• Charli

Love Rush

We’ve all experienced it I’m sure – that moment when almost without warning our heart beats harder, our attention is totally absorbed, usually on a person, and we are flooded with intense feelings of pure, unadulterated love. Meanwhile the very object of our affection and adoration often carries on in blissful ignorance. It is a moment to savour, a time which might not present itself very often, a situation that comes without explanation or intention but presents itself as a love rush.

I have had many such instances in my time and recognise the onset comfortably and enjoyably. This morning I was privileged to observe S have one such moment. I am quite sure that S has experienced this feeling several times when he has been afforded an opportunity to not have to be on duty with all that being a single dad entails.

B was having breakfast, enjoying his honey yoghurt and fruit, chatting amiably and animatedly. It was a moment I feel privileged to have witnessed. S stopped for a moment and gazed at his son unashamedly filling his heart with joy, pride, glee and love. So much love for B radiated across the room and when S briefly caught my eye, I mouthed ‘Love rush?” And he quietly nodded.

However as the day wore on B became over-tired, grumpy, demanding, obstinate and contrary and certainly not the apple of his daddy’s eye. Ha! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and by the time they had both been swimming and stomped in for a coffee before heading home I could sense that the earlier love rush moment had passed. However, I was able to take an overview and apply a PACE approach to the situation, recently learned at a training session – offering playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy. S certainly needed my empathy in that moment but perhaps B did too because he had pushed his dad’s patience and bright button that he is, knew this but didn’t quite know how to shift the focus back towards positivity. Two coffees, a hot chocolate and some family banter later and we headed good-humouredly along North Berwick high street so that I could take some clothes to the British Heart Foundation. B spent some pocket money on a FiFA video game, I bought a pair of trousers and we all popped into The Ship for a sneaky Sunday afternoon drinkie. We rarely drink on a Sunday, intent as we are to retire to our own homes to prepare for the week ahead, but unsettled as the middle part of the day had become it felt natural that we could all benefit from a distraction and a change of scene. It was just the pick up we needed, and after further indulgence with an ice-cream from Alanda’s our shared weekend was very satisfactorily concluded.

Whereas some ‘love rushes’ are intense and respectful as S demonstrated towards B I suspect many of us get side-tracked into thinking we are experiencing a rush of love but in fact it is desire for an object, an activity or a moment in time. Unless we tune into the moment or the scene and absorb, reflect and bask in what really confronts us we can get lost in pursuit of that which is unattainable or inappropriate: a new car, an exotic holiday which become objects of desire that are unattainable or impractical and is very different to a love rush.

After my fall last week, and slowly fading bruise I have reflected on why I came to find myself lying prone on the pavement, Jilly barking nearby and an excruciating pain emanating from my elbow towards my wrist. Quite why I decided to continue with the walk, albeit pitifully slowly, I’m still not sure, but it did allow me thinking space and time to consider what the outcome might be if indeed as I feared my elbow was broken: work aside our holiday to Cornwall would be compromised, Pilates would be inaccessible and my recent period of good mental health might also be challenged. Having discovered no broken bones but a laceration on my humerus and intense bruising, I have experienced a week of feeling quite fragile and strangely vulnerable,

On reflection and prior to my fall, I hadn’t slept well on Thursday night, my head busy with L+M wedding preparations, work, family and friends, it was twilight, and music was thumping in my ears. Furthermore, I suffer from benign positional vertigo and tinnitus, both of which are exacerbated when I am under pressure or tired and I have no doubt that all of these elements contributed to a momentary loss of concentration.

During Mental Health First Aid training in January one of the issues we discussed was Schizophrenia, and we all carried out a very unsettling experiment in groups of three. Two of us were to have a conversation based on a prompt we were given while a third person talked in one of our ears. It was most unsettling, distracting and very annoying. It was also astounding to recreate a situation highlighting the impact a voice in our heads can have. Apparently in schizophrenia, the voices are generated from the victim’s own voice box by their brain and therefore can distract from the ability to concentrate or ficus thus causing a disturbance to cognitive reality. Similarly, I have been advised that Tinnitus can be attributed to a loss of hearing so the brain searches for noise to fill the void and what we are hearing the the noise created internally by bodily functions such as blood flowing through our veins, our hearts beating and digestive system breaking down food.

The Friday of my fall serves to remind me just how fragile we are and how easily we can become distracted and subject ourselves to unnecessary risk. When I shared this with T earlier today she commented that whenever she falls whilst skiing she is able to reflect on the moments leading up to the tumble and recognises that her attention had been focused elsewhere.

So perhaps less of “A pride comes before a fall’ or ‘look before you leap’ and more of taking a moment to risk assess the environment, emotional mood and stress levels and certainly applying the old adage “less haste more speed” which might encourage us not to rush headlong into life, but instead take precious time to be in the moment.

T and I both agreed that 2019 will be a serendipitous year, perhaps because we are ready to now grasp all that we have been working towards, but also because as T put it, when we start to say ‘Yes!’ then more things begin to happen and in turn new and interesting opportunities present themselves. Is it just coincidence then that the band T has just joined are called Pace? Or is this her destiny calling, one that she has worked so hard to achieve?

I know that when I get the chance to see T perform and L+M get married I will experience such an intense love rush that I will make sure I am steady on my feet beforehand!

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