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These words, written in chalk on the wall of a friend’s home struck me deeply. As I stood there meditating on them, I felt the truth held within these nine simple words.

One can never fully understand the depth of meaning in this truth, until you’ve found yourself on the other end of another’s refusal to love.

And when you do, it is then that you realize it is truly….an unbearable thing.

If you are breathing, it’s no secret that one’s most basic need aside from physical sustenance; is to be loved deeply.

And so we long for it, we search for it – sometimes without consciously realizing it. At times we come up short, even empty. Either because others withhold love from us, or because we simply refuse to let it in.

For the many souls who live with the seemingly unbearable ache of emptiness that is birthed from love promised that was instead withheld, there is only one response that redeems everything.

Our own refusal to ever allow ourselves to withhold love from another as long as it is in our power to give.

Those who have chosen to withhold love don’t always have the final say. We get to choose how our story ends – In how we choose to respond to the rest of the world that awaits the thing that was withheld by another.

In so doing, we decide that this unbearable cycle ends right now, right here, with us. And in this, we find freedom and healing for own fragmented souls.

We must choose.

Because there is a lonely neighbor a few houses down, a hurting friend on the other end of the phone line, a lost young person within our reach whose heart anxiously awaits our response.

We must love and not withhold.

Because there is an entire world within our very reach, just waiting for someone to refuse to withhold what is ours to freely give, because of the One who dwells inside of us.

When breaking the cycle becomes our choice, nothing that seems that it was lost was ever really wasted in the end.

I find great hope here.

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