“Come with every wound and every woman you’ve ever loved; every lie you’ve ever told and whatever it is that keeps you up at night. Every mouth you’ve punched in, all the blood you’ve ever tasted. Come with every enemy you’ve ever made and all the family you’ve ever buried and every dirty thing you’ve ever done; every drink that’s burnt your throat and every morning you’ve woken with nothing and no one. Come with all your loss, your regrets, sins, memories, black outs, secrets. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than you”
It’s taken me twenty four years to realize that strength is not the absence of vulnerability but rather the ability to be in spite of it. A lot of us spend our lives trying to pretend we have no weak spots. I’m sure many people, like me, would rather everyone believed us to be made of stone; unbreakable, strong, super splendid lady cool we can’t even pretend to be.
I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember. In fact, I’m pretty sure none of my friends has EVER seen me cry. Does that mean I don’t cry, though? I wish! In fact I probably cry more than the average 24 year old female. And you know what I wish for every time that I cry? That it were someone’s’ shoulder I was crying on, instead of my pillow; that someone was hugging me instead of my teddy bear.
But the thought of letting someone “see beneath my beautiful” as it were, and then deciding they don’t like it terrifies me so much that it seems so much easier to carry my burdens on my own. So I hold everyone at arm’s distance and let them see only the beautiful.
The fear of rejection is real, apparently, and it holds us back from so much. Because the only thing worse than being hurt, is missing out on the joy of being loved both for who/what you are and who/what you are not. There’s no greater love than the love of a person who knows your good, your bad and your ugly and still thinks you are amazing. And every single person deserves this kind of love. The 1 Corinthians kind of love; the patient, kind, enduring, bears all things, believes all things and never fails kind of love.
Approximately two years ago, I made a promise to myself that no one would ever hurt me again. This decision sprouted from a series of events that happened between 2012 and 2013 which taught me that a lot of people were in your life when things were good but you could only count on a handful when it mattered. I must admit that this was quite a hard pill to swallow at the time. But over time, I learned to adjust my expectations of people. Ok, I lie. The truth is, I just learned not to expect anything from anyone. Which is how come everyone in my life ended up at arm’s distance. I powered through the setbacks and built a shield of armor around myself –a shield I wasn’t letting down for anything in the world.
Am I a better person for it? Not even. As painful as disappointment may be, it doesn’t even begin to compare to the void created when you block everything out. Because what they don’t tell you is that when you shut off the hurt and pain, you shut of the joy and happiness too. We don’t get to pick and choose which emotions to feel and which ones not to. When it goes, it all goes. I thought I understood this, at the time. I thought I was okay with not feeling anything. The pain of my last heartbreak was so excruciating that being emotionless seemed like a good deal if it meant I’d never get hurt again.
But that was then. I take it back. I want my heart back. My poem-writing, voicenote-sending, have-a-nice-day-video-making, ranting, nauseatingly lovey-dovey heart back. Because deep down, I never stopped believing.