“Your naked body should only belong to those who fall in love with your naked soul.” ~ Charlie Chaplin
You stand and gaze at your body reflected in the mirror before you.
The body you just gave away again, even though you knew.
You knew he wouldn’t stay.
Your eyes follow the length of your collarbone to your shoulder, down your arm, the roundness of your breast, the subtle curve of your hip. The places where his fingers burned against you as he whispered futile promises upon the hungry needs of your neglected heart.
Yes, he saw your naked body—but he cared not for your naked soul.
Yet you are bound to your ocean of maybes. Maybe if he craves your body, he will ache for your soul. Maybe if he traces lines upon your flesh, he will trace lines down the spine of your ambitions, fears, yearnings and mysteries. Maybe if you give yourself away one last time, he will be the one to answer the question that has consumed your heart since you were a small girl who danced in a princess dress and a tiara—am I lovely?
For this is what you burn for. To have your question answered. To know you are worth the time it would take for someone to learn your soul, and to fall in love with it. To know you have captivated another with your very being. To be cherished, valued, protected.
To feel, for the first time in your life, completely and utterly lovely.
But your question was never answered as you twirled in your princess dress, or as you clumsily paraded in high heels, or as you adorned your face with blue eye shadow and gaudy lipstick. It was never answered as you traded your dress up world for your grown up world, as you strived, excelled and achieved in the hope you would be seen.
You were never told how lovely you really are. How much you are worth. And so you give yourself away in the hope he will answer your question. In the hope he will find you lovely. In the hope that, somehow, his fingerprints upon your skin will bridge together the abyss upon your heart.
But once again you are left alone, your naked body used to satiate the need of a silly boy who didn’t care to see your naked soul.
If only you could see.
If only you could see how lovely you are. The way your eyes carry the glow of a thousand fireflies. How your laughter fills the spaces of a broken chorus. The enchantment of your thoughts, delightfully articulated into words. Your heart, with all its intricacies and uncertainties; exquisite, rare, invaluable.
Maybe nobody ever told you.
But I’m telling you now.
You don’t need to give yourself away to find the answer to your question.
The answer is already there, staring back at you.
You are lovely.
Lovelier than you will ever know. Worth more than you will ever know. More important than you will ever know.
Wait for the one who falls in love with your naked soul. The one whose eyes will gaze beyond your flesh and into the entirety of you. Wait for him, for he will memorize the quickening of your heartbeat, hold close the rhythm of your breath. He will hear your unspoken words, dust the hopes hidden in your dark corners, and trace his finger along the stories you keep beneath your bones.
Wait for him—but not because he is worth it, because you are.
Author: Kathy Parker
Image: Steven Worster/Flickr
Editor: Renée Picard