I love this quote by Marianne Williamson:
"We are not held back by the love we didn't receive in the past, but by the love we're not extending in the present."
Our pain doesn't make us special—even though it feels like it should.
We can embrace our damage and become defined by it. Or, we can extend love.
One of my favorite examples of this is my friend, Melania-Joy. Melania is bright, vibrant, kind and loving. When I heard her story of what had happened to her in the past, I was surprised...shocked even. Why? There is no trace of it on her. What might have hung on others like a dark cloak had no presence in her. Melania shines.
Why? Because she extends love. Everywhere.
When we are experiencing a lack of love in our lives, the reason is almost always within a one foot circumference. While children can't determine their fate in this matter, adults can. We can choose to love. And choosing love brings love. In a thousand different ways.
Don't get tripped up by some movie ideal where the Ken or Barbie doll does/says everything we want them to say (So. Not. Love.) I'm talking about the love that is sparked. When we give it, it ignites it in others.
Love in the shopping aisles, our friendships, our offices, the roadways. The love we extend multiplies. One of the great, beautiful characteristics of love is that it is exponential.
Try it on a small scale like an experiment. Just love. Without expecting anything. And see what happens.
Become defined by how you love. It will change everything.