Do I want to be defined by my past, my fears, my need for acceptance. Or do I want to be defined by my present, who I love, who I can serve, how I can try to make a difference. And if I do the later how will that affect my future?

It is so easy to hide away and protect ourselves in a security bubble – my home, my family, my job, my house. But when you flip the ‘my’ and make it ‘our’, the whole perspective changes. How can we serve each other, how do we reach out beyond the bubble?

I truly believe the key to it all is love. When we love we bring hope and joy. Our communities thrive and heal. Everything we hear on the news seems so dark and I sometimes wonder what’s the point. However, this year my family experienced the kindness of others and it has brought so much light. A bunch of flowers, ice-cream home delivered, a card with a message of encouragement, a lift to an appointment, a hug, a hand squeeze, a compliment, a listening ear, a prayer. These things were not hard to do but they served us, they lifted us up and carried us through.

My immediate reaction is often to resist change, to ignore the need and not bother with other peoples pain. Sometimes living in the ‘our’ world and not simply ‘my world’ is uncomfortable. But the joy of ‘our’, the effect it has, the hope it brings is worth more and generates so much good you cannot help but respond to that radio challenge…

I want to be love. I can always be love. There is always time for love.


Deborah lives in Bangor with Andrew and her dog, Jenson.

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