“What single decision changed your life?” I read this question in the “Real Simple” magazine and I thought I would post my answer here. I would love to hear what single decision changed your life! Let me know if you post something like this on your site please. 🙂
What single decision changed your life?
Wow! There are so many decisions to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one! However, I can trace the many decisions back to one in my teen years, which changed my life’s path for the better.
I was raised as an only child in a highly religious home where phrases such as, “Cleanliness is Godliness,” “Early to rise and read your Bible are wise,” and “Being a servant to others is what God desires the most” were synonymous with control. Like a good girl I would do as I was told, but observed that what was good, right, and expected of me was not, apparently, what was good, right, and expected of the adults in my life. I also noticed that a lot of people in church seemed to also exude this same attitude to children and adults alike – follow this set of rules to be right with God (and us), but I’m okay to do and say what I want, no matter who I hurt.
By the time I turned fourteen I was done. Done with fake people. Done with church. Done with religion. And, most of all, or so I thought, done with God. I decided to drop religion, God, and everything that goes along with it and Him. I shook my fist at God and told Him to take a hike, that if this Christianity stuff was all there was to Him, then I didn’t want any part of it! He would have to show me something different for me to even think of listening to Him. So He did! He showed me His perfect, all-encompassing Love!
Best decision of my entire life! Yes, even better than deciding to marry the man who completes me. Even better than deciding to have four beautiful, wonderful children. This decision allowed my mind to open up to who God really made me, which in turn allowed me to start seeing who God really made all people to be – Himself.
We all come from different cultures, stations in life, families. There is one constant in all of us – we are made in Love. You can agree or disagree that there is even a God, however, at the heart of the matter is Love. When we view each other through the eyes of Love, suddenly compassion, kindness, generosity, respect, all the best in man, pours out to our neighbors. The petty, ugly, downright mean or cruelness of the ego melts away in the face of all-encompassing Love.
I look back on what seemed at the time to be a rebellious teen’s unthinking, selfish decision, and thank God for His gentle Love which showed me He wasn’t in a church building, religion, or even in the Bible, but in the heart of man all along. It set me on the path of mental peace and loving kindness to those around me. Love has caused me to see people not as they physically look, but who they really are, just like me – Love. I truly believe that the decision I made to shun the religious trappings that are taught day in and day out dramatically changed me for the better. Love has made me kinder, gentler, compassionate, giving, but I couldn’t be this way except that God first loved man. Anytime I find myself reacting negatively to someone, I remind myself that we are all one, and that one is Love.