Love Lessons From a 10 Month-Old

So often, we live as if we know what will happen next year, next month, next week, tomorrow, or even a moment from now.

Deep down, I know, we all know, we can't really predict the future, but pause to consider how often we live as if we do.

Life is a journey and each day an adventure. Our eyes just need to be open to all the wonder and all the possibility that every moment holds.

10 months ago I couldn't have imagined how the birth of my baby nephew would change the course of mine and my husband's life.

Many of us are touched by our own, or a loved one's, addiction and/or alcoholism. My dear brother is in the grips of this affliction and neither he nor his girlfriend are in a position to care for their new baby boy.

So, If you had asked us a year ago if we were going raise a child we would have said confidently and positively, NO.

Yet, here we are happily, willingly, lovingly and gratefully opening our home and hearts to this wonderful little soul.

In the last 10 months I have experienced more emotion and growth than maybe in all of my previous 42 years! It has been a turning point in our lives and a source of tremendous joy, confusion, anger, sadness and ultimately, LOVE.

There is a zen proverb: "In the Beginners mind there are many possibilities, but in the experts there are few".

This precious little boy is teaching me so much more than I could have known without him.

What I am learning from a 10 month-old about LOVE:

  • Love just IS. The moment I met him I loved him. It isn't created it is just present. 
  • Love HEALS. Years ago my therapist said that love is the energy of the universe. I now know more than ever what she meant. Love transforms us, it connects us, and heals us. Even when things aren't as we hoped they would be we can still love. A metaphor from the wisdom traditions says that when water and milk are mixed a swan can sip just the milk, without taking any of the water. In other words, they take the essence of something (or what they need) and leave what they don't need.  So often we carry around baggage we don't need which only blocks us from love. Love even when it is hard. Love even when it seems like a situation is trying to close your heart.
  • Love is an ACTION: This little guy puts me right in the moment. I don't zone out or even go on auto-pilot. I act and do from a very awake and conscious place. I give eye contact, smile, hug, care for and be present with him. He hears my words but my actions I know, show him my love too. He woke up last night several times. I was very tired, but I acted calm, kind and loving. I just held him and rocked him. If I can do this with him with genuine love in my heart, I am sure I can do this even better with my brother, his girlfriend, friends, and even strangers. I have to decide how I want to act in this world, every moment, even in the most uninvited and unexpected circumstances. 
Thank you sweet little boy! I love you!