Practical Love

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The word “love” might seem illusive and not something that can be applied to practical matters. I want to share the real story about one of my clients that shows the practicality of loving magic.

For 11 years I worked with kids and teens with drug abuse issues. One winter morning a woman (I will call her Kate.) whose child was inhaling solvents came to the clinic.
She and her son hadn’t spoken for two years. Every time she attempted to talk with him, he left the apartment. Kate knew that as long as her son was at home he was not with his friends huffing, so she would walk around her apartment building (-40 F outside) until the lights went out. That meant that her son was in bed and she could come home without fearing he’d leave to be with his dangerous friends.
She shared her thoughts about how she had created this lack of relationship with her son. She spoke of her pain, her disappointment, and of what she wanted.

I asked her to recall the first time when she held her newly born child, breastfed him, when the “newcomer” was so gentle, lovable, and perfect, when imagining a great life for him was so easy. (I often invite wonder and deep inquiry. I believe the power of a good question is priceless).
The hour session flew by and as Kate was leaving she asked: “Well, I feel it, I get it now, but how do I tell what I feel to my son? How do I make sure he listens?”

I didn’t know.

“I don’t know,” I said. “All I can say is that you look like a different person now than you were an hour ago. Let’s see what happens; keep me updated.” (I often wish I had before and after pictures — “before” I remembered love and “after”.)

Next morning I had a paperwork day with no appointments scheduled. I walked to the clinic early in the morning, enjoying the snowflakes piling themselves on all the surfaces, including my coat. Kate was sitting on the bench by the clinic — even before business hours. “I hope she didn’t spend the night here,” I thought. I had not expected her back so quickly. We nodded to each other and I gestured her to follow me.

“Ok, what’s happening?” I asked after we settled into the office chairs.

“I just came to say thank you,” she said. “Yesterday when I walked home, something had shifted in me. I realized that I love my child no matter what and I really felt love so present in my body. I decided to walk straight home as pure love and not worry about what happens. All I knew was that I love my kid and I want to see him. When I walked in, he was in the kitchen. He looked at me for a second and said ‘Mom, I’m about to eat. Do you want to join me?’ I almost fell down as he said this. After two years of silence, all of a sudden, he invited me for dinner – and I didn’t have to do anything, just open my heart. So I came to say thank you.”

I don’t know if you have tears in your eyes; I did at the time and I feel a sweet vulnerability now — after twelve years of telling the story and experiencing the miracle.

“Thank You!” I said. “Thank you for your bravery, for your openness to loving without holding back, for loving regardless and without guarantee. Thank you for gifting me with this example.”

This was the beginning of the path for them; the beginning of facing and moving through rough and sweet into what they want. The difference was they were doing it together now and from a whole new place. Last time I heard from Kate, her son had been accepted to college to study sociology.

Here’s to practical magic!

For tips on how to evoke a deep feeling of love to transform your life/relationship/health, follow the next blog.
Till then …many episodes of practical loving magic to you.

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