3 Things My Twin Brother Who Has Down Syndrome Taught Me About Love
Hello everyone, Happy Valentine’s Day!
It’s been so long since our last blog post, and I hope everyone’s 2019 is going off to a great start! This new year has brought lots of new changes with it. I moved out into a new apartment in January, and Michael was once again NOT happy with me being away from home. I think he’s somewhat forgiven me by now, but boy can he hold a grudge!
These last few weeks have also been filled with heartbreak, some health scare/emergencies (everything’s okay now!), but most importantly, lots of love. The end of January for me personally was one of the hardest ones yet. Even though Michael wasn’t fully aware of what was going on, he KNEW something wasn’t okay. He easily picks up on vibes and energy, and could sense that I wasn’t alright. My heart broke even more upon seeing his mournful body language.
But even during that time, he would still sneak in little smiles for me, and they were filled with so much love. I always express how Michael communicates incredibly through love, rather than through words. When he feels that something isn’t right, he knows that something’s out of alignment with his highest self: living with love.
In this post, I hope to provide some guidance for how to incorporate more love into your life, as taught by Michael.
Love is Blind
Something that I've fallen in love with is the genuine kindness radiating from these individuals who have Down Syndrome. Although Michael may not be able to speak, he's completely fluent in a more important language-- the language of love.
My brother doesn’t care what you look like, what clothes you wear, what your race or ethnicity is, what gender you are, what your sexual orientation is, or what religion you practice. He simply doesn’t care.
What he does care about, is how he’s treated. If he’s approached in a loving manner, he will reciprocate that back. Not once have I ever seen him discriminate another person. And that's the kind of attitude this world needs. I am constantly inspired by the Down Syndrome community in their genuineness towards other people.
Love Always Trumps Hate
How many times have you been in conflict with someone, and held resentment against them? Did you justify it with, “they treated me badly, therefore I’m allowed to be resentful, angry, and hateful towards them,” and maybe even try to get revenge?
While it’s important to experience every feeling that comes our way rather than repress them, it’s important to do so in a loving manner. No matter how poorly someone treats you, what good does holding onto that hate do for you? All it does is manifest in your own self, and lower your own vibe.
Something I admire about Michael is his ability to forgive, and still give away love.
I’m blown away by how he’s forgiven those who may have not treated him well in the past. While he may hold resentment for a little while (y’all know he does with me whenever I leave him), he ultimately forgives and sends them love.
In the long run, practicing forgiveness towards others, and especially ourselves, is a step forwards towards leading in love, and releasing the baggage of hate that brings us down, no matter what the situation.
Lead Through Love
If there’s anything this world needs a little more of, it’s love. The power of love unites us together, and is a powerful source of healing and growth.
In order to give others love, we need to love ourselves first. I know, how many times have you heard that line already??
But it is so important. There’s so many ways to practice self love, and it looks different on all of us. For myself, it’s practicing yoga, reading, spending time with Michael, and especially spending time with him on the beach! It’s so important to carve out time to take care of yourself- otherwise, why would you show up if you have nothing but love to give?
I continue to be inspired by these individuals with the beneficial values in life they have to offer. Experiencing the world while living with someone like Michael reminds you to fully appreciate what you've been given in life, and to look at people with a more open perspective— all while being guided by love.