Exhale

People always leave, right?
I’ve said it before, I’m sure I’ll say it again

I’ve built up this wall surrounding my heart because of the familiarity of loss out of fear of getting too comfortable with someone (or something) and they just disappear. I know it’s not healthy, I know that this is where true connection comes from, it’s what I long for – hell, it’s what I preach…

But when you grow comfortable with loss, of watching people come and go, you stop giving yourself away – emotionally and physically. You reserve so many parts of yourself, you keep it all hidden. You wear your smile like it’s a mask.

But people like him, well shit, they are a dime a dozen.
All my efforts to remain reserved failed desperately.

What I didn’t expect, was this:

How am I supposed to navigate this person I have become because of you, without you?
How am I supposed to refrain from calling you, from messaging you?
How am I supposed to forget you when all I want to do is embrace you and never let you go?

But, it’s my fault we are here, right?
Or so the story goes…

I say: “I love you,”
only to have it be followed with: “Okay.”

Love always seems like a great idea, until it’s not. The reality of it seems so far away now.

Maybe that’s why I admire every relationship I see, I can look at it and appreciate it for what it is. It brings me hope. It allows me to walk straight into the belly of the beast that is love and not meet it with resentment or jealousy.

Because I can, once again, hold out hope that maybe – maybe, one day when I am ready, love will show its face again.

But, I wonder: have I pushed love so far away, have I hurt love too much that it will never come back?

A question I know very well the answer too but will never admit.
Because even if love does come back, it won’t be the same.
This time, more work will be required for love to even look you in the face without hurt or resentment.
This time, love won’t reach out to you first.
This time, love won’t comfort you or whisper in your ear at night when they think you are sleeping.
This time, love will be broken.

And, you know why…
At some point in time, it wasn’t love that hurt you but someone’s inability to. And, now, even though you can differentiate between the two, you still take it out on love. You still push love away.

My dreams of love are no longer happy; they are dark, filled with a coldness that I don’t like.

Do you hear that?
Love, I don’t like what we’ve become.

Love, there’s no resentment in my heart.
Love, I know where I have failed.
Love, I know I don’t deserve another chance.

When you’re the one who always has the ones you love leave, what you learn is this: love hard.

Because when love comes back, if they come back, love remembers that you’re the kind of person that lights up the lives of those around you. You are the kind of person who is worthy of all the love that you’ve never been able to give up freely.

But you also learn this: the love that always stays is the love that you have for yourself. You learn that for every person that leaves, you are still breathing. You learn that, sometimes, the most important relationship you will ever have has nothing to do with others – it has everything to do with how you feel about yourself.

Because, time and time again, you hear: the way you love reflects the way you feel about yourself. And, maybe, maybe the hurt that you feel is worn more comfortably on your heart than on your sleeve.

When you’re the one who always has love disappear, you continue to love love even after it goes.

Because when you feel a love like that, a love that was shared, it stays forever.

Do you hear that? Rest of my days, love.


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