You worship wherever their feet touch earth hoping they'll bestow a blessing of consistent love upon you. They don't. You try harder. You put everything you have into them, their dreams, their ego and you feel strong at first. You feel like you've made the right decision, to be loyal, to love unconditionally. But when you look into the mirror, your smile is off. Your eyes don't glimmer the way they did. Secretly, you wonder if it really is this hard to be loved or what you could do to be more worthy.
Trying to love the wrong person can fatigue you for years.
You lose the energy to care anymore. You just want what you want. You want to feel loved and cared for but you've depleted your capacity to reciprocate. This is a recipe for monstrous disaster. This is a dangerous place to settle.
Without noticing, you become the person who didn't love you. You become the person who cost you everything. You become what made you cry and beg and question your worth. You become that villain to someone else. And what's worse? You don't care.
Let them eat cake, as long as you get yours first and the largest slice.
You push people away who are good to and for you. You chase silly ideals of romance because for once you just want to be wanted and adored the way you wanted them and adored them. There is no rest for you until you get someone to bend their knee to your broken heart. You say you just want to be loved but what you really desire is to be mended.
You've emptied your tank giving your affection away to someone who never had it to give to you.
And you are torn asunder.
Your peace has faded and you live in a haze of pessimism and regret. You know how to talk like you believe love will actually work out for you but deep down you question even the notion of it. You question if you've got what it takes to be the object of someone's affection. You wonder what else you should change about you to increase value.
The humane thing to do is to pull yourself out of the game until your injuries are healed but you don't, do you?
And you lose.
Everyone within a 10 mile radius of your heart does.
It wasn't until I pulled myself away from romance for a beat that I could understand my plight. The victim had become the victimizer and that was incredibly challenging to face. No one wants to admit to themselves or anyone else that they have hurt others. Especially when the hurt they've caused reflects the hurt they've suffered.
I am not a person who boasts no regrets. I have a few. Chief among them is tethering my value, body, time, and perceptions of love to relationships that were dead and could produce nothing but stillborn dreams.
Love can be done wrong. It can be twisted into a cluttered, mangled facsimile of itself. Love can be messed over and cheated and bruised in all the ways we swear we would never treat it. But the beauty is in having the patience to do it right. To ask your heart what ails it, what it needs, and how to heal before setting out to love or be loved. The glory of love is in recognizing what we need, what we have, and what is needed from us. If there is any balance to be sought, it is among these three. If there is any careful consideration it is to know our wholeness is real.
Why do we place so little value on loving ourselves enough to fall back but so much value on begging someone else to show us affection? What we are not patient and willing to give ourselves, we cannot expect to flow freely from someone else's heart and hand.
Nothing substantive grows overnight and trusting that Love will still be there in the morning is key to helping it grow. It will still be there.
And then, go.