And I remember.
I remember all the ways I got lost in you—you who used to be my lover. You who tasted like night and danger.
That’s a frozen image I won’t easily forget.
And while it haunts me, it also blooms. And the plumes of my tears and the smoke…well, they serve as a powerful reminder of exactly how much I never want to lose myself again.
Not like that.
And I feel how much I’ve found myself since then.
And yes, I am scared to let another in. The volumes of terrifying history that could repeat itself loom overhead, like stacks of books that look like buildings.
I have a lot of evidence that says I should never trust men again.
I can cite it, hold onto it, heal it.
I can hate it, be enraged by the things that have happened to me and so many women I know.
I can be heartbroken by it.
I can also be inspired by it.
And I have felt all of those things, and sometimes a mixture of them swirls within me in the very same moment.
It’s hard to know how to make sense of trauma, which, by definition, makes no sense.
But I hold true to all I’ve learned.
All I’ve become.
All the ways I have learned to trust myself.
And that, well, that is the luscious pearl from which all else can grow.
That is the sweet seed to nourish and love as I watch it get big. Really big.
And I don’t want to be angry forever.
Anger has been so important for me—I have been charred and burned, and become reborn in the flames of the deepest pain.
I have cried the tears and licked seas and rivers of grief.
And maybe I will need to process more at some point.
But right now, I find myself in a strange new place.
It’s not familiar.
Because now the healing journey scales back in its intensity.
There is stillness. The air is calm, not the way it is before a storm, nor the way it is after a storm. It’s the way atmosphere feels in fall—crisp, sunny, and clear.
And now I want peace.
I don’t want to be angry forever.
See, I’m gathering new evidence. Evidence that is written in the sweetness of a man who treats me like gold.
There are no manipulations.
There are no insults.
Sometimes, we do argue, sure—we can get pretty fiery.
But I never fear him. Things never ever cross into toxic territory.
And this thing is happening—this thing I never thought I could do:
I am letting myself be loved.
I am letting myself be loved so thoroughly and gently.
I am letting myself surrender to the radiant arms of pleasure, to the hands of a man who knows just how to touch me.
And there is room for me to dance, to play, to be awkward, to be wild, to spread my wings in feathers of words. There is room to say the wrong thing and just be real. There is room to feel as much as I do, and gush my heart all over him.
There is trust.
It’s taken me a long, long time.
But I am learning to trust men again.
I am learning to trust one particular man who, in his beautiful heart, has cultivated integrity, love, joy, care, and the ability to be vulnerable in the sexiest way.
This confuses the hell out of my old beliefs.
And sure, friction builds sometimes. I feel it can’t be real. I wait for the pain to come, as it always used to. But it seems now, much of the pain is the sharpness of my expectations when I see now through the lens of what used to be.
And I didn’t know, I really forgot—there are men out there whose hearts run clear as the sweetest seas, who care, who are honorable, who are aligned with their purpose, and possess a deep, everlasting integrity and loyalty.
And to you, dear woman who is reading this and maybe healing from some awful sh*t, just as I am…
I know it’s so hard.
I know it can hurt so much.
But don’t forget.
Don’t forget that one day, if you choose to, you can be embraced by a lover who honors you, who cherishes you, who holds you like no one ever has.
And you can melt into the ecstatic beauty of it.
Knowing, really knowing,
how you took the pain
and made it into
And heck yes, I know how you’ve learned how to fight and protect yourself, because you had to—and that is brilliant.
Maybe with this love will be that long-awaited chance to set your blade down, unclench those exhausted arms and weary muscles,
And drip and soak in what it is to be seen—in your glory, your sweetness, your feminity, your grit and strength and courage and softness.
All of it.