For most of my life, it has seemed like the people who have claimed to love me have loved what were ultimately illusions.
Some loved my masks, my performance personas, the art I’ve made from the ashes of my self-discovery.
Some loved my blossoms when in bloom but quickly became confused and withdrawn when I went into hibernation.
Some loved my dark quiet roots but were threatened when the fragrant, colorful seasons came.
Some loved my looks, how I moved, how I fucked.
Still others loved the hologram they projected onto my skin, loved the fantasy of what could be were I to contort permanently into their self serving visions.
Many have loved the reflections of themselves they saw in my mirror, or were drawn like familiar magnets via our interlocking patterns motivated by deep, unconscious wounds.
I am not proud to say that it took me a long time to choose to forgive them for those abandonments I felt, when I found I could no longer ignore what I, when honest, had known all along: that their love wasn’t directed at my actual, existing self.
I am even less proud to admit how much work it still is, sometimes, to do that. How much work it likely will be again.
But my time alone and in my own unfettered integrity has helped me see that none of those disappointments were the failure of anyone else to truly love me. They were the result of my loves having valued the same particular aspects about me that I was actively acquainting my own self with during different stages of my ever-expanding life.
“Love” falling away from me has had nothing to do with losing others; It has had everything to do with gaining my Self.
“You torment yourself wondering how they could not love your burning heart; the answer is, darling, you are not the star you thought you were. You are the fucking universe, and not everyone is an astronaut.”
My time alone and in my own unfettered integrity has also helped me see that there’s nothing that’s gonna make the highs celebrated or the hurts bearable like knowing you’ve got your own back.
Knowing, not just in your brain and in intellectual obviousness, if you’ve made it that far yet; but also in the intangible experiential knowing of literally holding yourself. Of treating you how you treat someone you give a fuck about.
Kissing your own shoulder while you’re curled up in a ball crying. Stroking your own hair while you struggle to fall asleep.
In my origins of self loathing and a learned emotional neglect that stood like a monolith in front of everything I tried to take in for the first 25 years of my life, the most horrible truth of all truths to me was knowing that I, in all my previously wretched worthlessness, am all I’ve REALLY got.
It’s literally impossible for us to see and feel and hear outside of our own perspectives, the way these stupid soul-vessel machines are designed.
So if it’s literally impossible for us to see and hear and experience outside of our own embodied perspectives, how the fuck will you know the first thing about what it feels like to be loved if you’ve never honestly and truthfully focused that attention on yourself?
Not sexualized or aggrandized or tough love pushy inner voice bullshit attention. Not even allyship and cheerleading when tough decisions need to be made attention. But tenderness. Space holding. Understanding.
Cradling and carefully rubbing your own belly when you’re sick and cramping diarrhea into the toilet. Adding a fresh raspberry to your own water.
How is it that you could know the first thing about truly receiving love, or what your own love looks like; how much worth and power it has, how precious and unique and empowering that love is, how gracious it is to give, if you’ve not felt it for yourself?