My ultimate life goal can be summarized in one short sentence: Between now and the time that I die, I want to love at every opportunity.
Now, it’s not actually that simple. There’s the love of and in my relationship with Christ, family, friends, myself. There’s romantic love. Within love there’s happiness and finding joy, etc etc. The list could go on and on, but I think within that one sentence, it captures probably 95% of what I truly mean to say.
Often times, I get teased by friends or reprimanded by family for my goal of sharing love with all those around me. “It’s not practical.” “You’ll just get hurt.” “You’re giving people the wrong idea” etc etc. But the truth about sharing and showing love to those around you is simple. Love isn’t always romantic, actually it’s very rarely romantic. Love isn’t giving more of yourself than is healthy or more of yourself than you have to give. Love isn’t complicated or intricate and it definitely should NOT be rare. The truth is that love is a decision YOU make about how you’re going to treat people.
YOU decide what it is you have to give, and then you make the conscious effort to give it.
YOU decide what feels comfortable for you, and then you make the conscious effort to share it.
YOU receive blessings, and then you make the conscious effort to pay them forward.
YOU decide what words of love you have to offer, and then you make the conscious effort to speak them.
And you do this at every opportunity, every single day, multiple (maybe even hundreds of thousands of times). Because another truth is this: We are more blessed when we choose to give to those who cannot pay us back, that’s giving mercy and offering up LOVE.
So, as many of you know…I just turned 21 last month. I’m young (at least, that’s what they tell me haha) and I’m a college-age-young-adult. Many of my friends are in serious relationships or, at the very least, dating and going out with people. I get some hassle on occasion because I’m not “on the dating scene” or because I’m “not available.” and when something is said, it definitely hits a nerve because there is a part of me that wishes that I was doing what appears to be the “normal” thing for people my age. But not dating right now is not just by chance, it’s a conscious choice. Here’s why:
I’m young. I have my whole life ahead of me, God permitting. I will have time later to fall head over heels in love with some man (hopefully a musician haha) and create a life alongside someone who will love me and support me. But right now, I’m more concerned with growing as an individual and loving as much and as often as I possibly can – not a romantic love aimed towards one specific individual, but a love that’s contagious. A love that spreads smiles, hope, joy, and blessings to those all around me. I’m aiming for a life where I can be a light to those around me while at the same time, following my dreams of learning and pursuing music. I refuse to give that up at this point in my life, to focus on one single individual. There will be time for that later, but today is all I have for now, and I want as many people as possible to feel happiness and love. Everyone deserves that.
Maybe it’s time to check-in with your own personal dictionary and think about redefining love. Only YOU can make the conscious decision to spread love to all those around you. It doesn’t have to be (and won’t ever be) perfect. But, to see someone you love or even a stranger smile at you and feel the goodness of your own heart impact them – that’s what true love is.
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
― Mother Teresa
“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.”
― Kahlil Gibran