I am not an easy person to love.
I am a challenge, a case study in patience.
I am complicated.
Not on purpose. I’m not sure people set out to be elaborate, thorny bundled masses of Complex® on purpose. It’s just what you end up with once Life, situations … people are through with you. You wind up getting up from the ground one day and realize how ramshackled and rough around the edges you are and in the next breath wonder who in their right mind would want to love all of your gnarled pointy edges, on purpose.
For a while, you may even stumble around and try to pretend what happened to you, that situation or that incident, wasn’t that bad. But you know in your heart of hearts that you’ve been changed, cause the sun doesn’t elicit the same welcoming warmth of light, nor does the moon comfort you against your pillow like it used to late into the night.
I used to lament that realization stage – the one where I knew I was a mess and that I also had no idea how to begin to clean it up. I stayed in that space for a looooooonnnnnnng time. Why? Well, I thought I had to be something. That I had to be strong or that I had to be tough or that I couldn’t ever let anyone know that I hurt, deeply or the ways in which I was hurt. Trying to be something made it easy to hide the fact that I felt like a mess on the inside and that I didn’t know how to fix Me or to make my life better.
But after trying to be everything else but honest with myself, I knew I had one out left: truth.
My truth was that I didn’t know Me enough to stand firm in the middle of my mess. Oh, I knew enough about other folks to help them through their messes, I knew enough to be a leader during a crisis but not so much my own. Instead I looked outward for help. Though help did come, it wasn’t in any form or shape that I could recognize and so, went unused, unwelcomed and ultimately unwanted.
I spent some time angry with those around me for not coming to my rescue like I had done for them. Didn’t they see I was drowning? Didn’t they see that they had to come into the trenches of my mess with me so we could both plan an escape route for me? But behind anger is usually another emotion and that emotion for me was disappointment. I was disappointed that no one willingly left their lives and what they were doing, to help me fix mine. Isn’t that what folks do for one another?
My hard learned answer to that is No. Not every burden or trial is to be carried or shared with those around you. The big stuff, like the death of a loved one or a serious illness should be shared with those willing to help carry the sorrow. But the smaller things? Sometimes it’s best to work those out on your own.
Don’t get me wrong – even with the small struggles, I reach out and talk a point out with those willing to lend an ear and help shed light on what’s going on but the majority of The Work, I had to do on my own.
The moment I realized this, it was both liberating and frightening. Handle all my own emotional shit by myself? There wasn’t enough time in the world for that, I thought. But all I had was time on my hands, when I thought about it because I was in such a nasty funk, that there was no space for anything good to come in. So what else was there to do but to take time and fix Me?
And so I’ve cried, I’ve contemplated, I’ve talked, I’ve read and I’ve pondered. I’ve examined, I’ve grieved, I’ve given up and found hope again.
And my conclusion? I’m not half bad. Really. Yeah, some terrible things have happened in my life that probably shouldn’t happen to most. But considering, I’m pretty okay. I have flaws and my certain ways but at the end, I am just as worthy of love as anyone. I’m just as capable of loving as anyone.
And this is where I am right now, this intersection of celebrating my Okayness and having the courage enough to share that with another soul. Again.
John Legend has this song coming out later in the summer called All of Me, take a look:
There is the lyric that goes:
Cards on the table/we’re both showing heart
Risking it all/though it’s hard
Cause all of me/loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me/I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose/I’m winning
Cause I’ll give all of me
And you give me all of you
I give you all of me
And you give me all of you.
I’m good at giving my all, at anything. That doesn’t worry me. I am finally feeling strong enough within Me to weather many of the storms that have put me down for the count before.
What gives me pause is finding the right woman to be all in with. This part, scares me. Truth. John Legend’s song makes me weep because my heart knows the joy and strength it takes to be all in with another human being – and what it feels like to think you’re all in, only to find out you’ve been all alone the whole time.
Though my heart is ready to give Love another go, I am also super cautious at the moment because sometimes people don’t realize what being all in means. It doesn’t just mean when things are super well and fun, it doesn’t mean when I just have a cold or when I am a bit down. It means when my SMA is being ugly, when I am having a string of ill health, it means when I can’t quite see the light, though it is shining right in my eyes. It means standing in the middle of the unknown abyss and knowing only that you’re holding on to my hand and that I have no intention of letting go as long as you don’t.
That is scary for anyone, I am sure but that’s what ‘being all in’ means to me because I know I would be all in like that for the woman who has my heart.
My best friend has fibromyalgia and she worries that any partner she has in future won’t be willing to take that on. I told her that all she can do is be very honest, very open and very patient in explaining things to men (she’s straight). The man who is willing to acknowledge her reality, accept her circumstances and still wants to be in her life gets the prize 🙂
I think I’m a pretty awesome prize 🙂 – it’s just getting folks to look beyond the ‘oh, scary wheelchair/illness is scary’ exterior that is the issue. And disheartening. I’ve been at this rodeo before and I’m doing the best to keep up, just wonderin’ when my Cowgirl will make her appearance.