*Warning: slightly naughty language ahead.
“I miss you,” he says, months after he walked away from me sobbing at the airport departure gate.
“I’m still in love with you,” he whispers, at a get-together where he brought his significant other to.
“I still think about you everyday,” he says, after months of not responding to my texts and desperate attempts for closure.
“No one loves me the way you do,” he says, after he has his heart broken by his next lover.
“I wasn’t ready then, but I am now,” he says, when he sees me smiling in a photo with a man that isn’t him.
Any of these sound familiar? Truth is, I could continue that list for pages.
All are excerpts from men I once loved, knowing exactly what to say to reopen the doors of my heart.
To welcome them back to a space they never earned in the first place, while I told myself the story that this time would be different.
Every single one of those texts worked. I’m not ashamed to admit that.
I don’t think taking people at face value is a flaw.
If you tell me you love me, I believe you. Or at least I did.
But my bullshit radar needs new batteries now.
I was allowing men to walk in and out of my life as effortlessly as I order a hot coffee on a cold morning.
Never questioning their intentions because I wasn’t being honest with myself about my own.
Boundaries are how we teach the world to love us. In order to set them, we have to love who we are at our core—mask and excuse-free.
I didn’t. My voice and heart were living on opposite countrysides. Completely out of touch and unable to speak my truth.
I went on a date last weekend with a man who checked all of the boxes on paper, but was never taught how to listen. He could recite every play of the football game that was on the TV, but would be at a loss if you asked him about the sparkle in my big blue eyes.
A quality I would have overlooked a year—heck even a month—ago.
Instead, when he went in for the kiss at the end of the night, I held the palm of my hand up and said I wasn’t interested, but I hoped he had a great night.
I don’t know who was more stunned—me or him.
Standing in my power felt foreign, too honest, and even more vulnerable.
I climbed into my car, turned the seat heater on, and let my head fall into the palm of my hands. The tears started to flow.
I’ve spent so many years walking toward love.
It was the centerpiece of every prayer, the ulterior motive behind every cute outfit, and the secret desire in every conversation that made my heart flutter with lust.
Searching for this imaginary ideal. I was believing the bullshit from the lips of others because mine were singing the same tune. Allowing the shallow, disconnected, unintentional communication to wash out the big, honest love my heart was asking me for.
Blaming the men and their undone work was easier than getting honest with the fact that, at the brute of this pattern, was a woman who didn’t believe she was worthy of being loved as expansively as she desires.
The broken links in the connections our world holds are often the ones that are still wide open wounds in our own spirit.
Asking for the love, forgiveness, and wide-open arms we are too quick to give the rest of the world—yet far too hesitant to give ourselves.
My heart is reconnecting with my voice and this is just the beginning of uncovering, loving, and healing the wounds.
But the one thing I’m sure of? I’m done with the bullshit.
Honesty, in its rawest, most painful form, holds more magic than sugarcoating ever will.