I am a huge inspirational quote fan, plastering them throughout my home. Reading them over and over again, hoping and knowing over time they are rewiring our brains. I have seen such healing come from a place of positive word, we underestimate the power of a good word, it can be life changing. In my mid-twenties I came across this one, a Mother Teresa quote that really shaped me.
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
The seemingly small things we do, over time will change our world. A smile to a stranger, a compliment given, a moment paused listening to someone’s story, little things that over time, show great love. I have learned many things about myself during my twenties, our twenties, what a gift. I am an all in kind of a girl, that has resulted in some really hard moments. I joke with my friends that all someone has to do is smile at me and I am like “here is my heart, on a silver platter.”
In my early years I definitely did not have a healthy balance of this, I was quick to fall in love with people, boys, and things. Though many of my wounds, have come from the fact that I am quick to have an open heart, the paradox is some of my greatest healing moments also come from that very place. I remember following one of the most painful moments in my life, I actively withdrew from my community and sucked into myself, the result, I was beyond miserable and for much longer than if I just would of continued loving, heart and hands open. When I am having a bad day, I have learned the fastest way to shake it is to go love on someone. This quote by Mother Teresa took me awhile to fully understand. I think I finally get it.
"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."
There is such beauty in vulnerability, loving whole heartedly. One of the most wonderful gifts my kids have given me is a lesson on love. I have watched them love, with open hearts, the world around them, strangers and even the ones who have hurt them. Kids get it, they know how to love well, as we grow up we get hurt and scared and it affects how we love, we start to put rules on what love is or isn't. What kind of change would happen if we all loved open hearted? Not that we would only love those easy to love or the ones we want to love but if we just loved everyone because they need it, we all need it.
In foster care a term thrown around a lot is “unlovable” some of these kids have such deep rooted wounds that they actually believe and make sure they are unlovable. Loving those kiddos is so hard, maybe one of the hardest things to do, loving someone who does not feel lovable.
I think of the ending to of the Dr. Seuss' story about the Grinch and how his heart literally grew sizes. You see the more we love, the more room for love. When you have a surplus of love it takes more for you to run out, that is a beautiful thing. The grace of God did a beautiful thing in my heart, when I first started doing foster care, my crew needed love, they were so depleted. For the first six months of having them, I just loved on them from a place of God-given surplus in my heart.
I have recently had a situation happen that made me want to shut down my heart and withdraw. I saw those tendencies and fought hard against it. I surrounded myself with love, served and handed it out like hot cakes, I have learned that best way to heal, is to love. The best way to move on is love. The best way to live is love. My friends, love well, it costs you everything but the beauty is the more you love, the more there is.
Jesus told us to love our enemies, you see because He understands the pure power of love. When we choose love, over being right, sharing our opinion or being scared of getting hurt, lives change and the world is suddenly a brighter place. Our heavy and sad world needs more love, such power in love. My friends, take the risk and love well, love open, love big. Open your home to the outcast, your wallet to the needy, your words to the cashier at Target and your eyes to world of hurting unloved people. Let’s all agree that we need more love and let’s start doing it, in little ways, each day. Love well my friends.