This is a time of year filled with messages of love. Cute sayings are everywhere. For a long time I looked at this time of year a bit begrudgingly. Actually, I had become a little cynical with most holidays that cause a frenzy in stores, all the while finding myself drawn to the holiday aisles in Target. There were the fun valentines exchanges with a few friends, our elementary school valentines exchanged and friend group “date” nights. I have my former roomie Amanda to thank for that along with dozens of life lessons and wonderfully random conversations. Outside of these times though, there was my cynicism weaving itself into my thoughts. There are reasons for this, reasons I don’t need to list out. Here I am now, looking at this frenzy of red and pink and no longer scoffing while secretly thinking how cute some of it is.
Something inside of me has changed drastically in the past year or so. The world tends to paint the idea of falling for someone as something that is always ecstatically happy and it is frequently thrilling and happy. However, for those of us with scars from our past it can also mean confronting some issues we did not even realize we had, because we had not had reason to until this person becomes part of our life. It isn’t about changing for someone else, it is about realizing that we want ourselves to improve so we can more fully embrace this thing that evolved between us. This is where I have found the truth of opening myself up to someone, trembling inside as I let these little tender pieces of myself be seen. No longer hiding behind the mask of “I am not emotional or tender, I am tough and don’t have a need for this companionship”. In the midst of the discomfort of peeling away the layers, the masks I have found the comfort and the joy that comes with having someone who sees the mess beneath the surface and still wraps his arms around me.
Which brings me to this “love letter”… it’s a love letter to my soul and to the soul of a man who means the world to me and to anyone who is in need of these words.
Tender girl, how hard you fought to pretend you didn’t need the care and support because you didn’t believe you would find it. The walls of the fortress you built have been crumbling and while that isn’t always fun, the sunlight that now enters and warms the darkened corners is worth the effort that removing those stones takes. The sensitive parts of your soul, of everything that you are can be held and appreciated and you have to let someone in to see them to find out how precious that feeling is. It feels good to enjoy the holidays, to laugh, to cry, to share your thoughts and have someone care, laugh, or simply let you ramble when your soul needs to speak. Letting him in has been one of the best things you have ever done. In opening yourself to hope and to love you have found a strength that is more than being “tough” and handling everything on your own and have learned to love yourself more fully by seeing yourself through this man’s eyes.
Sweet man, I didn’t even believe you were a real person at first. Those initial messages flowed so perfectly! When we finally decided to meet in person my nerves were strangely calm and chaotic… until the moment I realized it was you sitting behind me and we said hello and hugged, then I was calm and excited (all the nervousness dispersed). Those first hours were such fun, the only bad part was having to head to separate cars when I wanted more time (which is still incredibly hard)! In the months, the days, the hours since then you have brought a whole new world to life. The music my soul carries now that carries you with it. Your many hues vibrant and priceless. Not every moment has been happy, but we always reach for each other even after the storms of life sweep through. While I love the happy moments we have, due to my past I find that the reaching for each other and figuring out this mess that is life together is where the care truly speaks to me. When I get prickly after being vulnerable and you send the sweet little text or something funny to make me laugh you help heal parts of me that I don’t talk about – thank you for that. The hours spent wandering with no particular destination in mind, just exchanging thoughts about whatever we are looking at, learning more about each other are some of the most precious moments to me. The swoon could go on and on… because you brought the swoon out of the depths of me. In a time that we focus on telling people “I love you”, I have these words for you instead… my gratitude for your patience with us is stronger than you know, your care for me says more than the words “I love you” ever could, your silliness is beautiful to me, and every day I am thankful that you are in this world and my life.
My heart overflows, not with flowers and cute little sayings, but with the knowledge that we found each other on this crowded ball that spins around in space.
The swoon inside of my soul will be lingering long after this blog post is finished.
Much love! PS: for those who don’t believe they can let love in or that it is possible – please don’t give up your hope. The most beautiful surprises can pop up into your life at the least expected time.