You came into my life like a swirling whirlwind of amorous devotion—wooing me, charming me.
You whispered to the darkest, most hidden parts of me—you made them wake up, roused from their sleepy hollow and they ventured out, slowly, bit by bit, afraid of the light and of the way they would appear to you—intense, painful, unacceptable.
You found me, but I pursued you, relentlessly, endlessly. My soul wanted yours long before our lips met. I’ve always gotten what I’ve wanted, no matter how dangerous the fire of my passion, the object of my need, was. I wanted you, heedlessly.
I fell face first into you, my heart was yours. In one night I committed my soul’s devotion to you, told you the rules of engagement so that you wouldn’t hurt me, burn me, steal me away from the purpose I’d found of two years of solo wandering, alone, independently.
In that moment I lost my independence.
I sensed in you, an ability to hold and carry me through the dark days loomng like black clouds in the horizon. Heavy and hard, weighted with the pain of the ages, the tears of the sky would be equal to the tears I poured out when I was with you, the tears you somehow ever so gently, and skillfully, unlocked. These tears were a gateway to the little girl inside, who was afraid, lost, abandoned, neglected, who lived in terror that she would never be good enough for you.
In the years that followed, endless tears fell, and I blamed it on depression, on my ancestral promise of mental illness, on the path my life was taking which felt old, stale, trapping. I lost myself in negativity and never saw the gift of love staring at me, begging to be claimed. All I saw were my demons, projected onto you.
I became a victim of my past, and of the future I fearfully imagined, day in and day out.
In the midst of my tears we celebrated our love, we danced, oh we danced, we made love under every tree, by the water where we both loved to swim naked, we climbed mountains and sang songs and we held each other close. Like two vines entwining, we wound around each other, tight knots that would prove impossible to undo, at least for me.
Reality crept in, pressure came and went and still I cried, wept, complained, found every fault possible in our perfect love, petrified and driven by my fear of being abandoned. My anxiety mounted as my love and commitment grew. By the end, it was impossible to distinguish between my need of you and my love of you.
And, of course, we broke.
No man can take that pressure. No man can take the fears I created ever so artfully, carefully aimed at your own heart, where doubts began to fester in you, too.
We took the adult plunge—we travelled, we changed careers, we lived in one home, we threw all in and signed over the last of my independence to the unknown future.
And I unraveled.
I came undone, in that moment of giving up what kept us together—our separateness.
I began wanting to control the uncontrollable, and in my fear, I the one who showed me the deepest, kindest, most gentle and healing love.
And now my heart lies within my chest like a pile of ashes, a wasteland, a no mans land.
I tell myself it would never have worked, that we were too different, that our paths didn’t converge. I soothe the crying little girl inside, the one who is now satiated because her fear of being left is no longer plaguing her. Instead she now lives with the fear of not surviving, never being loved so well and artfully again.
In the darkest days I call upon myself who knows yourself and I ask for mercy and grace. I seek forgiveness within and without.
I count my regrets. Over and over again.
I regret that I dived into you so deeply without coming up for air, suffocating myself, suffocating you.
I regret that I spiralled into negativity, spurred on by my inner voice that whispered, “this is never going to work out, why try?” I regret that I bought into these belief systems, wholly and blindly, ruining myself.
I regret that I allowed too many tears to blind me of your love being offered so freely, selflessly.
I regret that I allowed my fear to blacken even the brightest moments of joy.
I regret that I tried to wrap you tighter and tighter into me, that I built walls around us to keep out the inevitable, never giving you the space to move, breath, be.
In these regreful moments, I remind myself of my bravery. The courage it took me to plunge into you, to do this deep dive. To explore the darkest realms of my psyche with you, my light warrior. I pride myself in how I opened my heart to you completely, 100 percent.
I did not hold back in my vulnerability.
Yes, I fell into you, but in that falling I learnt so much about myself. I learnt how soft I am—how my sharpest edges are tempered with love, how well I love.
How I built you up into the god you are today, the god you have always been.
Of how I fostered the truest and deepest intimacy.
How I met you in my truth, every time.
How I stepped over the lines that divided us, and reached my hand out, proffering peace, humbling myself and putting my Ego far, far away each time we fought.
How I believed in us. I remind myself of how I fought for you, like I’ve never fought before for anybody.
Yes, I clung. Yes, I sinned. Yes, I became dark, dreary, desparing, draining. I bled you of your life force until you had to escape.
But underneath it all, I was brave. I was honest. I believed. And most of all, I loved you. Harder than I’ve ever loved. I split apart and now I lie open, bare.
Ready. Ready for something new to take root.
And I seek the strength that I know lives at my core, whispering not give up. That I will be loved again one day. That it may be you, my love, once I’ve learnt how to take my own hand and lead myself with gentle compassion, love and respect right back to my true self, beneath my fear and the pain of loss. Once I’ve learnt how to love the little girl inside myself as well as the woman I’ve become. To care for myself, to nourish myself. To stop looking for someone else to love me and to somehow access that divinity inside.
Once I’ve learnt how to let go, forgive, forget the hurt of the past, once I’ve stopped clinging, stopped feeding the wolves who tear at me with fangs of anxiety.
Now, I have to take care of myself, and most of all, forgive myself. I have to learn this painful, difficult lesson of loss—learn how to rebuild the negative patterns now that my soul lies fallow, ripe, ready for new things to take hold and grow, positively.
Every day needs to be a step toward healing, toward letting go of fear, negativity. Every day I have to practice opening my heart to love—keeping the window open despite my terror.
Next time, my love needs to be more free, less anxious, more awake, more aware. I wish to never again project my fears of the future and burdens from the past, colour the rainbow prisms of our love.
And so, you will always be my greatest regret, and my greatest lesson.
Author: Margarita Stoffberg
Image: flickr/Danielle Elder
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock