Love is a choice. It is a verb and it requires work. Even for a mom. My son was born into incredibly stressful circumstances. An emergency c-section and the discovery of his congenital hydrocephalus during labor. The first time I saw my son, I was lying on the operating table with blinding white lights above me and a surgeon’s hand elbow deep in my gut. That first time I saw my son, I was in shock. I was numb. I wanted to feel what they all talk about, to feel like the empowered, strong, mother bear/female goddess I was designed to be. But I didn’t. I felt broken, and scared, and distant.
All the same I made a choice. I chose to love my son, even if the only feeling I could muster was panic. Even if my heart was overcome with helplessness and hopelessness. I would chose to act and to serve until those actions and that service turned to the feeling of love. My service to my son started in that operating room.
Weeks later after most of the shock waves subsided, we were finally home with our beautiful miracle baby. I waited for the feeling of overwhelming gratitude and love to descend upon me from above. It didn’t. There was no miraculous change of heart. But I continued every day to make choices to love my son. I bathed him, I changed his diapers, I nursed him all through the night, I comforted him when he cried for hours on end and there seemed no end to his colic. I continued to make the choice to serve and to act.
I made that choice everyday for months and months. And I waited.
Gradually, so so gradually I felt my heart lift. Some days, I could hold my son without panic, without sadness and I started to see glimpses of light. I started to feel. That light has been growing and growing every day since. I can now say, I now know and believe that I love my son without a doubt. I would do anything for him, and that he brings me joy. More joy than I have ever known. But that certainty was not instant for me. It took thousands of moments. Moments and choices. Choices to act and to serve.
Love is a choice.
Love is millions of choices. Choices that make up a lifetime.