“He has loved me since he was 15 years old and he loves me more today than ever before.” At 86, she sits tenderly on the edge of the massage table, holding back the tears.
I’ve heard the story many times before. There’s hardly a week that goes by without her mentioning how much they love each other. And I see it.
This morning her heart pours out again, grateful to have someone there to listen. To help her carry her silent burden.
“I love him. But he loves me more,” she reveals. “It’s a big responsibility. He’s scared to death that I go before him. So, I keep making efforts.”
I feel her heart ache under the weighty life-time belief of ‘not-enoughness’.
It touches a chord deep in my heart. I know this too : “Who am I and what have I done to deserve this love?” “What do I need to do in return?” And my many strategies to deflect and resist what feels like too much love coming my way!
As a child, she was given distinct messages from family and caregivers that love was limited, must be earned, and she was not worthy of unconditional love.
“It’s a big responsibility,” she repeats two or three more times.
Her illness limits her mobility now and means she needs support for most things. It increases her belief of ‘responsibility’ and sense of guilt that she doesn’t have enough to offer in return for his love or know how to love him as much.
Oh my dear, you are so worthy of love!
Inside, my heart cries out, “oh my dear, you're so worthy of love without offering anything in return. You are loved as you are. You always have been. You're 86 years wise now, please let it in. You are enough. May love flow freely. May this old wound be healed. Be free, beautiful being, knowing that you are love.”
“I accept myself,” she adds, “but I don’t love myself.”
Here I am, loving her unconditionally, and just wishing she could feel this love as herself, the same as the love she feels for him and from him.
Since 6 years, nearly every week, for 6 months a year, I massage them both. It's a blessing for me to accompany them both. I have cried and laughed with her. She inspires me with her tenacious independence, direct talking and commitment to the deep bond with her beloved. She cares, a lot.
A million experiences that express love
She can’t quite see it, but she is fiercely loving, in her way of loving. It has a different flavour than what she imagines in her mind as 'love'. It’s grounded and mature of a million experiences. And it’s exactly there - in each of those experiences - that she actually chose and keeps choosing love, again and again.
I love her right there as she is. Nothing needs to change. And I will keep loving her, even in her pain. For her pain is keeping her alive and keeping her loving right now.
Her sense of responsibility is also deep down (beyond the guilt), at the core of her being, a true respect for love. Giving herself permission to be loved is, in fact, also self-love. Love is love.
May we let go of unworthiness
I deeply wish that she, and every one of us, can feel free from a lifetime of unworthiness, guilt and responsibility.
May love melt our hearts open to reveal that we are all made of love.
Let's not wait another day. It's time to let love flow.
So, my invitation to me and you today, drawing from this experience, is let’s not wait another day. See yourself through the eyes of the beloved.
Love is here, abundant, unlimited, unconditional.
Love is your nature.
Love is a choice in every thought, word, and action.
It’s time to love.
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