i choose you

blue glass taken by karen burton

Have you ever said to someone, "I will love you no matter what"?

I have.  And I am here to tell you that sometimes that is a tough promise to keep.

Sometimes you want to shake that other person and ask why they are trying so hard to test that promise.  But most of the times you just shake your own head (and heart) instead, as you wonder what is going on.  I can get myself pretty worked up just thinking about ways I have felt disappointed or let down by people I have invested in.

On the other side of things, I have found that the more I say "I love you" out loud, the more it becomes true (no matter what).

And I also believe very deeply that you can begin loving someone before you even meet her/him. Like the way I love my 4 daughters-in-law, only one of whom I have met.

You commit early.  You open your heart.  And then you feel it.  The love that you know has been there for eons, even though it is a new acquaintance.  It's like magic, I tell you.

It's a refining thing, this unconditional kind of love.  It is maybe more about us, as the promisers, than about them, as the recipients of the promise.

No matter what.


Ann Marie | September 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Beautiful. Something I needed to read today. Everytime I read from your blog or facebook.. and see you in the real life.. I am left with some sort of wise counsel.

I adore ya.

Heather | September 27, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Thanks for the perspective.

wendy | September 27, 2012 at 7:25 PM

I think YOU , like the song,
GOT A WHOLE LOTTA LOVE (you do know that rock song don't you?)

Becca | September 27, 2012 at 8:05 PM

I love when you spread your great big heart out like this. And I love the way you express these common feelings in uncommonly lovely ways. I love you, you know.

Welcome to the Garden of Egan | September 27, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Yes. That unconditional love thing....gives good perspective on eternity.

Momza | September 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM

the phrase (& committment) to say "I love you always, no matter what" brought a child closer to my heart when she was taking "the scenic route" in life; she came back around full-circle and is now serving a mission in NY. I could write a whole 'nother blog about those 6 words. Life changin' stuff.

Katy | September 30, 2012 at 1:47 PM

"I can get myself pretty worked up just thinking about ways I have felt disappointed or let down by people I have invested in." Thanks, Karen. I have been wondering how to not do this very thing. Your insights will help. I know they will! Thank you. That is not a small thing!

Kimberly Vanderhorst | September 30, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Such truth here. Love the heart of you - love that you share it here. You make the world, MY world too, the better for it.

Connie | October 8, 2012 at 10:40 PM

So true! Disappointment in another person's actions (or lack of) can leave one drained. That's when that unconditional love needs to be more visible.
Miss you!

Rachel Cotterill | October 14, 2012 at 7:24 AM

I'm amazed to hear that you haven't met all your daughters-in-law... something about the size of your family and your country that just blows my mind! :-)

I love your sentiments and I wish I were better at this....

Jenny Lynn | October 23, 2012 at 6:47 AM

I have had this love test over the last 4 years. I still love this person dearly, even though there have been times I have really disliked them.

Anonymous | October 23, 2012 at 10:41 PM

I think it would be hilarious to answer questions this way. I should try it.

There are so few people I talk to who really understand those little quirks (like personal space) and just reading it eases my heart because I don't feel so lonely out there. My little dudes do those things: bumping into things, getting too close (or sometimes not close at all), and repeat things in this endless chant that makes me want to roll my head down the street like a bowling ball. The point is, I'm glad you understand it and I'm glad it doesn't bother you like it does some people. Knowing you're out there, loving these wee ones like that? It makes the whole world more breathable.