My adorably, sweet, and rambunctious 2-year-old niece Lily, is the first baby that I have truly fallen in love with. I have sometimes enjoyed children; squishing their little button noses or occasionally smiled towards an adorable nugget learning to walk, but I have never seen myself as truly maternal. When I first set eyes on my best friend’s little girl...Lily B. it was love.
I knew that I would always care for her and provide a safe haven in which her Aunty Skyler would never judge her. A space in my spirit is saved for this bold little woman in the making. I enjoy her company just as much (if not more) than adults.
One day betwixt one of our adventures in the yard of poppies and daisies. My little Lily tripped, fell, and scraped her knee. She began to cry, looking at me with this confused look as if saying “Damn you! why did this happen?!?!?” I ran to my munchkin scooping her teensy little figure in my arms. I took her into my cottage and propped her onto the bathroom sink, cleaning her wound and singing a little ditty in an effort to calm her down. I took out a Band-Aid and gently placed it on her knee upon causing her to settle down. I once again administered one of my infamous squishes upon her button nose, a big kiss and a small candy (a quick P.R. move all moms use to say “hey...no hurt feelings right?”).
While I was returning from dropping Lily off to her parents, I thought about her wound and how administering of a Band-Aid provided immediate comfort to her—it’s almost as if a Band-Aid symbolized this instantaneous cloak of safety. In true literal terms, a Band-Aid is a physical shield blocking substances, bacteria, or objects from entering our wounds; things that upon contact could cause us discomfort, pain, or even infection, but also serve as a safety blanket.
I reflected on the many times I left a Band-Aid on “just to be safe” because I would rather be protected then experience even a millisecond of discomfort or pain. I have even used them on wounds that didn’t warrant a Band-Aid, but I figured why not? I couldn’t help but wonder how many of us have been protecting our wounded hearts with invisible shields for too long or even unnecessarily? We’ve been hiding behind self made Band-Aids.
These temporary distractions or “Band-Aids” that we have been using to protect our fickle hearts and self medicate come in many forms such as the commonly said: “I need to focus on my career,” “I’m not interested in a relationship,” “I have never been good with commitment!” Sometimes it manifests itself in promiscuity, a revolving door of partners too keep ourselves from ever truly opening to another.
I think about our fear of commitment, what is it we are truly afraid of? Is it concern that our potential significant other will “run” our lives? Control our pocket books? Destroy our autonomy? That if we expose ourselves to love, we expose ourselves to discomfort or worse...pain? We are all escaping the errors, frustrations, mistakes, and pains of the past, while continually striving to be a better person than the day before.
Perhaps sometimes we fear that falling for another person will keep us from moving forward and defining our incredible selves. Or even the past we may be running from is the same one that shows up at our front door, creating our present—defining our “today.”
But my darlings, we must remember that LOVE is the thread of existence that keeps us so wondrously sewn together. It is the fiber of living and what adds color to what can be a very drab world. For those of you that are less romantic and find it hard to see through my rose colored lenses, even the most logical and sensible person cannot deny love's power and affect on people’s lives. We know and have even witnessed loves power, yet we choose to turn a blind eye for our own self-preservation, when in fact love is what preserves us. How many of us can deny the utter twinge excitement when the gentleman you have been thinking about all day finally calls to make plans? Or the spark that multiplies exponentially when the beautiful woman you have been eyeing for FINALLY comes over to say “hello?”
What if we could have this joy, thrill, continuously? Perhaps some of us aren’t ready. We have all been hurt, some of us more damaged than others and sometimes with damage that seems beyond repair. But when you recognize that thrill and sparks that send chills down your spine, you mustn’t ignore it out of fear of failure, vulnerability, or pain, because...it also could work. How splendid indeed!
Research shows that loving relationships, when healthy, consensual and selfless, add to the caliber of our existence. So if opening your heart could make you happier, why not rip off the Band-Aid sooner?