31 Jul Don’t Be Afraid To Love Again.
I was blessed with a third grandmother in life and there are these words -the last words she spoke to me coherently, just days before passing away 8 years ago. She spoke them with purpose, knowing that my heart was broken and had been hardening. She knew that they would pierce my soul.
With her finger pointed at my heart, she said “Don’t be afraid to love again.”
These words -they did pierce it then, and they pierce it now, as I begin to let this hardened heart of mine soften so that it can expand again.
It’s hard, uncomfortable, and even painful to let those emotional muscles stretch when I’ve kept them tightly bound for a long time. The choice in favor of exposure and vulnerability seems unthinkable. It makes no logical sense.
And yet, it is so necessary if I am to allow myself to grow. It is necessary if I want to enjoy the benefits of giving and receiving love; of companionship in my future.
While I process all of this in my personal life, I cannot help but notice the many parallels I see in Doulas Northwest client families.
Families welcoming a first child after many years of just the two of them:
- We are so happy to finally be welcoming a child!
- But what will it honestly be like to split our attention and give each other enough?
- What if someone begins feeling left out?
- How will this change things for us…really?
Families welcoming a second child:
- She is our world and she has the entirety of our hearts!
- How will we have enough love for both children?
- What if she thinks we don’t love her anymore or doesn’t like the new baby?
- Where will we find the energy to give them both all that they need?
Families welcoming an adopted child:
- This child is so wanted!
- How can we bond fully with a child we did not give birth to?
- How can we help this child feel wanted by us?
- What if there is jealousy or rejection from our older child…?
Stretching the heart muscles to welcome new children to the family is both joyful AND challenging! It can be scary to invite new love into our lives. Loving again has risks and benefits.
Loving another person always carries with it the risks of being hurt, of being rejected, and of loss. I have yet to come up with a way to remove these risks.
It also carries with it the benefits of joy, companionship, being and feeling cared for, and fulfillment.
In our personal relationships and in our lives as parents, we obviously cannot enjoy the benefits without accepting the risks.
So I’ll encourage you with my grandmother’s words:
Don’t be afraid to love again.
The PNW’s preferred provider of Postpartum & Infant Care Doula support in Seattle | Tacoma | Olympia