I hesitate. Shit. I don’t want to do this tonight. Writing takes a lot out of me, as much as it feeds me, it also requires a lot of courage. My center aches, it’s angry and powerful. I am brave; and I am stronger than I ever wanted to be but this has become my life, a collection of strengths.
I am to the point where I scream at God, “Bring it on you Mother Fucker! How humble do you want me? (I can call my God a MoFo because my God can take my shit.)
It’s a game at this point: Life crushes me and I stagger to my feet. Love leaves me and I find another part of myself. Life betrays me and I learn how to trust. Each blow builds more character, more wisdom and a deeper commitment to my own wellbeing. I am learning to harness all the fuckery into something worthy of calling my own.
I can finally say–from the places where I hide—that I love myself.
I am proud of the person I’ve become. And for the first time ever people have to earn what I have to give and offer in all ways.
I didn’t get here alone. There are people around me who love me, and I used their love for me as a measure in which to love myself. And I’m not referring to romantic love, or familial love; I’m talking the pure, innocent love of friendship. Some of the brightest, kindest and most generous people love me. They supported, held and encouraged me, and they cheered me on when I couldn’t love myself. Accepting their love was also a way in which I learned to love myself. It’s much easier for me to push people away, but softening and allowing myself to be seen and vulnerable took a lot of courage. I had always been afraid that if others really saw me that they would see what I thought was the truth: that I am unlovable.
But I learned that this was just an old message I told myself as a kid to make sense of why I wasn’t getting the love I needed.
In my last post, “Primal Love,” I talked about how I was learning how to show up for myself when other people couldn’t give me the love I wanted and that by honoring my feelings around it was my way of not taking it personally.
I also mentioned my relationship with the Texan as a great way for me to practice detaching from other people’s decisions.
So here’s what I’ve been avoiding writing about: The Texan decided she couldn’t be in a relationship with me anymore.
In previous posts I’ve written about how when she and I first got together we had decided to become better people together, about growing up with each other, and healing. We were both injured and bruised but we thought we could make it.
We didn’t make it.
Her healing became more introspective than we had anticipated. She had nothing left to give and that wasn’t enough for me.
The hardest part for me was watching the life I thought we were building together come apart. It didn’t happen at once, but in small occurrences. The future I envisioned started to collapse. I couldn’t be the only one holding us in place.
And it took all my energy not to take it personally. I was fighting for my life, my sense of self-worth and lovability. The months leading up to our break-up were so confusing for me. She would say things like, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. You’re the perfect girlfriend. You’re everything I could ever ask for. I’m sorry I’m such an asshole.” And then she would pull away from me for days on end. It drove me insane, insane I tell you.
But that has stuck with me as reminder that her leaving wasn’t about me. She had to do what she needed to do to take care of herself, and that has no bearing on my lovability and worthiness as a person.
At one point she told me she was unsure of our future and then the next day talked about where we were going to live together. It was maddening. I stopped trying to understand the whys. I stopped trying to figure out what she meant and didn’t mean. It was just too painful.
I stopped trusting her love.
I started questioning if it was ever real. And that wasn’t helpful.
I didn’t want it to end. But I was hurting. I didn’t feel loved or appreciated. She was so self-focused (because of her own inner-work) that I didn’t feel seen or heard. The communication between us crumpled. She stopped talking to me about what was going on with her.
I wanted to be there for her but she didn’t/couldn’t let me. The more I pulled, the more she pushed. I felt bereft; like someone had taken something from me, and I felt rejected, abandoned and grief stricken.
But I persevered and kept trying and asking for what I needed from her but she said, “I don’t have it. I’m empty. I don’t have it to give.” And then finally I asked her, “Do you even want this relationship?” And then she admitted, “I don’t want a relationship with anyone.” I kept trying to figure out if she just didn’t have it or if she didn’t want to give it to me. It felt like she was being willful but it wasn’t clear. In the end it didn’t matter, and still doesn’t. It just gives my brain something unhealthy to chew on and that isn’t good for my soul. The important thing is that neither scenario worked for either of us and that we both did our best.
I don’t want to fight to make anyone stay with me. I don’t want to manipulate, control, cajole, or chase love and that scenario encouraged me to do those things. That felt awful to me.
I’m not that person.
I love myself too much.
The lesson I learned was invaluable. This whole situation gave me the opportunity to work on my sense of self-worth. I was able to really practice not taking her rejection personally. It was just too painful for me to–even for a second–consider the idea that I somehow was to blame for her lack of attention. Each time I felt myself suffering it was because I was in one way or another assuming the worst. I forced myself to take her word for it because anything else hurt too much. I had a choice. I could choose to believe my old childhood story that says I’m not lovable, or I could decide to call bullshit and re-wire my thinking. But it took a high-stakes situation like this one for me to be in enough pain to want to make a change.
And so for that I’m grateful. Even though I’m angry that I lost love again, I’m still grateful for her and for the love we shared, for the relationship we had; and the chance to be cracked open again to heal myself from the inside out, the new injury provided access to the old.
This is the only way for me to live—in search of the miracle. Life is too cruel otherwise.
Yes, my heart may be broken again, but a broken heart is an open heart and this only adds to my list of assets. I don’t know what to say anymore other than fuck it.
I am embracing my brokenness, for it’s my true source of strength. I am only as strong as I am humbled and weak. This is my nature. I’m a woman of heart, character and resilience, a collection of experience.
God has her hands full.
Thank you for reading and for being a witness to my life.
With much love and humility,