but never by the same hand twice.”– Taylor Swift
I had just been broken up with, and one of my girlfriends once said to me “You’ll be okay. You’re the most resilient person I know.” Her comment was kind and thoughtful but my response to it was one of self-hatred. I scoffed and thought how I was really just not a very good dater and never learned my lesson on who to let in my life and who to keep out. I berated myself for being breakable, for letting someone else break me, and I was ashamed of my not so successful dating life. **Side note: what I saw as success in love THEN is so different than how I see it now.**
Deep down, though, I knew truly what the issue really was. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t put up fences and I couldn’t put up walls. It wasn’t so much resilience as it it was just my way of being. I couldn’t shut my heart off to love. To loving. To trying. To believing the best in someone until they showed me wrong.
It wasn’t that I was too naive or too dumb to see what was in front of me, it was just that I choose to see each person in their own light. What I did NOT do was see how those things actually worked or didn’t work in MY own life. I believed I could be enough, or SHOULD be enough for someone. As different as we were, if I liked them, they should like me. It was a matter of pride (…not very becoming, Faith. Not very becoming at all….).
And honestly, as I write that statement now, the word ENOUGH makes me wanna gag. And this was not one of those places where someone should be like “Oh Faith. It’s not that you weren’t enough, they weren’t enough for you.” BLECH, BLECH, BLECH. Those words are so ugly. So rude. So limiting and so cold.
“SHOULD BE ENOUGH.” ICK.
They put up walls. They breed resentful feelings. It’s not that you are too good or they are too good– some people just don’t fit in each other’s lives and rather than talk poorly about them, let it go. NOW, hold two shakes because I say, and let me be clear, I’ve done my fair share of smack talking about past relationships. Sometimes we say things so we can justify the bad to ourselves, so that we can accept that we weren’t at total fault or relieve pressure on ourselves, so don’t think I’m high and mighty about that either. But I hope I’m learning myself well enough to know that that’s what I’m doing when I talk like that and those are the feelings that come about with those terms. They breed resentment for yourself and for someone else. Breeding more self-hatred.
BUT in knowing that some people just don’t fit in your life, I have learned you have to know yourself well enough to know what kind of characteristics and what demeanor works well with yours, and a lot of times, that means going through a breakup to find out. To have experiences and be open to “failing.”
But to help yourself out, look critically at your friendships. I like to think I can connect with a lot of different groups of people. I’ve always been lucky enough to be friends with people from different age groups, cliques, walks of life, etc. There are a lot of people in this world like that. So use it! Look at your different friends, who you truly connect with, their differences with yours, and be honest enough with yourself to know which character types work well with yours. Which ones you turn to on a regular basis.
You don’t try to make your friends change in order to fit a certain kind of mold….so don’t do it with your relationships. See what’s in front of you. Love makes us do crazy things, it’s true, but understanding what real love is, comes from stripping away expectation, demands, a need to make them who you want them to be and thus ending up using them to make you feel worthy. STRIP IT AWAY.
I do believe I loved in my past relationships. Even people I dated for a brief second, I believe I loved them because they were human. They had their own walk of life, their own path, their own way. They were navigating their own realities. And I found inspiration in that to navigate mine. That is a different kind of love. That’s respect for humanity. What I find now and I believe I know this through observing my relationships with my family, my friends, my past, people that I just happen to be acquaintances with, I understand the love that I have in my own relationship now. How big that is. The relationship I choose every day. The love I choose because I refuse to build up walls. That I’m lucky enough to feel because I won’t put them up. But that I’m also lucky enough to feel because I know now what I will and will not allow in my life. And how lucky I am that he is choosing those same things in me every day as well. We love because we choose to, because we want to grow, because our characteristics and demeanors work well together (as well as that extra little spark that’s just so wonderful). How we are human and we will change every day, and struggle, but we allow that about each other.
BUT I do not expect and I do not need him to love me to feel like ENOUGH. He doesn’t need my love to feel like ENOUGH. That word will always put limits on each other and we are more than enough. We are limitless. Walls down and hearts open. And may our hearts always remain breakable. ❤