Short back story: I got on a dating app, met some really top notch guys who have given me the sweetest most genuine love that I’ve maybe ever felt.
One morning, Brandon texted me, “Good morning sunshine!”
I read it and just GLOWED!!!
It made me feel SO good!
And then I just shattered. I broke into a million pieces. I sobbed for an hour straight! (My kids were at the neighbors that morning.)
I told him it made me cry.
Then he asked the question,
“Has it been a long time since a guy was kind to you?”
Que the water works.
I didn’t even know.
I didn’t know how long it had been.
I didn’t know how good it could feel.
I didn’t know how starving and depleted I’ve been for love and a kind word.
I didn’t know how much I wanted to be appreciated.
I didn’t know how long I’d gone without being special to someone.
and I cried and cried and cried.
It’s been so long.
It’s been forever! even my childhood was this way.
As I think about it now, I recognize how toxic “love” can be when it’s not love.
When it’s self-fulling, when it’s out of deed, when it’s an act of self-righteousness, when it’s self-centered, when it’s withheld or used as a tool of manipulation or control. When it’s anything other than loving and lifting the other person.
Love is given without reward.
Love is holding space for another, or for self, because self love is probably even more important than loving others – because it all starts there. Love is kindness.
As I reflect on my story, I recognize all the people throughout my life who used me as a stool to boost their own level of goodness by being someone they could “serve”. I call BS!!
Going years and years being gas-lighted and made to feel that I had to figure out the puzzle to receive the love I was desperate for, made to feel I wasn’t deserving or good enough. That when I acted in ways that others didn’t “approve of” or meet their requirements then I was shut out and turned away.
All I wanted was to be seen, accepted, and loved.
But in my experiencing the lack of that from others taught me that I wasn’t even worth giving that to myself.
That’s a hard way to live.
These last few months have been so eye opening, healing, and good to me.
The simple comments that people offer up, the expressions of love and friendship. People sharing with me the value I add to their lives. Others sharing with me that I have worth.
There aren’t enough thank yous in the world to express my gratitude.
I wish it just fixed it all… that I could just be whole now.
That I could love myself.
That I could be happy.
But it’s hard.
There’s so much hurt. and people that are still hurtful.
It’s a journey I’m willing to travel.
I don’t know where it will take me, or how it will end.
To be really loved is such a foreign concept to me… how can I even accept that in my life. Is there even anyone that can and is willing to hold space for me while I learn to navigate that new reality?
I don’t know.
But I hope that even if no one else is willing to believe in me, that at least I can learn to believe in me.
And that I can learn to love, for no other reason than the fact that everyone deserves to be loved. Including me. Despite what my life has taught me.
and everyone deserves kindness.