It took me 35 years to find happiness, to believe I was worthy of everything good and deserving of all that I desired. It took me 2 more to find the love of my life, the man who I’d dreamed of for so many years before, who loved me for exactly who I was, am and will be. It wasn’t always easy.
The first man who ever broke my heart was my biological father – father being hardly the right word. It wasn’t when he hit my mother as I sat witness as a 2 year old or that he killed our dog feeding it poison in front of me. No, my heart wasn’t broken for another 5 years when he was well and truly gone from my life, when I was old enough to fully understand.
I found a note scribbled in blue ink that he gave to my mother at some point during those in between years – a note that said “I don’t want her”. So simply stated and yet it was a sentiment that would live in my subconscious for years before I understood where it came from, how it got planted so firmly in my soul. How those words ruled my belief of being unworthy – unworthy of people staying with me, unworthy of being noticed, unworthy of being loved.
I was unworthy of being loved.
Was this true? Not at all. My life was full of people who loved me and yet lodged in the darkest parts of my being I was living from a place of fear – fear that if my biological father could walk out then why not everyone else, it would only be a matter of time.
And so I pushed instead.
In those 35 years before I reconciled those words – saw them for only what they were rather than the story I formed around them – I was living from a state of fear not a place of love. My fear made me test everyone who ever held meaning to me and if they stayed the first time, or first dozen times I’d keep pushing until the truth I so believed came true – after all, everyone has their breaking points.
I believed in something so strongly that I made it come true over and over and over again.
Sure, there were lovers in my life long before my husband walked in, one innocent young love before I even understood what love meant. The one that lasted for years, a constant push and pull – him being the perfect mirror for all the things I had yet to learn, him seeing my beauty and grace long before I could ever recognize it on my own. An illicit affair that was as close to true love as it could be given the circumstances, the fleeting time together and the promise of it never being real.
That was the last one before the big one. I recall the words that man left me with, the ones I still carry close to my heart – as I revealed my deepest secrets to him in the corners of dimly lit bars and twisted hotel room sheets he simply said “let yourself be loved”.
Let yourself be loved.
And so I replaced those words my 7 year old self read to words heard more clearly from a man that loved my 33 year old self. “I don’t want her” became “let yourself be loved” and it changed my world forever.
I fell in love, first with myself and those closest to me and in time to a beautiful man who got to see the real me, to fall in love with me and to love me.
I let myself be loved.