There is a pervasive antipathy to turning everything into pathology in my world. Sometimes the names are important. Sometimes they turn into opinions and definitions that must be judged by their effect. Sometimes people are just confused. Sometimes, they just need some breathing room to figure things out. That doesn’t make them bad people. And refusing to interpret things in that way doesn’t make me broken.
On one hand, I’m incredibly lucky to have people in my life that are protective and defensive and ready to go to war on my behalf. On the other hand, would it be so hard to just let whatever I’m managing have some breathing room, and me with it? Time to let the thing evolve, to let my own reaction evolve? I mean, the extra excuse to come up with reasons why the people I love are worth loving isn’t a bad exercise. I can be grateful for that.
I’d just like to reaffirm, for anyone who is curious, that I’m not actually broken. Patience, curiosity, kindness, these aren’t traits associated with weakness, they are traits associated with strength.
Before I sound too much like I’m singing my own praises, let’s just get this out of the way: whatever I have of a muscular, compassionate kind of love is Neal living on in me. Pushing myself beyond the patterns I witnessed as a child, the model of a relationship where the only way a girl could feel loved was by driving everyone around her to the point of crisis – it must be true love if he’s on his knees begging – that’s all Neal’s influence. Neal is my awareness of ego. Neal is my faith in the divine fire. To abandon the effort to love better, whatever kind of love we’re talking about, would be another death. Losing him once was bad enough. I’m not willing to lose whatever of him that lives on in me.