A friend of mine from Pakistan had a bumper sticker on her school bag that read « Love for all, hatred for none ».
That motto kind of is mine as well: as much as possible, I go out of my way to hate nobody –certainly not in actions, but also not in thoughts. Feelings are hard to control, but hatred harms the one who hates as much as the one who is hated. I’m not talking about being angry for the right reason – not to be confused. As much as possible, I try to see the best, the good in each person: everybody was created good, and in the image of God.
Some, throughout my life, have smiled at me, belittled me or even laughed about me: surely, with such an outlook, I haven’t seen much of life, or must have had an extremely easy life, that I am naïve.
For sure, I am aware that compared to a big part of the world’s population, I am rich: I live in a nice house, I have 3 meals every day, my children can go to school, my husband has a job, we have healthcare. I am grateful for those blessings – I am aware that not everybody has that.
But I am not stinking rich.
My life has not been without difficulties, even if I did not grow up in a warzone, and was fortunate to not have to live in one.
Growing up, from day 1 of going to school, I got beaten up almost every day; someday it was only with fists, on other days it was with leather belts and wooden sticks, even a metal bar. Insults were daily, based mostly on my skin color and origins. It went on for years and years, and the fear that went with it.
Add to that being molested, abused and raped several times as a child, teen and young adult – it has something of getting killed slowly, several times.
Finally, there was psychological and spiritual abuse as well.
You don’t leave that behind unscathed, and basically, there are two options: you can flee into something, and/or wall yourself for protection and shut yourself off from everything in the process, or decided to heal and be healed.
I finally chose the latter. It was not an easy process, neither was it a fast one. But walling myself in would leave me missing out on so many wonderful people, things, opportunities and people. And I suddenly find myself overflowing with love, an open heart and open eyes for all the miracles around me. It must be God’s love, for only He could have healed such a broken me.
Even on days where the pain of the chronic illness weighs me down, on those days where I can’t walk again from the pain or can’t even cut a slice of bread, or can hardly remember my name because of the brain fog, I see life as a gift as beautiful miracle, to be cherished and lived to the fullest.
I may be naïve… but a loving naïve.