December 26

LOVE MONTH: DAY 26: “Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby- awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess.”― Lemony Snicket

So very true. We make a mess when we love. Love makes a mess with our pre-conceived notions of what love should be and is. It makes a mess of our tidy worlds and homes and lives.

There is a whole other person we must accept and accommodate and live with in various ways. I watched an interesting show on Amazon over the holidays…Real Love (I think that was the name.) It came from NY Times articles by the same title. Interesting stories of messy love and how people learned to navigate it. Very touching stories…all very different and very New York.

But this stuff translates to other arenas as well. I have loved many different types of people and they have taught me such a wide variety of things. Some have been long-term friends or lovers or family. They all started out with a great deal of mess and accommodation on my part. I think I know what the relationship will look like (or should look like) and end up learning so much more.

Endings are often involved, somehow. No relationship is going to last my lifetime. Think about how much we may love our pets. That relationship will surely be a messy one. Yikes! And talk about accommodation and acceptance! I tell everyone that God made kittens and puppies and other small animals cute so they could survive those early months of being with us.

Same with romantic relationships. We have so much incentive in the early days to adjust to the person being in our lives. Late nights, less sleep, time away from home and projects and other friends. Learning how to be with that person. Their peculiarities, how our peculiarities appeal to them (or not!) and how they will make room for us and how we make room for them. Messy! All of it! Constantly thinking about that person and wondering how it may or may not work out.

Making space for love is the challenge. It really IS easier to sit on the sofa and watch TV shows or do our regular things without that person. And here they are! How do we handle it. I have had the same conversation with many of my potential (and active) romantic partners…”I was single when I met you…” Not proud of this statement, it just shows how frustrating it is to learn a person and not live into my codependency and people pleasing. I need to remember that I was a strong and independent woman who attracted them. I used to shift into a needy and dependent person overnight, it seemed. It is the challenge of love.

How do we meet this challenge? I know that I am only alive to learn and grow and heal. There is the challenge. I am not done, and there are A LOT of things I do not know. I can only apply what I have learned and leave the door to my mind open to learn and know more. It ain’t in a book, it isn’t quoted from rote memory. It is in the DOING and the LIVING that we fulfill our contract with Universal Power and become who we are here to live into. What a messy thing THAT is!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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