Monday, July 11, 2011

Love Them Anyway!

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
~attributed to Mother Teresa

I was a very sensitive child. Often, I would find myself on the receiving end of anger, sadness or some other pain, and I would allow it to overwhelm me to the point I would cry or get upset. The world can be a very cold, angry place.

I gained some perspective on it when I was around twelve. It dawned on me that there were times I hurt people without meaning to. Sometimes, my impulsive actions led to misunderstandings--consequences I had not intended but which happened all the same. In that moment, I resolved to give others the benefit of the doubt. I realized that not every pain I received was intentional. This helped me not take things quite so personally.

It has only been in more recent years that I have gained more perspective on the intentional hurts people inflict on others. Yes, sometimes people will intentionally hurt you. Sometimes, you did nothing to bring that hurt to yourself except be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The thing is, people who hurt you, whether intentionally or not, do so because they live continuously in a state of pain. Their actions are based upon the pain they know. Thinking outside this box of pain may be beyond their present capabilities.

In our day to day lives, we allow this pain to separate us from those who seek to hurt us. There are times when walking away is the only thing we can do to keep ourselves from fighting back. Still, this pain places walls between us. We allow pain to keep us broken.

Mother Teresa's words speak to Oneness. They counsel us to accept that painful experiences will happen. We cannot control the actions of others. We can control the actions we take. We can choose to look past the flaws of others. We can choose to understand the pain others inflict on us comes from the pain they constantly live with, and we have the ability to accept it and love them anyway. Loving them anyway has the ability to break down all those barriers which separate us from one another.

We do not have to let the pain in our lives divide us. When we make the choice to love regardless of the other person's circumstances, we allow all that IS to move freely within our lives. Not only does this allow us to expand, but such actions ultimately touch the lives of every other person they come in contact with. Unconditional love can break through any barrier and unify the whole!

The next time someone hurts you, allow yourself to move past the pain and love them anyway. By doing so, you allow yourself to touch the heart of God and become the heart of God for others.

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