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This is Love

by Jennifer Sutton

I watched him strumming his guitar to test the sound of his new recording equipment. He turns golden when he puts the guitar in his hands. Even for short strums, he is in complete alignment. It’s so beautiful to watch.

It was time for our hike and he had said he’d go with me as our time together for the weekend. But I didn‘t want to make him leave the music. He looked so happy.

So I said, “You don’t have to go hiking. You look so happy, I want you to be able to keep doing that.” And I meant it. I wasn’t just saying it. His happiness made me happy. He agreed, saying he didn’t feel great anyway and going out in the cold didn’t seem like a good idea for him. So it was settled. I’d go alone. But when I went downstairs and tried to make myself go hiking alone, I couldn’t do it. I started feeling sorry for myself that my partner would rather do music than spend time with me. Even though I suggested it and it really did seem to make more sense. I could not make myself leave the house.

He came downstairs a bit later and found me with the cat on my lap in the chair by the window. I offered to make some food for him and I ate some, too. But I was already in my inner prison so I didn’t have fun eating with him.

Finally, I told him that although I knew it was stupid, because I was the one that suggested it… that I was feeling rejected that he didn’t want to go with me. He said, “I thought that might be what was going on with you. Let’s go now.” And he meant it, too.

He didn’t say I was stupid. He knows my core pain and is gentle with it, not impatient for me to heal it. And he knew the perfect thing to unlock my prison doors — get me out to the woods with him.

So simple. So powerful. Full of so much love that I have been feeling safe, protected, loved all week. When our longstanding other issues came up, they were not as important or as powerful because I kept seeing him in his hero uniform, swooping into my prison and breaking me free. Caring for me even in my imperfection and inconsistency.

This is love.