His arms were a cloak that shielded her—not only from the rest of the world, but from herself too. His kiss was a breath of fresh air to her starving lungs. His gaze, which overlooked all of her scars, helped her to do the same.
His love felt like home, but it was merely a temporary shelter. She had to learn the difference between the two.
She had to learn that home is a place where she could safely battle those inner demons, not somewhere that she hid away from them. Home is where she could lay out all her scars, count them, examine them, sit with them until she was ready to release them. She realized that distracting herself from them did not mean that they weren’t there.
There came a time in life when she could not ignore the scars anymore. She knew that they would not go away until she gave them the attention they deserved. She could not heal or grow without facing herself and her demons.
And that is why, although the shelter of his love was beautiful and warm, she could not stay there.
She began to understand that the shelter he provided was built too quickly, rushed in anticipation of a coming storm. The foundation was shaky and the structure could only last but so long. It was not made to be permanent.
With this understanding, she found herself out in the cold, shaking and afraid. Sitting there quietly with her fear, she heard the voice of reason within her speak, “Now is the time to build your home. Do not go out and search for another poorly assembled shelter, built for you by someone else. Instead take the time, gather the tools, and lay the foundation. You have the blueprint already—it’s kept safely in your heart. All you have to do is put in the work, and be patient. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy or quick. I know it hurts, but now is your chance! Be grateful for this opportunity to finally have the permanent comfort of your true, forever home. I promise, it will be worth it in the end!”
Now she knew what had to be done. She did not stand; she did not wipe the tears from her eyes. Instead she sat there sobbing, shaking and digging deep into the parts of her heart that she kept hidden away for so long.
The pain was nearly unbearable, but as she pulled out those buried scars one by one, she began to find her strength. With each excruciating pull the veil that shrouded her light started to fade. For the first time in a very long time, she could see herself clearly.
Sitting there, surrounded by her demons and bleeding from wounds too long ignored, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath in. Exhaling, the pain and fear began to leave her body. As she opened her eyes, she smiled. Right there, in the midst of the chaos surrounding her, she found her blueprint.
In that moment, although her knees were still shaky and her cheeks still wet with tears, she stood.
As she walked closer to the demons surrounding her, they tried their best to knock her down and halt her progress. But she had found her strength, and they could not stop her anymore. As she picked up the blueprint of her true home, she could not help but to laugh aloud.
His arms were a cloak that shielded her from all of the things she needed to be exposed to. His kiss was breath of the stale air trapped inside the small shelter they shared. His gaze could never handle taking all of her in. His love felt like home, but it could not contain the magnitude of her truth.
This would not be easy, but she knew that the hard work put into building her home would only make it that much sturdier.
Finally, she was done with relying on someone else’s shoddy carpentry. Her incredible heart would finally have a worthy home, a place to fully heal.
Author: Katie McGee
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Mira Isara/Flickr