I loved a man once...
He was a breath of fresh air during a time in my life when I was surrounded by smoke. I was choking and his presence was like oxygen. And I... inhaled. Deeply.
His patience and his arms enveloped me like a warm blanket on a cold winter night. I felt cared for. He made love to my entire being without needing to touch me. Yet, he touched me... with his heart. His love touched me. He showed up for me in ways that I’d never experienced prior to knowing him. Loving him was something, but being loved by that version of him, was heavenly. He was my David. And I was his...
I. Was. His.
When I looked into his eyes, I saw the man he longed to be. Not the man he once was. I saw his dreams materialized. With each glance into his soul, I could see every hope of his take form. I knew he could do or be anything God purposed in his heart.
He just needed a champion; someone who understood his purpose, believed in his dreams, supported his efforts and was equipped to execute his vision. He needed a visionary and a partner.
And I needed a sanctuary; a safe place. Somewhere sacred where I could finally rest and uncover my vulnerabilities and my wounds that had yet to heal, without fear of being preyed upon or exposed. I needed a covering. Protection. I wanted assurance that the hell I had previously endured would never reoccur. Not on his watch. Not by his hands.
And so, for a season, we became that for each other or at least we tried to. We had a wild and glorious ride, filled with more peaks than valleys and although few and far between, the valleys were deep. They were low. They were hard! We held on for as long as we could... until the rope binding us together began to unravel.
Despite the love and the exchange of passion between us, I guess, in the end, we proved to be too weak to hold on any longer. And we became, what we swore we would never be... a source of pain for the other person.
What was once a burning flame, became a massive wildfire. Uncontainable and inextinguishable; burning everything in its path. All the joy, the trust, the laughs, our hopes for the future, our plans and the peace we once shared was gone; we lost everything in the fire. Everything that meant anything.
I stood there and watched it all go up in flames, feeling helpless, because I knew that in those moments, we were like accelerant to each other. Every attempt to extinguish the fire, only made it spread. We were surrounded by nothing but embers and ashes.
I shed lots of tears as I grieved the loss of what was, as I felt the gut wrenching pain of what would never be and as I came to terms with the fact that I, too, played a major role in the issues we had that ultimately, led to the demise of our relationship. I struggled to accept that in this instance, love alone, was simply not enough.
It hurt. God, it hurt so much, because I couldn’t forget what was... the promises made and the memories created - I couldn’t erase it all from my mind nor my heart. I knew who we were and I believed in what we had. The moments shared between us were so very real to me, but there were times when I asked myself if it was all a dream. If I had imagined it all. How do you recover from the loss of a love like that?
Have you ever had an ache so deep that you could actually feel the weight of your own heart? A longing for someone so powerful that you wandered aimlessly, going about life on autopilot? Almost like, you’re missing a part of yourself - a vital organ that your body needs to function properly. That’s how intense the pain was for me when we split. My vocabulary lacks the depth and range to be able to fully articulate the magnitude of that pain. It was different with him, because he was different. The agony was far and wide, lurking at every turn. It greeted me in the mornings before I even opened my eyes, it remained as a lump in my throat throughout the day and it pulled back the sheets at night when I crawled into bed. It invaded my dreams, converting them to nightmares.
I cried out for him. Sometimes silently. Sometimes boldly with my words and actions, I pleaded for his love in exchange for... everything. Anything. I bargained to no avail. I felt like a fool in many instances, but I put my ego and pride aside and I continued to pursue what I felt was my soulmate.
I bent until I broke.
One day, overcome with deep despair and with tears streaming down my face, I cried out to God and I told Him that I’d had enough. I petitioned God and asked Him to take away the love and desire for that man. I wanted to be stripped of the emotions and anguish. I decided that I no longer wanted to fight for a man who was unsure about me. I wanted someone who had the same will and endurance to make it work as I did. Someone who knew that even on my worst day, I was still worth it. I didn’t want him to fight against me. I wanted him to fight for me, just like I was fighting for him. I wanted a man who knew that he’d made the right choice, the best choice, in choosing me, even during hard times, because he had tangible evidence of all the many ways his life was enriched by having me as his woman.
Truth is, I was exhausted from fighting, from shadowboxing, because my partner was no longer in the ring. And so, I finally surrendered. One day, I woke up and I gave up. On the relationship and on the hope that he would someday become the man I needed him to be. That he would miraculously learn how to love me according to my love language and not how he felt I needed to be loved. Ultimately, I think we both needed to receive love in ways that were in direct conflict with what the other person needed. It wasn’t always like that, but it became our reality.
I didn’t need someone to buy me a house. I wanted someone who was willing to help me build us a home.
So, I prayed. I cried and I prayed. Hoping one day that my heart would get the memo and come in alignment with what my mind already knew - that it was time to let go. For real this time. No teetering between hope and disappointment. It was time to close that chapter. Not because there was ill will or a lack of love, but because suffering is not a prerequisite of love and loyalty. At some point, I had to stop competing, performing and waiting for him to choose me. I had to choose myself. Sometimes, things just aren’t meant to last forever. And that’s okay too. I can appreciate the beauty of the magic we created together and still wish him the best in his life, absent me.
I really want something more for myself. I AM so much more. I know that God has a plan for me. A plan to prosper and not harm me. I’m so done with being sick & “TIDE”! And so, the process continues as I work to become the healed, whole, happy woman I desire to be.
Yes, I loved a man ONCE...
After which, I decided to love myself TWICE as much.