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A Tale of Me & Us: how I learned to Taste the Pure Joy of Partnership.

 

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Part I: Me. 

This is a real-life love story. Because it’s real, it starts with me.

With my song, my heart, my pain, and the possibilities that were pressed from the darkness. It starts with me, perched at my desk on a February evening, when the breeze is especially warm and mysterious.

It moves me. And I notice a certain lightness in the air that streams in through my wide-open windows with the sweet promise of spring after the bone-depths of icy-cold winter.

Oh, yes…

The warm, flirtatious breeze strokes my cheek, and with a seductive lilt, it whispers through the strands of my already messy hair.

It dares me to dance with it. So I do.

I smile and see that something feels possible…something that didn’t before.

My heart—once broken, once shattered, once walled-off and bitter—well, she isn’t hurting so much anymore.

I’m doing what so many of us do: we take the ache and make it into honey. Into gold. Into the thick, wild promise of a new life.

We take the impossible and make it not only possible—but beautiful too.

And I know, healing can surely feel awful sometimes. But I’m learning lately that it can be smooth and natural, too.

‘Cause right now, I don’t move mountains. I don’t shove or force or push my way through anything, as I’ve done with many obstacles before.

I get sweet instead. I get sensually, erotically, completely here. I trace the outline of lips with my tongue and feel the pleasure in my fingertips flicking the keys. I feel my thighs draped against the thick wooden flesh of the chair.

Then, I sit utterly still. Yet, so much happens in the landscape inside.

A delicate fog passes by me. And even though there’s bright joy budding inside, there’s also the vapor trail of my old hurts and fears—’cause, well, they still haunt me sometimes.

They smell heavy and humid, like regret and washed-over pain and all the ways the past spills like noxious ink into my thoughts when I’m not looking.

The groves are deep and well-worn, and I have rehearsed them and piled up evidence accordingly. Like many things derived from traumatic experiences, the fog-like curls of my fear didn’t come out of nowhere, they were inspired from real-life events. And from the tangles of that searing pain, a belief emerged—a belief so entrenched I couldn’t even see at first all the ways it held me back.

For so long, I believed that I wouldn’t ever have love.

See, I believed I could have a cool career, kick-ass friends, and lotsa fun with my writing. I could have success in these ways, but love, no—it wouldn’t be there.

It would always elude me.

I would always be a little lonely—longing for someone to kiss my forehead before I fell asleep and someone to wake up next to. Someone to make me tea, as we’d hold our faces over the curls of steam and smile in the raw, innocent beams of of morning sunlight as our lips gently embraced.

I would always be a little lonely.

Other people would delight in their happy unions, and I could be joyous for them when I didn’t feel the sting of jealousy.

But love wasn’t for me. And sure, if I happened to have it fleetingly, it would hurt and not be remotely joyous at all.

That’s what I thought I deserved.

The sands shift, time widens, the past fades away—and I’ve changed so much.

I’ve worked through the scabs of my oldest wounds, the bitter depths of worthlessness, and so much is different now. I’m still getting used to it. My old belief slowly peels back, and in the warm sunlight, the skin beneath is revealed.

It feels raw and just-born…very new.

Part II: Us. 

My beloved man, you are here. You are making green tea for me in the morning as I linger in bed, pressing snooze several times before rousing from the sea of covers that still smell like you, like the sweat and beauty of our kisses from the night before.

Our love is not perfect.

But it is ripe and it sings of spirit—and I love you. You love me.

And while we have our bumpy stretches sometimes, there is so much brightly-flavored delight. There is cozy simplicity that fits like my favorite fuzzy sweatshirt. There is the feeling that you are my best friend. There is a visceral sense that you will be there—when I really need you and I’m most afraid to admit it, to myself and to you.

My old belief begins to crumple, and the fog-like fear becomes smoke as the past burns away. The future becomes clearer.

I begin to taste this so-called impossibility that I thought I was too broken to experience: the pure joy of a healthy partnership.

And I like what you say about love, my dear. See, I always thought it was based on passion, a certain shot of euphoria that ensnared us, if we were lucky.

But I like what you say. To you, love is about choice—and the freedom in that choice. Love is to choose someone over and over and over again. It is boldly acting loving, even if the sparkly, giddy feeling isn’t there for a day, a week, a year.

When the feeling of our affection is bubbling and obvious, that’s when it’s easy.

