This statement might not be true when it comes to early romantic love, because in the courtship stage if one person rushes in too quickly with passion it has the tendency to repel the beloved. That’s a whole different subject (even though I want to believe expressing genuine affection is never bad) than what is on my heart to write about tonight.
Today, I had a profound experience with my main care client, who suffers with moderate to advanced dementia. She’s as beautiful a person as I have ever met but communicating with her effectively is increasingly difficult, not just for me but for her close family. Today we had a rather dramatic emotional episode together that was baffling for all involved.
In the end, the only thing that made a difference was a sincere expression of love and the intent to be only that. We did it spontaneously as a small group because the dementia person I care for was in such deep, (imagined) emotional pain and a subsequent feeling of isolation. Her impaired speech and hearing compound the problem.
The small group expression of love was a breakthrough moment that taught me something profound. Her cognitive shift was almost immediate when she understood sincere love was behind everything.
After her daughter left, we talked, as well as is possible, about things and I heard myself saying it to my charge, almost like an oracle speaking through me “You Can’t Love Too Much.” She took this to heart and went back to her daughter to express her love. Of course it was very well received. It turned a dark cloud into a ray of sunshine.
The language of love got through when nothing else was working. And so I’m grateful to whatever spirit guide whispered those words in my ear today. As it happens, I had my teeth cleaned this morning and my hygienist is also dealing with an elderly person with dementia. She recommended this book, The 36 Hour Day. It’s now on my reading list.