Here's the story behind it:
I've been fairly good at keeping a journal ever since I was about 8 years old. I wrote about experiences, adventures, friends, family, animals, travels, pretty much anything... but I almost always signed the journal entries "Love Always, Michelle." I often sign my letters and cards "Love Always," too.
So what? That's pretty common right?...
Well, over the years as I continued to sign that phrase, I began to think about it. It slowly started to sound like more of a command than a farewell. Instead of "Love Always," It seemed to be "Love ALWAYS!". So eventually that became sort of an unofficial life motto.
LOVE ALWAYS- no matter who offended me, no matter how different, no matter where they came from, where they had been or what they had done. Maybe it sounds a little hippyish or cheesy, but that mind set has helped me grow to absolute love so many people everywhere I've been- from China to Fiji to Iceland to Mexico to Hungary...all over the world and in my own backyard.
It seems like a no-brainier. Frankly, it should be natural not something to work on, but It's hard to explain just how much more vivid life can be when focusing on such a simple proverb. When you sincerely care for someone- whether family, friend, associate, or stranger- your life and your perspective about life changes.
Christ's love is unconditional. I have a long way to go before coming even close to reaching that same unconditional love, but the "motto" has helped remind me to try.
I started writing this blog as a project, I kept writing it to prepare for my mission, I continued "writing" (as my mom posted my letters) during my mission, and now that I'm back- I haven't stopped writing... well, because people asked me to.
But, also because life keeps going and because I want to continue to learn to truly...
I have been blessed with many wonderful people in my life that have taught me profound lessons and have helped me get to where I am today. The following is a list of other "mottos" I have gained from their examples and words of wisdom. (Click on the names to link to the full story behind each)...
Put the important things first and share your happiness- Maria
Material things are nothing"...Only Life is Something"- Toma
Take in as much of each moment as you can and Laugh at the difficulties of life- Tristen
"Make every decision with thought. You don't know what tangent path it'll throw you on. The butterfly (will) affect your world"- Josh
Go Forth and conquer thyself -Mrs. Schoefield
"He [Christ] loves us"- My 3 year old niece