But it’s another thing altogether to show up sweetly for our beloved when things are hard or uncertain. You say it becomes all the more precious then. Caring anyway. Being gracious and empathetic anyway. Extending ourselves anyway. Being vulnerable anyway.

I adore this.

This idea that love is enduring. That we can create it, like the slow carving of a masterpiece. That it can be sustained through conscious actions, healthy commitment, and heartfelt care.

I think that’s sexy.

Because it is hot and brave to show up for each other when we’re angry, when we’re scared, when we’re uncertain—and heck yeah, when we’re excited and life is good, too. It’s amazing to not run away.

I’m learning so much. And as we learn, we often realize what we don’t know. And in many ways—I don’t really know exactly what love is, but I know I’d like to find out with you.

I’d like to forever explore the vastness of what we’re creating together, my dear. We laugh so much, so hard that we cry. We look at the buttery pink glow of the sunrise and you sip coffee, as I sip tea, as we eat bagels and just give ourselves to each other in words, in gazes, in kisses, in touches, in the heartfelt caresses of our loving whispers as they graze our ears like the petals of a fresh, dewy flower. And it’s not just flowery romance—it’s the bone-deep, solid respect we have for each other, too.

And yes, I’ll admit, my old belief is still there sometimes. It’ll flash real quick in my mind—that I’ll never really find love. It likes to perk up when fear is sharp and raw in my gut, when we’re smack-dab in the middle of an argument.

And I’ll get the urge to run away, to just say, “F*ck it—it’s not like this will ever work anyway.”

But something is present now that wasn’t before. There is spaciousness. There is knowing. Trust.

There is me, wiser than before, taking a big breath that fills me with a gorgeous wave of slow, confident calm.

And…

I know that I am not too broken to be happy.

I know that I am meant to love. I am meant to love really hard, super tenderly, and with great joy.

I am meant to taste love in its totality—the peaks, the valleys, the day-in, day-out, the difficulty, the pleasure all of it.

I know I can have love, experience it, soak it in, both give it and receive it.

It’s all the more precious, see, because I know the fires of hell. I know the pain, disappointment, and betrayal. So do you.

So I open. You open. We open to the stars, to God, to each other, to ourselves, to the quivering hills of the universe itself.

We shake and groan and grow together.

A new belief forms as the warm, seductive February breeze dances on my cheeks.

It emerges, from the sand and sh*t of it all—

Love, not as The Fantasy, The Perfection, The Everything.

Love, not as elusive or impossible, dark, smothering or twisted, either.

But maybe love is the sweetness we craved for so long.

It’s the kindness of our caring words and supportive embraces.

It’s the heavy, rain-drenched fertility of plants in the middle of May and the balls it takes to trust ourselves—and each other.

It’s the pieces of my once-broken heart growing into something new.

It’s the way our bodies feel at ease as we fall into the starry palms of sleep at night.

It’s the way you hold me when I cry.

It’s the way I listen when you’re hurt.

It’s the way we’re in this together.

It’s the way we tenderly choose to return to each other—again and again and again. Every day. Every morning and every evening.

It’s all the fear and delight it is to let someone in.

It’s the thing I thought I could never have. It blooms before me now, a rose-like miracle.

It’s when you look at me and say—

I love you.

I’m here.

And I swear, a thousand wounds can be healed in those two sentences alone.

~

author: Sarah Harvey

Image: @walkthetalk/Instagram

Image: YouTube

Editor: Nicole Cameron

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hollyflemons Feb 19, 2019 1:35am

This was so beautiful and powerful to read. Thank you.

Jasmine Bellamy Feb 14, 2019 3:18pm

Beautifully powerful. You perfectly captured what’s in my heart. Thank you.

Julianna McConnell Feb 14, 2019 7:41am

I relate so well to your version of love. Makes so much sense to me coming from trauma, and learning how to now embrace love in my life. Thank you for this. Great read for the morning of Valentine’s Day.

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Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey resides in the mysterious mountains of western North Carolina. Through the journey of healing her own trauma and pain, she has found power in poetic expression, art, and dance. She loves supporting people to step into their power, find their voices, and flourish. She believes in resilience. She believes that sometimes, our darkest days lead to the most unexpected, breathless joy. She currently offers life coaching sessions and is pursuing her Masters in Counseling. She feels most passionate about supporting those healing from trauma with a creative, heartfelt, and gentle approach.  Follow Sarah on Facebook and her website!