I loved with every last atom in my body and by the age of 26 I was bankrupt. The vault in my heart was emptied and resentment moved in. That lowly currency called Regret filled my pockets.
I will not be fooled again. I will not fall for your lies anymore.
I chased after the unreachable. An illusion called love. Or at least what I thought was love. I believed if I gave it all, then love would be reciprocated. So I stayed. Even when I knew it was time to leave. Like a prisoner in isolation, you get used to the numbness. It becomes normal. I stuck around even after my release date because the unknown is scarier than the pain of disregard.
This time will be different, I said time and time again. Only to experience the same fate of previous encounters. I was a train with no brakes headed for the end of the line.
Jump out! Save yourself! But my legs were stuck to the floor… Until I crashed.
How many of you have been to the land of Hurt? That place deep within the heart where pain is most pronounced. Have you loved and lost, gotten back up, and lost again? Gravity has never been beaten. What goes up must come down, and what is held tightly soon crumbles.
This time I will stay on the ground. I will not get up. I give up! That’s when the most unexpected thing happened.
I crashed. She sat down next to me and listened. Her eyes gazed at me with empathy and I felt safe. It was not the first time she had done this. Heart break after heart break she took on the role of loving friend. She allowed me to drop truck loads of anger and disappointment at her feet. She helped me clean up the mess, never asking for anything in return. She mended my wounds with her kind words and provided a glimmer of hope with her presence.
It was then that I stopped trying to force love and allowed it to flow through me instead. Her love for me poured into my heart like a hot spring and I became aware. I finally understood that love is a river. I can fight the current all I want, or I can allow it to lead me.
Lust and Love are not synonymous. Pride and conquest are not equal to humility and acceptance. Chasing after love and living out love are two different things.
I was defeated and humiliated. Only then was I ready to accept the healing power of surrender. I no longer needed to prove myself; to demonstrate my strength or cunning wit. It is when I arrived in the land of Vulnerable that I found what I was seeking. That place where nakedness is exposed and the fiction of who I portray to be is unmasked. What is left after this undressing is what I call true love.
In that moment I kissed her. And to this day I have not stopped.
Note: featured image by Wanessa Clajus