The love that makes you weak…and makes you strong.

The past couple of weeks I’ve started a bunch of blog entries about different things (and I’m sure most of them will appear in my blog at some point). I get like that sometimes – I get a bunch of different really good ideas in my head all at once and I start writing about all of them, but I can’t seem to finish any of them. Then something comes along that so strongly grabs me and forces me to listen, to think, and then to write, I find I have no choice but to acknowledge it here in my blog.

I am very happy to say at this time I am in a love relationship. He loves me. I am certain of this though we’ve only been together a few months. I am more certain of his love for me than I’ve been of some men I’ve been with for years. His absolute clarity in this area is one of the things I appreciate the most about him. It has never occurred to him to not demonstrate how he feels about me, in his actions as well as his words. There was never this huge melodrama for him when he first told me how he felt about me – of course he was concerned that I might not feel the same way but once I let him know I did, he has been refreshingly honest and open emotionally. In fact it is with him that I am starting to understand what love is about – about the openness and vulnerability and the level of strength that one must have to achieve the intimacy that is the oxygen that love needs to breathe.

drake quote

People always talk about how they aren’t going to let people hurt them after they end a love relationship that has gone badly. They build up all these walls, these defenses, these methods of keeping themselves from becoming close to others, and from letting others become close to them. They don’t fully commit to their romantic involvements, standing on the perimeters of their emotions, proud of their ability to balance there endlessly without moving forward. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I hear people boastfully proclaim how no one can “get” them, can take advantage of them, no one can get to their hearts…some even go as far as to say that they can cause others to fall in love with them and get “caught up” in emotions while they remain unmoved and uncaring.

It is only now, in this current relationship, that I am truly coming to understand how those attitudes are a sign of true weakness.

lions in love

I am taking a huge risk in my current relationship. The man I’ve involved with doesn’t seem suitable for me in many respects. I ended a very serious, difficult, painful involvement with another man before I entered this relationship, and while nearly a year elapsed in between, I have had concerns that perhaps I wasn’t ready for this, or that this might be a rebound situation. I had pretty much given up on experiencing what I have with this man after my last relationship…the last man I was seeing I truly thought was perfect for me, in spite of his many faults, and I really did think we were making good progress towards something more lasting. I felt he was someone who cared deeply for me, who accepted me, who admired me, who wasn’t willing to risk losing me and what we shared. But I was wrong about all of that, so when I ended that relationship, I found myself doubting my judgment, doubting my ability to assess the potential a man had to be in my life long term. I found myself fearful of trusting my instincts, which made me even more highly doubtful about this relationship. Being vulnerable and open and willing to allow him into my most intimate place – my heart – seemed like absolute folly and the height of stupidity initially. It struck me as weakness. A strong person would be able to carry on through life, interacting with others for friendship, for sex, or for whatever, without giving anyone access to their heart…or that’s what I thought.

But now I feel differently.

vulnerable

I am more vulnerable with this man than I’ve been in a very long time. He’s seen me weep, watched me yell, seen me nervous and sad. He’s listen to me rant and rave about everything that bothers me, hurts me, makes me feel unworthy and inadequate and like a failure. He’s seen me looking a hot mess first thing in the morning. He’s kissed my tears when they were falling down my face. I showed him my ugly appendix scar with no shame. And strangely enough, as I totally threw my guard away with him I found myself not feeling weak, but feeling strong. And actually feeling proud of myself.

I am proud of the fact that I have learned to be fearless in love. I am glad I haven’t been fooled into thinking hiding one’s heart and one’s emotions is a sign of power and strength. I have figured out that those who do are truly the weak ones – so afraid of the power someone else may gain over them that they run from the prospect. They don’t trust their ability to maintain their equilibrium even while falling deeply and totally in love. They are so afraid of pain they throw away the possibility of joy. They are so ignorant about hos their own hearts work, they wouldn’t begin to know how to fix them if they got broken. So they encase them in thick slabs of stone and carry around the extra weight of that casing. I am proud that I didn’t fall for the okey doke. I’m glad that, even after all the hurt and pain I’ve suffered at the hands of my choices in love, I realize that you have to commit a thousand percent with no regard for the consequences each and every time for love to stand any chance of working.

love rewards the braveI don’t quite know why I feel so brave now. I think its partly because I know no matter what happens in my current relationship, I’ll be okay. Not right away of course. If he were to leave me I would be devastated of course. I’d cry and scream and rant and rave and be absolutely inconsolable – but that would be temporary. If this relationship crashes and burns, I know I’m strong enough to give it a proper burial and move on wherever my life takes me next. I trust my heart resiliency enough finally, and while I don’t mean to hurt my heart, it is not the fragile thing I’ve always thought it was, something I had to protect from all contact with the outside world. Of course I’m careful with my heart, I don’t hand it to folks willy-nilly, BUT I am willing to offer it up fully for the one I love, especially when it is reciprocated. There is absolutely nothing that can happen in this relationship that I’ll ever be ashamed of – EVER. I am prepared for every possible consequence of every possible outcome, and I know I am ready for anything. I have no fear of failure and I am confident in my success. If he cheats on me, if he leaves me for someone else, if he turned out to be an asshole, while all those things would crush me for a time, it will NOT make me feel permanently defeated, or that any of those things are my fault. I am truly giving all of my best self in this relationship, with no regard for what others may think or say, regardless of who thinks it’s a good idea or who thinks it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. I have finally come to a place in my life where I know there is NOTHING I can’t handle. And that fills me with power, and with pride in my power as a woman, fully realized and developed. There is not a man who can leave me who can crush me for good. There is not a man who can break me and expect me to stay broken. My ashes can rise from any fire anyone sets, or even those I set.

Phoenix

And because I feel so strong now, I am okay with being weak, with being vulnerable, with being soft and dependent. I have re-opened myself with my own power, and he truly loves and appreciate the power and self possession I have, even when it strangely manifests itself in my willingness to let him see all of me, and knowing he will not turn away. I have learned to be confident even in my presentation of my shortcomings, and I have learned to be okay with my imperfection. And I have even learned to expect those who claim to love me to revel in those things alongside me as I seek to improve myself and become better.

My weakness is a sign of my strength.

Who would have thought.

Peace!

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