“Not everyone loves like you do, honey.”
I was 12 when my mama whispered those words for the first time.
My ears heard the words then.
But my soul feels them now.
I have always been stubborn.
Or, as my dad likes to coin it, a bullhead.
When I decide I want something, the fire in my soul defies all logic.
It is why I graduated college in three years.
And have owned two businesses by the age of 23.
It is also why I have fallen on the wrong side of unrequited love too many times.
It’s why I have allowed men to make a home in my heart with only their baggage and undone work in tow.
I fall in love easily.
Because I was gifted the ability to see through the dance we do for the outside world.
I meet heart-to-heart instead of face-to-face.
Diving deep into honest, open conversation as naturally as I breathe.
I don’t know how to live on the surface level.
I refuse to learn.
It’s my most abundant strength.
And my most crippling weakness.
It terrifies most.
Many men tell me they have never opened up about the things they feel safe sharing in my company.
The problem is…
I’m not their therapist.
I’m falling in love with the flicker of light I see in their soul.
Allowing myself to believe the sabotaging story that we hold the power to bring other humans to their light if we love them hard enough.
While they are enjoying the cozy, safe space with no intention of holding my heart as intricately and delicately as I do theirs.
I am trying to light their fire by putting out my own.
It’s a story I’ve played the leading role in too many times.
When you love this expansively, men don’t “end” things with you.
It’s almost as though your heart serves as the introduction to who they wish they could be, but the work that it requires demands you stay at arm’s length.
I love my heart.
It rivals the Atlantic Ocean in both depth and width.
It allows me to see beauty where many see brokenness.
But continuing to see the best in someone when they keep showing me their worst is not selfless or sexy; it is simply self-sacrificing.
Holding open space without demanding any of my own shines a light on just how big my worthiness wound really is.
Giving is not nearly as courageous as receiving.
The two were never meant to live alone; they have to dance to the same beat.
Knowing when to take the lead and when to softly follow.
The big love I’m so eager to give another soul is the love my own has never felt.
It’s why I can so effortlessly hold space for others to do their work.
Because the stillness requires that I do my own.
The man who gets to hold my heart for all my days will be loved with a fierceness that can’t be described.
My babies will have a mama who loves them so deeply they can’t find the bottom.
But, I haven’t even tapped into what that love will look like.
I have been hiding in the world to avoid sitting with myself.
What makes our light shine can also put out the flame if we don’t get in touch with our own heart.
So I’m having coffee with her this morning.
I’m doing my own work.
I’m learning the depths of my own soul.
So that I no longer feel the desire to offer it freely to all who enter with a charming smile and wounded spirit.
The only person I was ever meant to love the brokenness out of is myself.
Before I can learn the beat of another’s heart, I must first come home to my own.