It takes a lot of love. I have chosen to love without placing limits on myself. I have chosen to never hold back my love for anyone. Love puts others needs before our own needs. That one is a really hard one. I will never stop witnessing to the love that God shows me each day….or trying to witness to that love. I will never stop trying my hardest to demonstrate that same love to others. I am not going to lie though and tell you I have mastered it because I am far from perfect. It is hard being patient with my 14-year-old brother when he is being a 14-year-old annoying boy. It is hard for me to love my sister when she is being dramatic about the rules my parents are placing when she can’t use my mom’s phone after 10pm. It is hard to love friends who cannot tell you to your face they are moving and let you find out via Facebook. It is so hard not yelling, screaming, keeping it all in perspective when it seems like hell has broken loose. It is hard loving those who drive you bonkers!
It is hard to love your siblings all the time, but I am asked to love them regardless. It is hard loving your coworkers when they purposely push your buttons just to see how far they can push until you break. Love doesn’t break. Love stays cool and keeps it in perspective. Love overlooks all of the petty small things. Love looks deep into the heart of the individual and connects continually. Love makes all things possible.
Equally, love is patient seems to be a theme. Love is patient, love is kind. Love is being patient and kind with ourselves through the journey. Love unites. Love brings us out of our misery and what a beautiful blessing when we feel that love radiate from our soul. What a beautiful notion to love all those who come in contact with whether that is an everyday occurrence, once a year thing or whatever it may be. Love doesn’t mean you won’t get upset or angry. Love doesn’t mean that you are going to like or agree with a person’s believes. Love just means you are going to be available to help them at any given point if that is what you are asked to do.
When it comes down to it, love helps us get through a lot of bull-poo-poo. It helps us work through our own problems and it helps us appreciate each and every creature or being there is. It helps us more than we can realize.
Let us be brave enough to choose to love through our pains, sorrows, and hardships. Let us love non-judgmentally. Let us love without wavering. Let us love as God loves us.
Hugs and blessings,