When God brings a new person into your life, consider the relationship a gift, and be careful how you open it. When you open yourself up to love, you open yourself up to joy and to pain.
If there is one thing that I have learned from opening myself up to love, it is that not everyone has the same capacity to love as others. Your definition of love may be unique.
Love is your purpose in life. Relationships are what matters most: your relationship with your Maker, yourself, and others.
You’ve heard it say that you reap what you sow. It’s certainly true of relationships. The mending you do will always make you stronger. The hurting you do will always come back to you.
Love is a power that can move mountains. It is stronger than death. Real love is always healing.
Some people think of romantic love as a weakness, perhaps because it is wild and does what it will with your heart. ‘Makes you feel helpless and even downright sick at times! It takes courage to love. It is never useless. Even unrequited love has purpose.
What is unconditional love? Does it mean to stay in an unhealthy relationship and allow yourself to be damaged? No. God expects you to take care of yourself. You can love someone from a distance. Unconditional love doesn’t require you to throw yourself in front of an oncoming train time and time again; and that’s what a habitually abusive person is like.
If you truly love someone, you want their growth as well as your own. Sometimes love means making boundaries.
Forgiveness means to decide to let God deal with the person who did you wrong. It means that you’ve decided not to harbor bitterness and hatred, which can only make you ill. It does NOT mean to forget what the person has done or put yourself in danger.
I don’t believe forgiveness means to skip over the feelings part of the process. Let yourself feel hurt, betrayed, angry, or whatever comes natural. But also learn to deal with your feelings in a healthy, constructive way.
It’s wonderful when love is accompanied by warm fuzzy feelings, but feelings are not what love IS. Love is in your attitude and the way you decide to behave towards someone.
Feelings are fine, but they’re fickle. I hear people on TV all the time saying, “Follow your heart.” Follow God, the rest will fall into place naturally.
That goes for romantic love, but it also applies to the love we have for family.
We are here together to support and learn from each other. One of the ways we learn and grow is having to deal with people who really rub us the wrong way. Perhaps the greatest lessons we learn in life are from our hardships and struggles. Hard times seem to provide us with the opportunity to practice behaving and believing a different way; a chance to depend on Creator for strength and get closer to him. Our struggles can also reveal to us the amazing strengths and talents we already possess.
When I was a kid, I made the mistake of watching The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie, and thinking that all families should be like them.
Sometimes the words, “should be,” are very dangerous and daunting. It’s like trying to fit a size 22 shoe into a size 10 shoebox, and with your foot still in it. Just won’t work. And you can spend all day trying to make it work, or you can find a size 22 shoebox. As a young single mom, I wasted way too much time trying to fit our little family into a should-be box.
We have argued, fought, laughed, cried, slammed doors, and felt like strangling each other. We have hugged, kissed, come together in times of need, betrayed each other’s trust, called each other dirty names, and been each other’s biggest fan. We have been a family.
I have caught myself saying that my family and I had, at times, a “bad” relationship. But, it’s like everything else, you have to be careful what label you stick on it. It was never, ever a “bad” relationship. It was hard occasionally. But hard things don’t necessarily have to be BAD things. It depends on how you use them.
Anyhow, just because one thing is good doesn’t mean the other thing is bad. It is dangerous to compare yourself, your family, your relationships, etc. to what anyone else is or has. Because, believe it or not, everyone has problems and things they don’t like about themselves and their lives.
When we argue with others, we tend to think of ourselves on opposite sides, with the problem dividing us. But this should not be so of the people we love! We are on the same side, with the problem on the other side. We shouldn’t be fighting each other; we should be fighting the problem.
The thing about family is, sometimes they get the brunt of each other’s frustrations and anger. They get to see the ugliness in you and never stop believing in your beauty, because, if you are human, both are just as real. Subconsciously, you may even take your STUFF out on the people closest to you because you trust them to keep loving and believing in you.
I think this goes for both the family you were born to and the family you make of friends along the way. They seem to have the ability to forgive the beast in you and bring out the best in you.
It’s no accident that we’re in this particular time and space with the people who influence and enhance our lives. Think about the media, events, and attitudes of our time and how they have helped shape your own character and personality.
When it comes to my family, we may not always see eye-to-eye, but we’ll always be joined heart-to-heart.