"Now, before I launch into this, I have to issue a warning to anyone who is a parent, or who plans to be a parent, or who had parents. There's nothing like parenthood to make you really neurotic, as you worry about the consequences of your every act, thought, or omission... You only want perfection for the ones you love beyond words, so you get nutsy at times."
Why just parenthood, I think loving can do that for any other form of relationship too. When I read about anything that could afflict someone - particularly these psychological stressors - my mind immediately starts building plans that my loved ones should and should not do to avoid being in the vicinity of such troubles. The problem with psychological things is that everybody has them - less or more, sooner or later. In fact, lay people are often advised to stay away from medical books and particularly WebMD. "It is a most extraordinary thing, but I never read a patent medicine advertisement without being impelled to the conclusion that I am suffering from the particular disease therein dealt with in its most virulent form. The diagnosis seems in every case to correspond exactly with all the sensations I have ever felt." And so, my mind immediately fritters away to defend the ones I care about from these demons I've freed. As for myself, I think about how interesting a case I must be to a medical practitioner.
But herein lies deep trouble. Love was supposed to be some kind of liberation, right? Do I not see myself smothering my loved one in the name of all that could go wrong? Where is freedom in this concern for their well-being? I would want the best, the most novel things and pristine experiences for my love, but life never happens the same way to any two people. We seldom know complete truths. So, if I warn them of what might lie ahead, do I not sully the nature of their experience? But if I don't and they get hurt, that would be terrible too. Love, then, as it appears from this low point, is like walking on blades. It cuts to walk and it cuts even if I just stand back. I used to believe that let them break a bone if it is fun. But, is it?
For now, I think, the best answer is to just be there - for better or worse. Being there matters.