4.5
October 9, 2015

A Letter from a “Tough” Girl to Those who Love Me.

Juliana Coutinho/Flickr

Thank you. Thank you for your love, and most of all your patience with me.

I thank you for loving me when I sometimes don’t know how to accept the love you offer.

For loving me when I am difficult.

For loving me when I test your patience.

Thank you for challenging me in those moments where I just want to quit and walk away because I feel overwhelmed by emotions and life.

There are those of us who never learned how to receive that mushy, gooey, warm-fuzzy type of love you offer up. I am one. I just don’t know what to do with it. Maybe it’s conditioning, maybe it’s a dominant male energy—who knows.

Some of us were taught to show love in a different way. Some of us, not at all.

Be tough, I was told.

In my life it’s been the same story—when I fall, I tell myself “it will be okay.” I pick myself up and carry on. I watch my own back, and fight my own battles.

We didn’t do all the touchy, hug-it-out displays of love, although I have watched it unfold in movies and novels, and wished for it. And then you show up, offering just that type of love and sometimes I just don’t know what to do with it. I trip, I stumble. Sometimes I fall.

Sometimes it just seems like it’s too much. Instead of a caress or a cuddle, I want to make you dinner, to listen to you. Caressing softens me though, so I will promise to practice.

Now that you’re here to fight alongside me, to pick me up when I stumble, to hold me and say, “it will be okay,” I am glad. I must admit though, I sometimes don’t know how to let you do that.

And you understand this.

I see you dearest one, I see you and the love that you bring. It softens my tough exterior, and for that I am grateful for you. I need your help sloughing away all the years of tough, weather-beaten exterior. I’ve broken free as much as I can on my own, and now I need you to help me go further. I’ve gone as far as I can solo.

Left to my own, I have forgotten how to be soft. I knew once, but that seems a long time ago.

This softening up of my hardened exterior take time, and I patiently polish away at it the best I can. You are everything that I am not, as I am what you are not. This is why we balance each other and learn from one another. You teach me what I don’t understand, and this understanding cultivates more love.

I find myself a paradox now, soft and hard at the same time. I have found that when I acknowledge my true, soft nature, I find strength. When I stop denying this very nature in favor of a hard, tough, “you can’t touch me” facade for society’s sake, I find what strength really is. You have taught me that and I thank you.

It’s a conscious effort, allowing you into my heart. Not because I don’t want you here or because I don’t love you too. It’s just been a solo ride for so long, that sometimes I am afraid the world will think me weak if I accept all you have to offer. Sometimes I feel that I am letting you in as much as I can at the moment.

Maybe I am afraid I will let you down.

Perhaps that maybe you will leave me. 

How do I respond?

What if I fail?

Then I realize this is just pride. Our true natures are this very thing—this love, not this ego. I just lost it behind years of defenses and battles, hurts and scars. But the softness of my true nature is always there, I just need to set it free again.

This goes for all of us.

As we learn each others love languages, and pick each other up, I thank you, I honor you, I love you.

Thank you for not allowing me to scare you away. Thank you for giving me space when I need it to work something out on my own, or to just be with myself. When I need to be independent—which I know takes your own effort to let me—and you allow that process to happen, I thank you.

You are my dearest, and I love you.

Because I love you, I have allowed myself to need you.

 

 

Relephant Reads:

How to Love a Strong & Complicated Woman.

 

Author: Lindsay Carricarte

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Image: Flickr/Juliana Coutinho

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