At church today , the pastor said a few things that really resonated with me. One of them was, I guarded my heart so well, to protect myself from those who would hurt, humiliate & embarrass me, that I could no longer let love in. I had to stop and think about this one for a moment.
When I was younger, I believed in fairy tales. I believed in love at first sight, unconditional love and the “forever” love. I dreamed of getting married to a beautiful man who would be absolutely perfect for me and I for him. I dreamed of coming home to a warm kisses and open arms. Because of these beliefs, my heart was very open. When I would meet someone new, I always wondered, “would this be THE ONE?” I was, what I call, a One Date Wonder most of the time because if there was no spark… no magic, I didn’t bother going on a second date. My friends would always tell me to stop being so picky but they didn’t understand… I was determined to find my fairy tale. When I would meet someone who made my heart race, I was all in. People would say, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, but me, I wasn’t like them. I theorized that if I was to find the love of my life, then I would have to jump in with both feet. I wanted to fall in love not walk carefully, cautiously into it. I was very determined not to let past heartaches, harden my heart, and prevent me from loving someone new.
One fall, I met the most beautiful man in the world. The day he came into my life, he gave me his whole heart and I give him mine. His love saved my life. Every time I heard his voice, it was like the most poetic music playing in my head. Each time he kissed me, he breathed life in to my heart. When he held me, I felt protected in a away that I had never felt before. He always spoke to me with such love and respect that I couldn’t help but give of myself to him. I trusted him with all of my being.
When he passed away, I was more than devastated. I wasn’t really sure I could live another day without him. Thankfully, I had my kids – the other loves of my life.
Before I had my kids, I dreamed of them too. I knew in my heart that I needed to be a mother. Through thick and thin, I the love I have for my kids has pulled me out of depression and hopelessness. It has pushed me to become the best mother and person I could be. That undying, unconditional love has forced me to face my fears and accomplish the impossible. That love keeps me moving forward everyday.
Over time, my heart has been crushed and trampled on many times, be it by friends, family, or boyfriends. Lies, betrayals, and hopelessness persistently knocked on the door to my heart. I became bitter, distrusting, and jaded. I did what I promised myself I would never do. I built a wall around my heart. I know that there are times in our lives that we need to separate ourselves from the rest of the world in order to achieve clarity. The problem lies in distancing ourselves permanently.
I realized a while back that I had in fact allowed myself to be disillusioned, distant, and hard. When I realized what I had permitted to happen, I began stepping out of my comfort zone again and reestablished friend and family relationships. Thankfully, those relationships are now better than ever. The one I still have trouble with is opening my heart to another man. I am certain it is because that is where I’ve been hurt the most. When the pastor spoke about guarding his heart so well that he couldn’t let love in, I knew that I would have to work harder than ever to wear away those walls. The pastor also said something to the effect of, if your identity is defined by your ability to love then it can not be defined by anyone who tried to hurt you. I had lost my identity. I had always prided myself on the fact that I was still able to love in spite of all the pain I had been through. I could no longer say that. So here I am… on a new journey to find best the of who I used to be… to find that hopefully, vulnerable, loving person that is in my core and bring her back out again. I promise to love openly and unconditionally because it is who I am.