This is what her favorite author says about love, “Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.”
Feeling the truth and believing the truth are two different things. The former quote is something I can feel, but not something I believe. I have felt like I have been in love before. I have felt ready to give all that I have to someone. The only problem with that feeling was that it came with an unspoken expectation; that I get something in return.
For 22 years I have felt capable of loving and being loved. But For 22 years I have believed the opposite.
Then I met a girl. The most beautiful girl, so stunning that it took me a year (and one particularly anxiety stricken quarter of school) to talk to her. As I got to know her the feeling of love swelled inside of me. Her laugh, her looks, her thoughts, her words, her worries, her fears, her in the morning and at night and in the mirror, her eyes. I have an endless list. I even have a list of all the things that she dislikes about herself but that I still love.
Overtime she told me her desires, her wants, her goals, her dreams. I believed she could have all of them. I believed I could be there to watch her and support her, that we could, together, accomplish everything—and then some. Keep on adventuring, because adventure is in her heart.
One of the most beautiful things about her; she made me believe in myself. That I could change and accomplish my dreams. Feeling turned to belief and I knew I was in love.
But she didn’t want to be with me anymore, somehow thinking me into a friend. Everything in the quote resonated inside of me, but only as feeling. We never happened, but she told me she wanted me to be in her life forever. I admit I didn’t understand it at the time, all I could think was if you can picture me in your life forever, then maybe we should give this a try.
I never said that. When she told me she was sitting on her couch filled with grief and guilt and tears. As I looked at her, selfishness subsided momentarily and I learned, trusting a person is not demanding vulnerability and complete honesty from someone, trust is believing that a person is doing what they are doing because they believe it is the right thing to do. I told her again, this time less afraid of how she would react, “I love you.”
She wanted me as a friend forever. I wanted her as more than friend… if she pictured us as a forever, then I admit so did I. But to her “more than a friend” never means forever.
I made a decision on that couch. If I wanted her forever I would have to let her go. So, I did. Or at least I am trying. I am praying that I will be over her soon. But really I don’t believe that. Every time I ask myself, “What am I supposed to do?” a voice drowns out my question before I am finished and says, “Love her.”
I hope it is God saying it because everyday I fail too. I fail to love her. I drive her away with some stupid thing because to me, love endures all things, hopes all things, bears all things, and believes all things.
If it isn’t God then it’s just me talking to myself and I am probably a fool. But I don’t believe that either. I believe what I believe about love because what I had with her was real. I believe it is always worth it. That love can endure. That it has priceless value. Because I believe those same things about her, that she is worth it, she and I can endure, and that she has priceless value, I’m still choosing to love her.
Until I stop telling myself to love her, I won’t. She has so much capacity to love that I want to be there when she is willing to give it away, and unlike me, not expect anything in return. I want to be there when she believes that love doesn’t have to be temporary. I want her to keep going forward, keep loving. Keep forgiving.
What makes me love her is her ability to forgive. It is a gift that I myself have been blessed with and intend to keep practicing as I remember, both her and I, and anyone has the option to choose to be someone different each and every day. It is all about forgiving yourself for the things you can’t control, forgiving the people that you can’t control, forgiving the past that can only poison your future if not healed, and taking the initiative to make a brand new end at the beginning of each day.
Forgiveness has a way of reducing someone to nothing while at the same time giving a person a new foundation and an opportunity to rebuild something completely different.
Have you ever been forgiven? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens up your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. It means that you have to admit you have been wrong all along. It means that you have to give up a piece of you that you have been holding onto. But, you never know, maybe what you have been holding onto is actually a terrible burden, and letting it go is just the thing you need to be light enough to love.
I have been forgiven. It messed me up. Then I fell in love because of it. I remember the moment. The guilt that left when I finally admitted what I had been trying to hide for so long, She said it didn’t matter. She wanted to see me beat it and live life free. Now I am going to keep forgiving, myself included, so I can be with her forever. I promised myself to forgive her for everything—nothing that she could hide will ever surprise me. She will always be forgiven. Tomorrow is a new day.