One single word.
It took me forty-six years to learn what it means.
I almost killed myself in search for it,
broke my heart and my soul several times,
and broke the hearts of many other people
while trying to find its essence,
trying to find love itself.

I found it.

I found it in all its freedom,
in its happiness and joy.
I found love itself,
love beyond all understanding.

I learned to love without expecting a reward,
to accept without being accepted,
to give without compensation,
not to give when someone does not want to receive,
to rejoice of people who dislike me,
to smile without being smiled back
and not to smile when that is the act of love.

I learned that I can love those who dislike me
by staying away from them, not as an act of vengeance
but as an act of true love that expects nothing in return.

I learned that smile creates joy in the hearts of some
setting off a charming smile and a kiss in return,
while I had better not to smile to those who dislike it.
Still in my heart I can love all of them equally,
sometimes even more those who hate my smile.

I learned to open my heart to people who delight in it
and keep it closed when someone is not interested,
still loving everyone.

I learned to write to people who delight in love notes
and not to write to those who hate them.
I learned to give flowers to people who like them
and not to give flowers to those who don't want them.
I learned not to love in my way
but in the way people feel themselves loved.
I learned to let go of my selfish ways and expectations.

My heart is free to love everyone.
I am glad there are people who like me
and I enjoy the warm love they embrace me with.
I am glad I can love those who dislike me,
that seeing them brings happiness in my heart
although I hide it since they don't want to see it.

I learned that love is what I give and not what I get.
I learned that many people don't want anything from me
but that is the best way to love them.

I found love that can not be taken away.
It took only forty-six years.
It was worth of it.

I am ready to die.

Image copyright Jonathon Earl Bowser
Facing Self