In my short 39 years of life here on terra firma I can honestly say I’ve made my fair share of mistakes.
- I dropped out of high school at 17yrs old.
- I dropped out of college just before earning a double bachelors.
- I did entirely too much drinking for far too many years.
- I got in plenty of trouble, some of which landed me in jail a few times.
- I screwed up business opportunities that could have made me wealthy.
- I hurt those closest to me, even when they proved their loyalty beyond doubt.
On paper, I’m a complete screw up. But, I took those poor choices I made in my youth and I turned them around and let them shape me into being a better man.
Of all my poor choices, all my mistakes, one choice I’ve made I will never regret is loving. I refuse to regret loving anyone I’ve ever loved. Whether the relationship was family, friendship or significant other, I will not regret loving them.
I have loved family members who abused me, stole from me, and tried to kill me (literally). I have loved friends that stole my girlfriend, talked behind my back, and picked a fight with me. I have loved partners that have cheated on me, mentally abused me, and used me for what I could offer. But I don’t regret loving them. My love is a reflection of what is in my heart, not their behavior. Everyone deserves love.
I learned this because, even though I made so many mistakes and hurt so many people, there were people who continued to love me, no matter what. There was my family, of course, but there were friends, and even my ex-wife. They loved me through it all. They loved me until I could love myself. And when I learned of God’s great love an mercy, I fully understood that love is never a mistake.
Love is something that cannot be earned. Love is a choice. Love is a gift. My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, taught me to love the unlovable. To love without expectation of return. To love even those who do you harm. To love, even if it costs you your life.
So, today, I choose to love. I choose to love even if someone harms me. Some people may no longer have a place in my life, but they will forever have a place in my heart. I will love them from afar. I will love them through my prayers.
No matter what happens; no matter what someone does to you; no matter the pain you have suffered; choose love.