LOVE NO MATTER WHAT
How different would life be if we could bring love into all situations? What if we could offer love to all people? I’m currently living in Los Angeles, California, for two months, and there is a huge homeless epidemic here. I often buy coffee for someone in need or leave a grocery bag of food out on a street corner. On one particular day, I decided to strike up a conversation with someone that I had brought a bag of groceries to.
At first, he was really interesting and child-like, even though we looked to be the same age. Slowly his stories started getting mixed up, and I was having a difficult time understanding reality from fiction. At one point, he stated, “My wife said I touched the girls, I would never do that,” in a very childish voice. This threw me back. I wasn’t expecting this type of conversation, and I was standing there with my 8-year-old daughter. I took it as my cue to move on, wished him luck, and set off to head home. He was so mixed up with what he was saying that I had no clue if that statement held any truth. As someone who was victimized many times as a young girl, it was difficult to swallow. I started thinking of the possibility that many of the homeless people here in Venice could be running from a crime committed, either due to mental illness or poverty.
It played a little tug-of-war in my heart. Part of me felt scared to communicate further with them, and part of me felt compassion and empathy. I have zero tolerance for abuse. I don’t think that has to lack empathy, though. This made me think about living out of fear and love. When we live out of fear and stay close-hearted, it shuts the world out. It isn’t very easy to build a wall to protect ourselves while still expecting love to move freely with a chosen few. If that wall is up, usually out of fear, it is going to block out many beautiful things. On the other hand, if we choose Love No Matter What, we are always in alignment with the life we want. Sometimes choosing love seems very difficult or even impossible. There are people out there that have committed atrocious crimes against others or possibly even ourselves. In my experience, choosing love wins every time.
I would often hear the saying, “forgiveness will set you free,” and I couldn’t grasp the idea. I couldn’t forgive in the past, and I was so angry. Then, after years of struggling, I came to a point where I could forgive. This forgiveness doesn’t let the other person off the hook. It lets you off the hook. We often carry around anger and resentment as though it were hurting the other person, but the truth is that it kills us! Deep down, it eats us alive until we are so bitter and self-destructive that we are engulfed in fear, shame, and even guilt.
To me, choosing love means embracing the human race as one. We are one, and to hate
someone else is to hate yourself. This is the mirroring effect. The homelessness here is shocking, eye-opening, and makes you think about the human condition. It also makes me think about fear and love. My conclusion is always to choose love, live with an open heart, and keep the pathways open to having a healthy energy exchange.
Can I suggest we say to ourselves when we are struggling with acceptance, understanding, or anger: Love No Matter What.