Can Love Incapacitate you?

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Is it possible that love can incapacitate you?

We were driving to Austin to spend the holiday with my in-laws. And while they are great, they are a different family than my own. I had a nostalgic moment, recalling details about my own former holidays past that would never be the same as my mom passed away this year and holidays with my family are now forever changed. I recalled….

The drive up Lombardy Terrace, my parent’s street
Car loaded down with toys, anticipation resonating from driver & passenger alike, for both myself and my son gained temporary solace in their company
The relief – a journey complete
Rest, relaxation ahead + good times guaranteed
Laughter * Hugs * Joy * Appreciation
Beautiful, staggering sunsets
Heart healing moments by the dozen
The warmth of my mother’s home
All of us cooking, wine flowing, and the ever-lurking promise of sleeping in the next day – A single mom’s seldom realized delight

And then it occurred to me, {rather it hit me like a bolt of lightning}: She killed herself by carrying everyone else’s pain too. If you’ve read my most recent post about the 5 Amazing Things I Learned from my mom, you know that I suspect that she killed herself via ALS – not knowingly, of course. But rather, her subconscious power in it’s penultimate expression. What you may not know is that I’ve realized some changes since she passed: I’ve become bolder, stronger, and fearless in moving towards my dreams. I am more confident and less hesitant. Yes, much of this is due to her inspiration, as I’ve detailed countless times. But how much of this is also due to her absence?

In a way, although I know it came from love, I suspect my mother’s willingness to carry my pain, shoulder it as if it were her own, while shielding me from it’s affects with unconditional, endless nurturing and unequivocal adoration – well, I suspect that incapacitated not only her, but me. There is little accountability in life if there if someone else willing to own your pain. It makes you weak to the ways of the world. It prevents you from recognizing the consequences of your actions.

Without that refuge, do you toughen up? You have to when there is no one to bail you out. You have to get serious. Accountable. This goes towards your emotional state too with the lack of validation. I can’t even recall the number of times I called my mother and shared my pain with her. In hindsight, I swear I was making it even worse than it was just to get the sympathy. Now, without that outlet, I don’t even bother indulging that bit of neediness. I simply don’t allow myself to create situations that will result in extreme pain.

It is not my intention to sound ungrateful for unconditional love. Quite the contrary, I am eternally grateful for the bed of kindness my mom created for me throughout her life. But I am saying that perhaps I abused the privilege. Please allow me to extend to you a word of truth from my experience: If you are so lucky to have a similar haven in life where someone is offering you free love, free kindness, free nurturing, seize it, soak it in, and revel in it. But don’t take advantage of it. Walk the line of integrity. Don’t allow yourself to be incapacitated by love. Stay strong. Stay responsible. Even with the cloak of pure love. Actually, especially with the cloak of pure love. For if there were ever a need for complete accountability, it is in the face of such a privilege.