Monday, June 14, 2010

Love Without Conditions














“The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.”Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

I’ve been traveling a lot. After next week, I’m basically done until mid-July.
I love the travel. Because I don’t coach Girls on the Run anymore, the travel provides me with the one-on-one experiences with our girls, coaches and other volunteers that I love so much!

On one of my most recent trips I was visiting a Girls on the Run group. The girls were finishing up their community impact project. I walked into their gym, and after a nod of their heads in my direction, they went diligently back to the task at hand…making puppet socks for the kids at a nearby hospital.

After several minutes, I gathered them into a circle, promised them I would only take a few minutes and proceeded to create some space where we could all just get to know each other.

After several minutes of learning what their favorite foods were, giggling about Justin Beiber and discussing their greatest gifts to the world, I asked, as we closed, for each girl to share something she learned, liked or appreciated about Girls on the Run.

Last to come up was Sarah. I hadn’t heard much out of Sarah the previous ten minutes. She wore glasses, was petite in stature and was there in a state of what appeared to me to be “sizing up the situation.”

She, being the last in our circle to share, stopped for a second or two, drew in a deep breath and then out of nowhere, shared…

“Being a girl today is hard. Being a girl with epilepsy is really hard. But Girls on the Run is there to help all girls, because all girls need help sometimes. I have made good friends, learned coping skills, learned life lessons, and gotten a lot of confidence.

When I’m at Girls on the Run, I don’t think about school or the seizures or anything else. I am with friends, who love me and support me just the way I am. I can breathe in, look at the cars or the sky. I know that I am in safe place doing something I like doing with people who are my friends, who support me, love me and allow me to be whatever it is I am that day: scared, strong, weak, happy. They loved me into loving myself, even with the epilepsy.”

You could have heard a pin drop in that cavernous gym.

Unconditional love. Love with no expectations, no desired outcome and no strings attached. Loving…simply because. Girls on the Run creates a space, not necessarily for girls to be themselves, but to simply BE…what/who/however she/it/that shows up.

When have you experienced unconditional love? Who do you love unconditionally…I mean really love without any expected return? Let me know at molly@girlsontherun.org.

5 comments:

  1. Amazing. "they loved me into loving myself..." What a wise young girl!! Kids are like that - my 3 year old nephew has taught me so much about unconditional love, since the day he was born. He loves everyone wholly and without reservation; it is refreshing to see and he inspires me to do the same. When I saw him this past week (he lives up North and I live in NC), at random times he would say, "Aunt JJ?" I'd say yeah, buddy? "I love you." simple words, with huge meaning.

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  2. every time I read this blog I end up in tears. absolutely beautiful, inspiring. the work you are doing is just so important and amazing. i would love if we had gotr here for my daughters. thank you for all you do

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  3. What a testimony, Molly. And what an amazing little girl!

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  4. Oh, Molly, this was utterly beautiful and brought me to tears. I cannot begin to tell you what an impact your visit had on Sarah and our family. Sarah is a wise girl, and she can read people very well. She saw in you someone she could trust and someone she wanted to open up to and share what this program has meant to her. We are so proud of her for speaking up and giving this testimony. Thank you again for everything! Liz

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