Rooted in Love
Rooted in Love
by: Sara Clarke
February 14th is a day often associated with love and romance. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Where there is love, there is life.” Our lives can be greatly enriched by sharing it with others who make us feel loved, appreciated, respected, valued, and truly seen for who you are. Simply stated, humans are hardwired for connection.
As we become teens, we tend to have less physical affection with our caregivers and start exploring connections with those we can share our lives with more intimately. This is also the time we may notice siblings, cousins, peers, friends, and others moving onto the next stage of life with dating, getting married, or starting a family. Sometimes, this can lead to feelings of being left behind, missing out on life experiences, or isolation. The more we have the opportunity to be present with this topic, the more we hear people express how much they want to hold the cherished role of being a partner or spouse. They want to share their love and life with another person. They want to know who will be there on their good days, challenging days, to celebrate milestones, to share interests, and to dream with. Many people also worry about having consistent love in their lives after their caregivers are no longer here.
Paid support professionals can be a beautiful addition to a person’s life, but they don’t replace freely given relationships that are rooted in deep connection. The third level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is love, acceptance and belonging. Love is a natural desire and individual right. For those who choose to share their life with others, how do we navigate the complexity in a way that is safe and nourishes healthy relationships? What happens when a person desires a relationship which may or may not be sexual, but they feel others view them as an eternal child or non-sexual? What if they have been told they are “not allowed” to date or feel shame or embarrassment about the feelings they are having? We start with open, honest communication in a safe, judgement free space. You don’t have to know all the answers and you don’t have to do this alone. We can help individuals, parents, caregivers, support circles, organizations, educational institutions, support professionals or anyone else who wants to start this journey. Nothing is taboo. We are here to dig deep, answer the big questions, provide resources and tools, and ensure everyone feels comfortable and confident as they take the next steps.
Want to know more? Connect with us at branchingoutsupportservices.ca