Recalling those high school days when all that swirled in my head was the thrill and warmth of being loved, I always considered myself as one who’d love someone like waves crashing onto a beaten shore.
I thought I was a person who loved with such unrelenting force, blinding myself to whatever mistakes or flaws a person had so long as they loved me back.
It didn’t matter that I was broken. It didn’t matter that I didn’t understand what it meant to love an equally imperfect person. So long as my own personal love meter was above average, I believe I could give love and all that came with the package.
Fast forward to this hour of the day when everyone’s asleep, I’m writing off that older, delusional version of myself. She’s irrelevant now that I’ve gotten a good wakeup call.
Fighting recurrently over issues that would often be swept under the rug by brooms of compromises and false expectations, everyday nonsense would trigger arguments, brewing frustration and dissatisfaction that evolve into shout-fests and tear-jerking confrontations.
Last week was the final kick to the can. Painful words were thrown across the dining table. The house was left with just the sounds of water running, pots turning, and feet pattering on the floor afterwards.
Those two days were some of the most painful and frightening days of my life, leaving emotional scars that made me strongly question that past self of mine who foolishly believed she knew what it meant to love someone.
They woke me up to the reality that I wasn’t giving love that I had vowed to give eight years ago. What’s more, those arguments had caused a lot of pain and instability in my own children’s hearts.
Shocked and angry with myself, I realized that I hadn’t made it easy for others to love and accept me too.
I prayed hard for another chance to give more mindful love, the kind that runs on intentionality, kindness, and gentleness. It certainly was what I had forgotten to do when days became routine and relationships comfortable.
Those meaningful minutes thinking and crying on my reading chair were all I needed to slow to a stop and turn the other way.
Asking for forgiveness I’ve always considered the most humbling of the human experience. It’s a mirror you have to look at, no matter how painful or shameful. You’re at your most vulnerable for you see the mistakes you’ve made and the hurt you’ve caused others. It’s when you receive forgiveness however that you see and understand what it truly means to love, so much so that it drives you to live deserving of that gift.
Eight years for more seasoned couples may still be child’s play, but it has been a tough battle for someone who has struggled with rejection, anxiety, and insecurity.
Despite all this, I still find myself blessed to be surrounded by the very love I thought I was incapable of finding. All that’s left now is to learn, nurture, and spread that love further.