It’s okay to love a monster. Love them with open eyes. Love them with a wish for what they could be instead. Don’t hope they’ll change; they won’t. Tell them you expect them to. Tell them you expect it because you love them. Love is a leash we tie to the people we care about. Remember that. You love them. That comes with boundaries.
It’s okay to treasure your monsters. They stand as a warning, a lesson you can learn through observation instead of practice. Turn their claws and teeth and spines away from you, and watch them. Pay attention. Lessons from monsters aren’t specific. Find the patterns. Study the systems. Guard yourself against walking a different, parallel path. Remember, when you can, to be grateful for what you took from their example.
Remember, always, that love can go both ways.
It’s okay to accept a monster. Embrace their strengths, their goodness. Show them where they are strong and good. If you can, cut them free of their patterns. If you can’t, let it be. Not all monsters are your monsters. Save your strength for the others. Accept the strength you get from yours. Learn from your monster how to understand other monsters. Remember that their wisdom may be false, but it could be a paving stone on the road to yours.
It’s okay to break bread with your monsters. It’s okay to take the shelter they offer. It’s okay to bleed when they do. It’s okay to mourn them. It’s okay to wish your leash had been stronger, or that you hadn’t needed it. It’s okay to need them, to accept their love, to hold tight to who they might have been, if they hadn’t been a monster.
But it’s not required.
Love is a leash we tie to the people we care about. You can let go of the leash and walk away. Do, if you like. If you must. If you are leashed in turn, walk faster. Pull the monster by the tether they’ve given you.
Remember that the world is kind to monsters. Remember that the world is cruel to them, too. Remember that there are others who fight monsters and someday, they might come for yours. Step aside, when the time comes. You don’t have to watch. You don’t have to help. Step aside. On the subject of your monsters, that will be enough.
Love your monsters. Slay the rest.
Have fun with your family this weekend.