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I met you at what I thought was the lowest point in my life, but I was wrong. I had ended a 10-year marriage with a narcissist. A marriage riddled with lies, infidelities, and gaslighting.
A marriage that broke me, but my brokenness had to be put aside. I was desperately trying to save a teenage daughter from the grips of adolescent addiction and shield two small children from the ugliness of divorce. When I met you, my world was gray, lifeless, and mundane.
I met you. You! And you were the last ounce of faith I had left in love. In you, I rested the possibility that there was still good in the world and that love was real—that You were real.
You were supposed to be my reward for all that I had been through. All the pain was going to be worth it because your words were going to give me life. Your touch oxygenated every cell in my skin, and your lips reignited my zest for life. Once again, I believed in love, I believed in us, I believed in you.
Every moment with you was effortless, simple, and natural. Your body wrapped around mine like the missing piece to my puzzle of happiness. You were where I belonged. I had finally found you—the one, my reward. But as patterns often repeat until the lesson is learned, this too had to come to an end.
The many months of this fairytale came to a halting end. You dumped me two days before our trip, with no warning. Sure, all the red flags were there, and this should have been no surprise, but I wanted to believe in love. I wanted to believe in us. I wanted to believe in you. But you left me for the next younger, prettier, talented thing that crossed your path. Once again, I was not good enough; I wasn’t worthy of being your everything (or anyone’s anything).
The darkness that followed engulfed me. I had lost my last ounce of hope in love. I lost my belief in kindness, in authenticity, in realness, in happiness. You shattered me to the core, and I was dead inside. I felt nothing but despair. Not even the love for my children could save me this time. The long sleepless nights ended as the first conscious breath penetrated my lungs like broken glass. My thoughts were flooded with images of us—images of you.
I sat with my pain and used it as a shield to keep away any light that tried to penetrate me. I walked around with it refusing to see anything but darkness. The weight that melted off my body left me fragile. It served as evidence to the world of my pain, and I could no longer hide it.
I drowned in despair, and not even anger was an option—not this time. My old friend anger had saved me so many times, but not this time. I couldn’t feel anger. I couldn’t feel anything but pain.
I looked back at my life, at all the events that lead me to this moment.
Was it my father’s abandonment that led me here? Was it is my stepfather’s intolerance of my existence? Was it the simple consequence of being the child of a teenage immigrant mother who never loved herself? Or maybe it was a culmination of a piece of me breaking with every XY chromosome that entered my life. The “Why” didn’t matter because it could not spare me from this pain.
The time passed, and the weight of the pain became unbearable. Life did not stop, despite me wishing it would a million times. I had no choice but to bury my pain. It, too, had reached its expiration date. And there, at the burial site of pain where all sorrow is laid to rest, is where I found it. I found the key. The key to spiritual awakening. The key that opened the door to my consciousness, to my awareness, to my soul, where all the answers resided.
You see, it was never you, my love. You did not do this to me. You didn’t break me. I was not your victim. I was no one’s victim. You didn’t come to remind me of my unworthiness; you came to remind me that worthiness is my birthright. I attracted you like a moth to a flame because the depth of your brokenness mirrored mine. The broken parts of you were not the pieces to my puzzle of happiness. They were a reflection of my broken pieces. The pieces that needed to be put back together to complete my puzzle of happiness.
And just like that, it all made sense. I created my life experience. I created you. And the only power you had in my life was the power that I granted you.
I decided to take your power away and embarked on a journey of self-love. It was never your job to love me. That was my job. And so that is what I did. I loved myself more than anyone ever had. I loved myself as hard as I wanted you to love me.
I loved my kindness, my sweetness, my grace, my elegance, my compassion, and my empathetic being. I loved my smile, my dainty hands, and petite frame. I loved the depth of my eyes, the silkiness of my skin, and the darkness of my hair. I loved every curve, stretch mark, and perfect imperfection on my body.
I loved all my past mistakes, all my transgressions, and every decision that I had ever made, including you. I nourished and worshiped my body like a temple that housed the most magnificent treasures—the treasure of my soul.
You see, my darling, my gift to this world is my capability to love.
I love unconditionally and with limitless depth. I love the sunrise as much as I love dark nights. I love the Carolina blue skies as much as the grey clouds. I love beauty as much as I love ugliness. And now, I love myself as much as I love(d) you.
As you once again attempt to orbit my life, I no longer attract you with my brokenness. Instead, I now repel you with my wholeness and love.
What is your gift to the world?
What is your superpower?
Maybe one day, you will also be broken into the darkness and find your key to self-love—the key to your gift to this world. Then, and only then, will you allow love in.
It has to be when you love you!