What if I told you I do not really miss you? How, in bed I never creep to the side where you used to sleep or wish that you were still here with me. What if I do not wake up from nightmares that you are gone because your absence is my reality? What if I let go of you the way you let go of me? Some may call what has happened, mandatory redirection. They will tell us that we were not capable of love from the start. They will say the more we try to fix things, the more we will inevitably get lost. The problem is, you were already broken. Before you came looking for me you neglected to find yourself. All your energy spent in the wrong direction–trying to be “all things” to somebody else. If I have learned anything, I know now that I am equally responsible. I used to think I needed to compensate for the missing pieces you brought to my table. Believing I was the compass that would help you get where you needed to go. No one on this Earth can fill these heavenly holes. In my dreams, I question my own misguided actions. I do not try to carry your weight anymore. And in my aggressive quest for my own wellness; I am determined to show you, my jilted lover–to the door.
Better out than in they say, but dysfunction takes a long time to finally break. In my earnest endeavors to ignore the functionality of my pain I grew hard in ways that will never get better unless I commit to change. So I take steps away from thoughts and feelings that trick me into believing that other people are my problem. The only person I have the power to correct or control is me. In reality, even I carry the mistake of thinking that I am invulnerable. The truth is I am wounded, and in need of healing. Things that are broken can never operate at their original capacity. Cracks allow doubt and shame to seep through. Trouble is a constant barrier and denial is a coping mechanism. But if I take the time to address the scars I habitually covered; if I make it my business to come face to face with the dysfunction I wrongfully clung to–then maybe one day there can be healing for you, too.
I remember being assured that failure was not a permanent disposition. That mistakes made in earnest pursuit of the truth would eventually take me to the right place. Still, I endeavored to perfect my ability to get it right the first time. Who wants to drop the ball or try and then fall when there is an option to be the best at everything?
In early grade school I believed that I could handle it all. In time I learned that I had a broad aptitude for many different subjects, semi-athletic skills and a mouth that could fill in the remaining gaps. What I lacked, however, was that one specific thing that I could claim was meant for me.
Some people ran faster, scored higher and knew exactly what was in their destiny. I envied those with their heads on straight and dreams that were supported by their perfect families. I could not understand what made me different or why the idea of excellence seemed so far away.
I had a hard time believing that what was special about me was the fact that I was not the same.
As a parent now I urge my daughter to celebrate and learn from her mistakes. Perfectionism is a crippling disease and I vow not to let her inherit what I have had to learn the hard way. We all need to get more comfortable with the truth of our individual and beautiful flaws.
The truth about perfection, is that nobody is perfect at all.
Bear with me,
I carry the effects of my poor excuse for a memory. I may not remember everything but I always feel the pain in my body. It aches behind my eyes and in spots I cannot place. I try to sleep it off but it is with me when I awake. I wonder, what good is remembering the past if you fail to learn from your grief? How do you fight for something when you’ve begun to lose all belief? The mind plays tricks–looking for cracks to disprove what experience taught. Trust is the confident arrow aiming to break your fragile heart. For so long I fought against creating a life of my own. But I am a community, I am a building–A vacant chair in an empty home.
They said I don’t really need you.
What I need is understanding and a patience that most people have forgotten to treasure. What is wrong with doing it my way if my direction keeps us together? Maybe this room is not big enough, and this chair is too small. Maybe we are not meant to be a community after all. I do better when time passes and I have learned to play my part. We deny truth in favor of doing the right thing.
But what good is your pride, valor, or integrity if they all keep you away from me?
We tend to ask questions when we already know what we need.
Several bouts of loneliness later, I endeavored to stop trying. I realized I am stuck in my ways, and fitted with an intense stubbornness that will not acquiesce so easily. Maybe if we met 10 years ago you could have “saved me” from myself–as men so often claim to do when women are being unreasonable. But now–now, I am content to build my castle with the debris from every failed relationship behind me. I do not understand the concept of prince charming. And I have no reservation about taking care of my own responsibilities.
Most importantly, I do not want anything that does not want me.
What is mine however, falls under the wing of my intention. I am part lover, all-fighter and sometimes both roles demand emphasis. Love does not just exist when we are madly locked in a passionate embrace. It does not trifle with temporary.
Love says, “I woke up early to make you breakfast in preparation for your meeting”.
Love commands your attention when you forget why you are fighting.
Love says, “I choose YOU,” over other people, over my doubts, over this ugly mess we created.
Love is continually choosing US over EVERYTHING.
….Emphasis on continually.
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See You There!
Perhaps you will not have to brace yourself for impact. We know how all things that are not meant to be end. At the beginning, we are so full of wistful expectation that we fail to see the oncoming doom in all its glory.
You were not meant for me.
I whisper this thought internally, because saying it out loud will force me to accept its reality. If I keep it to myself–maybe we can escape the anger and pain that comes when people disappoint you. Maybe being silent keeps us of ignorant of the truth.
But we both know this isn’t true.
Instead, silence rears its ugly head at the exact moment you need to speak. It glances over restoration and latches onto apathy. Now I do not care to fight anymore or try to make things work when I have given all I’ve got and you sat there unchanging.
Famous for painting pictures that no one else can see.
Pity comes from a place of superiority. You “feel bad” for someone–but fail to see how close you are to your own painful story. I was broken in ways that I will never repeat.
Now all I want is to be set free.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news in my own expectations or the facilitator of less than my absolute best when I am actively pursuing my dreams. I want to grow tired of the lies I sell myself and follow my heart as it leads me to truth. But it takes so much more than hopes and good thoughts to inspire lasting and effectual change.
Sometimes, you have to break down completely before you will ever follow through.
I am not infallible. Every day I wake up just like you with a choice to do better or to stay statically still. I could go on and on about the times I wasted or the balls I let drop while the world around me refused to stop–but none of that will matter unless I choose to make a difference now, for me.
When you are not emotionally connected to your actions, you will continue to fail without any regard to who you are taking down with you. You will emote and feel things deeply but forget that it is not all about your problems. It is about finding a path in the middle towards achieving and maintaining peace. Peace that can not exist if we are constantly fighting.
I do not want to hear “suck it up” when the truth in love inspires us to speak words of healing over people who are truly suffering. There are a thousand ways we can say the same thing without wounding sensitive spirits with our harsh expressions.
Some days this is harder for us to do–but the most beautiful things have a way of happening in spite of you.
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– Jen Cosby