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[Hear the podcasts here] In podcast 11 (the first in our new series) I talked about the thing I think does not change in my life - an unconditional love. I think there is someone who loves you too, no matter what you have done or what changes in your life.
I wonder how that sounds to you? It might sound a bit romantic or unrealistic. I count myself fortunate to have a wife who loves me like that, as I love her. But I have certainly had relationships which didn't go quite so well, and there have been people who have hurt me. I'm sure there have been more that I have hurt. Love, of any kind, is hard.
So how can I be sure there is someone who loves you unconditionally? Well, I'm taking a bit of a risk here. I'm asking you to trust me for a minute while I write about the best love in my life, which I realise you might not believe in... Everything I know about love comes from what I know about God. I think I am able to love other people because God first loved me, and showed me how to love. I'm still learning, sometimes failing, frequently hurting and having to re-think, but crucially getting there.
I believe that Jesus showed us what love is, by spending time with people, showing how to get the most from life, and offering his own life in sacrifice for their sake, and ours. I believe that God's love for me doesn't depend on the stuff I do - and that's fortunate for me. I also think that God loves you in the same way.
Now - I hope that you also know people who love you unconditionally, and that you are able to do the same for people you know. I'm trying to do that too. I think a chilled life depends on being able to love other people - and the most stressful times in my life have been the times I have felt unable to do that.
So how about you? Whether or not you believe in God, do you believe in love? Would you like to share your experience? I would love to hear from you, whatever your views. If you get in touch, I'll assume that you want your story to remain confidential unless you say otherwise. It would be great to hear from you - you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
On the next page, some more info about our previous podcasts, and a chance to hear some extra stuff we didn't have time for...