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Limitless Love

Dear Philippa,

Two years ago I developed MS. I'm very lonely but I need to know if it is ethical or even possible to find someone when my future is not rosy?

�Jessica, Vancouver, WA


Dear Jessica,

Not long ago I read about a woman who had both her arms amputated as a result of a grisly attack that occurred when she was hitchhiking many years earlier. Despite a very long road to emotional recovery, this woman who never believed it possible, has finally found the love of her life. The newspaper article showed a picture of her and her obviously adoring husband. He is a detective who worked on her case, fell in love with and ultimately married her.

I remember reading this story and being deeply moved for many reasons. It made me think back to a time when I was single and so disheartened that I complained to my mother that no one would want me because of all my problems.

How do people who seem so wounded find someone to love and accept them despite their perceived flaws?

My mother was more than qualified to respond to my question. She has been "disabled" since childhood and she met a man who never even noticed she limped significantly until after they were married. My father was so in love with my mother that all he ever saw was her innate beauty.

It seems the answer to my question and maybe yours is that true love sees the beauty in the other, whatever the level of "ableness" or conformity.

I asked a friend of mine who met a man online and later found out that he had Cerebral Palsy, how she felt about his situation. She said that because he had been that way most of his life he didn't act as if it was anything to really bother about. It was something they discussed early on in the relationship and because he had so many marvelous qualities the Cerebral Palsy became a non-issue. You may be thinking that my friend is a remarkable woman with great compassion and insight. You are right, but I also know that the man's positive attitude about his own condition contributed to their connection.

Your situation is not about finding a man that might want you despite the MS. Focus on the kind of man YOU want in your life. Yes, there are men out there who are looking for someone just like you�with the heart and spirit of all you are. Look at the relationships you have with friends, family, and past romances�people with whom you feel your happiest. Work on filling your mind with these positive thoughts. Now take these feelings and visualize yourself with a great new guy�a man with whom you can feel the same way. You don't have to see his face, just imagine the kinds of things you do together, see yourself smiling and laughing. Feel the sense of relaxation and acceptance.

Perform this little mental exercise before you go to sleep or wake up every day. In time your body chemistry will respond to all this pleasurable input and you will start to transmit some powerful, positive unspoken messages. Then you will be ready to select some enjoyable activities where you can get to know men over time so they can appreciate all you are. Think about things that give you the most joy and find ways of meeting others that share your passion. Maybe it's a book club, a wine tasting group, or volunteering for a phone bank at a television telethon.

The fact is that we are not our physical or emotional illnesses, we are not our lack of hair, our size, our age, or whatever else we think defines us. We are wonderfully imperfect, human beings with beautiful spirits.

Yes Jessica, you have been dealt some very tough cards. Your energy and physical abilities may be changing, but none of this takes away from the remarkable woman you are with all the qualities that people will always love in you. See yourself also as being an enhancement to someone else's life. And, keep in mind that we come together in this life to help heal each other's wounds.



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