Oops, I’m Running Low on Love
This week was our time to tell my partner’s children that they soon would be having a new little brother or sister. I was more excited than nervous, but having never had a child before I was taken by surprise by their reaction. They first looked stunned and then cried. Needless to say, both Ed and I were concerned. Wells of love and tenderness starting pouring out of me, almost wanting to take back what I’d said. Since that was clearly not a possibility, I asked them what was upsetting them. What were they imagining this meant would change in their lives? Scarlett piped up right away and said. “Daddy will love the new baby more. I want it to be just us!” Archer went silent.
Luckily I had seen this type of emotion in different forms in many of my adult clients who I lovingly refer to as tall children. There is a feeling out there in the world that love is a commodity and this resource is set at a fixed amount! As a result we love in a precious way — not wanting to give too much to too many. We hold it back and often use our love as in various plays of power. If we are hurt, we almost immediately pull our love out of the game to show our assailant “who is really in charge!”. More often, we never get to this point because we are so afraid of opening to love that we never even enter the game. We make strange decisions like love and sex are mutually exclusive and that we can easily offer sex but not our heart.
I noticed right away that what I was seeing in these children were the seeds of these feelings. I was deeply saddened that such small ones had already decide these things about love and affection, but was hopeful that Ed and I could soften this belief. In our own relationship, we had been working on similar feelings and were making conscious decision to love each other more at those familiar thresholds when we would typically pull back on our hearts. As a result, we have hit some beautiful peaks in our love for one another.
I told the children a little story that Ed had shared with me when we found out I was pregnant. He told be that after his first child, Archer was born, he was pretty sure it was impossible to love anyone or anything that deeply again. Two short years later, he discovered he was going to be a father to a second child. He seemed to have some of the very same feelings the children were expressing. Of course, when his daughter was born, he loved her deeply and differently. I personally believe that the individuality of people bring about different aspects of our infinite ability to love. I have found that the more people I open my love and kindness to the more textures and colors my love can express.
I told the kids this story and then asked Archer if daddy loved him. He said ” A lot!” Then I asked Scarlett. Her response ” More than anything!” I asked how that could that be. How could he love each of you? Isn’t he going to run out? They both giggled at the silliness of this statement. I then explained how much their daddy loved me. Ed told us all that the more he loved us, the more love he wanted to give us love. Ed and I explained that instead of running out of love, we would all have this new little person to help us love more!
The tears stopped and the smiles came. Though I think this story still has some unfolding to do, I know in my heart that giving unconditional love is why we are here. I try each day to open my own heart fully and especially when I am frightened by the act of loving. I feel blessed beyond words to have this family that has already brought me to places of love in myself I didn’t think possible. I can say that I am certain beyond all else I will never run out of love!