Early in my life, an experience taught me that no matter what wrongs a person did to me, I could choose to love them anyway. Even if the relationship ended.

Loving others when things go wrong is a difficult choice. Yet, we can live with love in our hearts, especially when we are hurt.

When Things Go Wrong

As a child, I lived with my parents and older sister in a rented duplex home. And all of the houses in our neighborhood were duplexes, so there were a lot of families living in a tight density. Neighbors moved in and out of the area regularly.

At one point, a child named Thais lived next door. Thais and I played together in the front yard.

One afternoon, Thais ran around with a long, wooden pole. It was the kind that might be used as a broom handle. I was struck and injured with the pole.

If a Relationship Ends

What happened next was very difficult for me. Our parents decided that we couldn’t play together anymore. My mother asked me to stay on our porch. Thais’ parents asked her to stay inside the house. We watched each other at a distance, but we never played together again.

As I think about this experience, I’m certain that each of our parents meant to protect us from future conflict or danger. And, I respect the intentions they had for each of us.

Ultimately, the relationship never mended. I spent many lonely afternoons playing on my own front porch while Thais played inside her window, twenty feet away. Then some time later, Thais’ family moved away and a new family took their place.

Although a relationship might end, we can feel love in our hearts toward others.

We can think positive thoughts toward them or pray for their welfare.

We can avoid creating more drama by letting go of blame and victimization.

We Have the Power to Love People Anyway

I’ve heard “love is a choice,” throughout my life. And I choose to believe it. So can you, if you want to do it.

Loving other people means that we see them as human beings. We understand that everyone has both flaws and strengths. We can truly desire the best outcomes for others.

It does not mean we give up, let people take advantage of us, or have no boundaries. In fact, we can set limits and do it with love in our hearts.

Standing up for ourselves and letting people know is an honest way to be, because we hide nothing. When we choose to love others anyway, we free ourselves. We can make decisions about how to live, then act.

Taking the Lesson

Throughout my life, I have benefited from knowing that I can love other people, no matter what. I don’t have to agree with them, and it’s ok if they don’t return my sentiments.

Love isn’t attached to the expectation of a particular outcome. Choosing to love anyway is completely within our control.