Big Love Burns Through All Other Things

Big Love Burns Through All Other Things

I’m feeling the love today. I’m also feeling the sadness at things in my life that are not going to plan. The two feelings welling up inside of me have me in a highly emotional state. The two things are related. By loving someone as hard as you can, as deeply as you can, other parts of your life come up for healing.

First the love:

  • Optimistic horizons in my current love relationship
  • Emotional, physical, and spiritual connection with another person
  • Accepted just as I am, even when I’m not balanced and strong
  • I am held closely and without demands
  • Aspirationally inclined towards the future together

And now the hard parts that are being illuminated and a burned by my enlarged heart:

  • My brother has entered Hospice care
  • My health and recovery from a recent surgery has taken its toll on my fitness and overall energy
  • Business goals set in May have not been realized
  • General low energy at times (feeling a bit like depression)

All in all, my life is pretty grand. I’m not whining. In love and relationship, I am winning. And, what I’m realizing today is that love, BIG LOVE, the kind of love that changes lives is a double-edged sword. With the big love comes the burning away of things that no longer serve your life. Being wide open to the deep feelings of love, you are also open to the deep hurt of losing love.

As I was traveling back to Austin from vacation I spent some of my time looking back through the photos on my phone and deleting old imaged. Old relationships. Old social media memes. Old, less attractive, pictures of myself. And I was conscious of the good in my life, the lover in my life, that allows for this burning to take place. In the bonfire of my new love, I can light up and let go of old baggage. Old versions of myself and who I thought I wanted to be, where I thought I was heading in my life.

My brother is also being burned away by cancer that made its presence known in his lungs 8 months ago. The rapid descent into a dark and overwhelming space was hard on all of us. And as a soon-to-be-smaller family, we are hovering around his departing body. My love of my brother is complete and consuming. And, I must still love those of us who will continue on, in the weeks to come. We grow closer and more protective as we experience great loss. And somehow, we have to open up again to the big love.

In my current life, the big love is the cushion that’s keeping me going. As I wander this dark wilderness of grief and loss, I have a firm and tight hand to hold on to. A partner who is exploring what’s next with me. Rain and shine.

Keep your friends and family close. And love deeply.

Always Love,

John McElhenney
@wholeparent

Epilog: When we trust with our open heart, whatever occurs, at that very moment that it occurs, can be perceived as fresh and unstained by the clouds of hope and fear. —Dr. Jeremy Hayward, “First Thought”

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image: couple at a bonfire, creative commons usage

 

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