I was thinking of being little recently and I recalled the image of me and my younger brother. I was about 10 years old and he was about 7. We were pulling at opposite ends of our dog, a dachshund. It was something we did every night before we went to bed. One of us would begin the fight and say, “I get to sleep with him tonight! You slept with him last night.” The other would answer, “No, you slept with him last night it’s my turn.” And then the pushing and pulling would begin.
Love Isn’t Always Pretty, but It’s Often a Little Chaotic
This went on night after night. I can’t remember how it ended or if I ever felt like I won. I just remember this is what we did. And when I recalled the memory recently I thought, “That’s love. That’s the chaos of love.”
And then my next thought was how love is often messy. It’s full of pushing and pulling and connecting and sharing and that is what I think all of us live with in some form. Only it’s hard to see the “mess of everyday life” as love.
Chaotic Love Means Hurting Those We Care About, While Tragic, Is Ultimately Common
I have no doubt my brother loved me and the dog. I have no doubt whatsoever that I loved my brother and dog with all of my heart. So isn’t this what love can look like, fights and all?
As a relationship counselor I help couples feel more connected. I believe all of us in relationships have the capacity to be good mates and feel ease with the person we love. But I also realize that whatever a couple brings in for counseling, the stories, the chaos, I believe it must be valued, because their so-called mess is their very own brand of love. It may be chaotic. It may have fights and make-ups. It could include all kinds of things, like playing tug of war with a dog.
For All Its Flaws, Chaotic Love is Still Wonderful
All of us have our own brand of love. Each couple has something that only the two of them can create. All relationships go up and down. What if we were to look at the totality of the relationship, instead of just the parts. Of course there are parts we don’t like. And yes it helps to understand what is happening in those circumstances so they could become easier.
But I want to spend just a moment to honor all of us, for this big, beautiful thing we call living. It’s full of everything, the good the bad, the messy. And that can pretty special in it’s own kind of way. In fact, when it’s recalled and remembered it might just feel fantastic.
Learn More About Navigating the Chaos of Love
Read a Book About Love
Can’t make it on Monday? Learn more about how love affects us and gets expressed, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you channel your love more positively and have a happier relationship. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.