Healing is not linear. And just as said in an old piece of mine, Healing comes in waves. Within healing, there are so many phases that you pass, return, and move on from, and repeat again. As one of them, I’m feeling my first wave of grievance for this second time around. But it’s a new grievance. One that I thought could only be for the death of the relationship and the person the other once was.
But I realize, today I grieve a little different. I grieve Me. I grieve my love, the love I gave. I grieve my effort. I grieve my innocence. I grieve my heartfelt, soul-deep love. I’ve been swarming in confusion of what my love looks like, listening to an outside voice, influencing and maybe even distorting what my love is. I’ve doubted it. And looked down upon my love as a dark, twisted, venomous, toxic, hurtful, suffocating love. Perhaps it did become so in the midst of chaos. Whether it was in self-defense or unintentional.
But somewhere, somehow, today I remembered what it once was; for what it meant to be. How I once loved from the beginning.
I once loved a person for the way they made me laugh. I once loved them for how I felt in their presence. The way we became a sea of bubbles around each other. The way it took one glance to know what the other was thinking. I once loved for the way they made me feel like they’re the only one on my side. I once loved, for the way they stood by me as a brother, a best friend, and a lover.
I once loved, without it being earned. I loved loving and I loved freely. I gave it away like my own air when they couldn’t breathe. I gave it like a blanket when the days weren’t warm. I gave it like shade on a hot, sunny day. I once loved like a girl who only knew love.
I once loved, right through their core. I once loved to be the bandaid to all their scars, for all the days I couldn’t be with them up until now, so they wouldn’t feel an ounce of pain again.
I once loved, to be the family he yearned for. To be the mother, the father, the sister, the brother, the members to fill a household so he would never feel the void or alone going from home to home.
I once loved to keep his tummy full, even when mine was empty, to make sure he never felt the hunger pains he was used to. I once loved to keep his hands, ears, feet, and body warm for the gloves and big coats he didn’t own. I once loved to be the medicine to all his body injuries, toothaches, and sicknesses. I once loved to keep his bank account a little less empty, to buy the things he couldn’t have, even if that meant me telling white lies that I had money, there was a sale, or taking on multiple jobs at a time for my “tuition.”
I once loved, that I would cry more tears than he at the thought of someone he loved hurting him, or of others speaking ill of him. If anything hurt him, I’d cry and pray in his place for the tears he could no longer shed. I once loved someone that I wanted to help shine when he didn’t feel bright, so I could show the world the treasure I loved so much just as I believed he was capable of.
I once loved, finding every way to keep the lights in his life lighted, so he could see the path and feel less afraid.
I once loved, that even through hunger, over-exhaustion, school, work, and stress, I’d always find the energy to go above and beyond to find a new way to make him feel loved in case he felt it was running out; in case I had been too busy.
I once loved that even the cracks and darkness of this person was perfect.
I once loved, that no person, thing, or place could even come close to exceeding the pedestal of this human that I cherished more than myself.
I once loved, that I’d drop anything for this person; I’d give any sum of money, absolutely all my strength and energy to make this person feel loved and happy.
I once loved, that I’d use myself as their human safety net, to make sure they never fall.
I loved through late nights, early mornings, and every time of the day possible with that person on my mind, always in my thoughts, always cultivating how I could better love them.
I truly once loved so, so earnestly. My body still aches to think of just how hard I loved. I once loved without asking for a thing, I once loved expecting nothing, I once loved doing my best to adapt, I once loved sacrificing myself. I once loved happily, wholeheartedly, bravely, generously, and kindly.
Where that love went, I am not sure. So I wanted to remember. Remember all of it. And hopefully one day, be able to do it again; better, healthier.
Am I a perfect angel? No. But did I love deeply, with every fiber in my body, every earnest tear, last breath, and beyond my all? Absolutely. I sure did.
But when you give a love like that to someone who is either not capable or willing to give you half of it; you learn through disappointments that you will never be good enough no matter how hard you try, when your love is not the love they desire or are comfortable receiving. Your immense love, can be a disabling, burdening love to the one who cannot carry it. You cannot love someone before loving yourself. And someone cannot love you until you love yourself. You will only be able to give as much as you believe you can, and you can only receive as much as you believe you deserve. You cannot love and accept someone for who they truly are, if they themselves do not know or show who that is. You will both lose yourselves, and lose all senses on how to love one another.
This was young love. This was first love. This was love before we loved ourselves, before we met our demons, before we realized all our lifetime scars that we have not healed but brought with us. This was love before we realized we were dangerously filling voids we could no longer cover. This was love before we grew at different paces, before the temporary substitute for self-love faded. This was love before betrayal; before we destroyed one another and in turn, ourselves.
Somewhere long ago, I once loved. Truly.