I Give Myself Permission To Be Hurt By Love

Brené Brown has a wonderful ritual of writing yourself Permission Slips. When she first went on Oprah’s show Super Soul Sunday she explained in her jeans pockets were Post It’s with Permission Slips. One said “Permission to wear my fancy boots.” Oprah looked at Brené’s boots a bit baffled. “Those are the fancy boots?”
When I wrote Permission Slips doing Brené’s course my favorite permission slip was to give myself permission to be hurt by love.
I teach my patients the Buddhist principle of attachment being the near enemy of love, something similar but not at all the same. The vulnerability intrinsic to loving someone is impermanence, knowing that we’re all going to die means opening up to love means opening up to losing that person. Because when we love someone we cannot protect, guarantee, keep safe, or hold onto that person because the truth is they never belonged to us to begin with.
On my Pediatric Oncology rotation my Professor Dr Carolyn Fein Levy told a story of working with a two year old girl who’d been diagnosed with cancer. They did everything they could to save her life, and she lived till she was four and then she died. Her father was devastated and very angry. He came to Dr Fein Levy and told her he wished none of this had happened, that they hadn’t treated her cancer because his daughter living two more years meant he fell more in love with her. And this made it harder for him when she died. Then some time passed, and he came back to Dr Fein Levy and he said “Thank you.” That she’d given him two more years with his daughter and he was glad he’d gotten that time with his daughter.

May all beings be happy ♡