There has always been one trait that has stayed true to me and that is a genuine love for people.  I may over analyze, I may get upset, and I may even say things I shouldn’t say. Regardless, after all of it I still can’t help but try and understand why that person does what they do and then I choose to simply love them.  Even if I was the one treated wrong I find a way to make it my fault because I feel bad.  Because instead of loving that person, I hurt them and that hurts me. To let you into my personal life a bit- here’s a little back story.

I was born in Hawaii and moved to Anchorage, Alaska shortly thereafter.  I grew up here with three siblings: Jay (older brother), Julie (younger sister), and Beth (younger sister).  My parents were married until I was… I think 11 years old.  To be honest, I don’t particularly remember being sad.  This was because my mom had already left a couple times growing up.  I don’t remember specifically when and I don’t even know why.  What I do remember is every single time she came back home my dad let her, for us kids.  I know my dad struggled and I know my mom struggled.  They both made mistakes.  The second to last time my mom left and came back… she came back pregnant.  This is my fourth sibling (Joannie who is 12 years old).  She didn’t really grow up with us but we know her just the same and we gained an extra family with her addition to ours. That very short and sweet back story being complete, I’ll get to the point.

You see, instead of being bitter and mad at my mom for leaving us, in turn, I tried to understand why she would do that. Yes, she is my mom, and I should love her anyway but I began to understand her on a deeper level; resulting in learning to love her on a deeper level.  She may never notice how I love her or how much I try to show her I love her but I can’t help but love her, for her, and all her hurts she has faced in life.  My dad having gone through a divorce and rearing four children (basically on his own) had his flaws but I love him.  I absolutely adore my dad.  Anybody who knows me knows that, no matter what, he is a hero in my eyes and I talk about him all the time.

I learned from a young age that loving people will hurt.  Loving people is not as rewarding as it sounds. Loving people takes time and patience and selflessness.  I don’t always have these.  I don’t practice this all the time and honestly I’ve lost this trait.  I allowed my own hurting heart to cloud my ability to see other people hurting.  What I’ve learned is that love is not a fairy tale, its hard work.  It’s not conditional, it’s unconditional.  It’s not receiving, it’s giving.  It’s not selfish, it’s selfless.  I’ve learned that I cannot truly love another person with a love of my own.  Eventually, I’ll be able to get back to that place where I loved with a pure love and I want you (my readers) to work towards that with me.

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