My Love Walk

What is Love? That four letter word that we often think we know a lot about, yet just when we believe it to be in our grasp, it alludes us, then remains dormant for a time before it reappears, fresh as ever in our mind.

I am learning that it is always there, just within my grasp but sometimes it is hard to receive and even harder to give.

As a child who was brought up without an example of true Godly Love, it has taken me many years to recognize the many forms of love that I had subjected myself to throughout my life. To allow someone to get close enough to love me meant rejection in my twisted way of reasoning. I held love inside until I thought I would burst, and did, in a way. My eyes leaked many teardrops over love that could have been.

I became what some would call, cold hearted. I knew nobody could hurt me if I didn't allow them to get to know me. I turned to alcohol to fulfill my emotional needs. I had no desire to have others in my life. Having no idea of how to give love, I used the people who were unfortunate enough to become involved with me. I didn't cry anymore.

I was numb to my emotions and had lost all desire to care about anybody or anything. I lived to drink, putting myself first in my life, until alcoholism took its toll on my body and I was forced to do some real soul searching for the first time in my life. Yes, I had to start being honest with me.

I had to almost die in order to learn how to live and start to discover what love really means to me. I always thought I loved my kids but I loved alcohol more, obviously. I realize now that God took care of my children and myself all those years when I was unable or seemingly, unwilling to do it for myself. They grew up to be nice sober adults with good jobs and homes, but some emotional problems they will have to work out as a result of their upbringing. I feel sad for that.

Unconditional love was something I really had a lot of trouble understanding. My Bible tells me that God loves me without condition. I haven't done anything bad enough throughout my entire life to cause Him to stop loving me. I have done some pretty wicked things in my life and thought I was so "bad" He would never forgive me. I had to change that way of thinking.

I have to learn to give love to others. It's not about whether or not they love me, it is about giving them the same love that is so freely and unselfishly given to me.

It is very easy to love our adorable children and grand children. Most of us have pets that we love and care for. But how about the neighbor who complains and threatens to kill your precious cat because she doesn't like animals? How do you even begin to like her?

It is only by giving that I will receive. I found out this doesn't mean giving things, it means giving of myself. I have to clothe myself in love even for the ones who hate me. This is not an easy one for me but I am working on it daily.

I believe learning to love is a process. It doesn't happen overnight. I am beginning to see that love is not a physical nor a romantic thing.

Merriam-Webster has many definitions for the word love but I think this one comes closer to defining my impression of what it means to me; "unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another". It means putting others' needs first.

I am starting on a walk of love today. I will put others ahead of myself and learn to give more of myself. I have seen these people who know how to make you feel special and I want to learn to be one of those people.

I was watching a famous lady pastor the other day on television and she was talking about a woman who seemed to have no joy in life and couldn't find happiness in anything anymore. This woman's life had been so blessed for years and now it seemed the blessings had stopped. This wise pastor's words to her were, " Maybe you got too full with being so blessed and need to start giving some of it away so there'll be room for more." Makes sense to me.

Sharlett F. Hunt [email protected]

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