“Love is not simply giving, it is judiciously giving and judiciously withholding as well. It is judicious agonizing, struggling, confronting, urging, pushing and pulling in addition to comforting. It is leadership. The word ‘judicious’ means requiring judgement, and judgement requires more than instinct, it requires thoughtful and often pain decision-making.”
–M.Scott Peck, MD, The Road Less Traveled.
It is so much fun to be in the blush of love. From welcoming a new baby into the family, to having a grade school crush, to saying, “I do.” Love is the ultimate endorphin rush. Happiness abounds, even with spilled coffee, tight timelines and dirty diapers.
LOVE always loses its first blush and isn’t so much fun anymore. Stress, is well, stress. Every day trudging becomes the norm. Lack of sleep can’t be fixed with expectations for togetherness. Is it really LOVE when you’d rather your spouse/partner/child go find a good book and leave you alone? Does LOVE require you/me to always have to say “yes?” Does LOVE look at my life and see all the changes I should make?
The work of LOVE is never-ending.
The fulfillment of LOVE can be enduring.
It is the work of LOVE that requires being “judicious.” Not spiteful, overly honest, directive or stingy. LOVE requires gentle caring for the body and S/spirit of another and for yourself.
It may mean that instead of giving chocolate to your spouse (who is struggling with weight gain or is pre-diabetic), you spend some time and write your own love poem. It may mean that instead of trying to give a party for a classroom of six-year-olds (in-between the basketball game, the party at work and completing the report), you make cupcakes together for the family. It may mean that you actually discuss with your partner a future date for romance, rather than “on the day.” LOVE is creative and has boundaries. LOVE is being patient. LOVE is self-reflective, with humor.
What does LOVE look like when the endorphins have vanished and the dog needs to go out at 2am? What are we teaching our children about LOVE?
Be gentle with yourself and your Valentines.