You are brave to love us, the wounded—the ones hurt over and over but who still try to let love in. We are broken, healing and flailing, alternately lashing out and shrinking inside of ourselves.
The breaks make us run—we hide when people get too close.
And you are a warrior in your own right, remaining steadfast in your love for us.
We see you. And we’re scared of you.
You are a mirror to our deepest wounds and most unmanageable human traits. You unearthed the epicenter and brought us to our own attention.
And f*ck you. We are scared to death of what we might find.
We want to heal and be loved or we would not have called you into our awareness. We want to acknowledge our blindspots and face our shadows. We just didn’t expect it to be this arduous and painful.
We want the fairytale we were promised before life got messy. Our most connected moments with you are real. We want you and all the pure love you pour into our veins. Sadly we can easily mistake love for poison and nobody with an already weakened heart needs poison pulsing through their bodies.
We want to love you and reciprocate the grace you give us. We just can’t seem to soften our edges long enough to give our heartache a home in that grace.
In our darkest moments, we would rather be missed than loved.
To surrender to a love this great would force us to step into the ultimate exposure of vulnerability. We would have to abandon years of irrational stories used to keep our walls up. We would have to step into our power while bowing at the feet of surrender.
We want to, we just don’t know how.
Our hearts are a worn quilt: stitched and tattered with unraveling seams. And when we hold it up to show you, we shrink back, wondering how you can love and make sense of something we deem unusable.
Our cat-and-mouse game is an unintentional defense mechanism. While we scream for you to leave us, our heart is whispering stay.
Each time you open your heart to our darkness and allow our bodies to sink into the empty spaces between us, another brick is removed from our wall.
Each time you stay in our messiness, a patch is placed on our unkempt quilt. And although it is far from perfect, it is a masterpiece in the making.
But here’s the kicker.
This job is not yours—it’s ours.
External factors may have broken us, but only internal forces can save us.
You have work to do, too. We see it. And we hate that our typhoon of self-sabotage has become your quicksand, distracting you from inner peace.
Thank you for fighting for us and showing us our worth.
This simple, consistent gesture was the beginning of us fighting for ourselves.
Your love brought us to our knees, shining awareness on our most fragile, tender torment.
We see the things we project onto you. They are simply our deepest wounds begging to be healed. It’s easier to pretend you poured salt on them than to yank off the Band-Aid and stare at the flesh we keep hidden.
You are brave to love us.
We want to be brave, too.
Please don’t leave. Just hold us while we heal ourselves.
Author: Rachel Dehler
Editor: Sarah Kolkka