“To stop yourself from loving, to block the love you are designed to create, is emotional and spiritual suicide.” ~Krystyna Maree
To love requires vulnerability, authenticity, and in many cases, gut wrenching sacrifice. In other words, it requires you expose parts of yourself that may have never seen the light. That is why love is such a scary thing for people like you and me. Life experience from birth through adulthood has conditioned you to believe that love of any kind is something to be earned. You are taught by family, teachers, lunch ladies, and ice cream men that you can only win love if the outside world decides you have been good enough.
It does not matter that you have beautiful memories so full of love they rival the most iconic Disney movies. It does not matter that, deep down somewhere, you know what it feels like to love and be loved.
No, all that matters is the pain. We remember how many times we have been told no, how many times the world rejected us, and crushed our delicate hearts. That heartache hurts. It burns red hot until all the good experiences we treasure are seared from our memories. If we do not manage to move through the pain of a loved-one lost, we suffer for an unnecessary time in anguish, chaos, and all-around messiness.
I know that is a dreadfully dreary way to introduce a premise, but it was necessary because heartache is what launched me on my journey to self-love.
You see, I loved once. This love… was everything they talk about in the movies. It was passionate and unruly, fiery and uncensored. It consumed us both in record time. The first time my gaze met his hazel green eyes, I felt my soul catch on fire. Unfortunately, neither of us were ready for the heat.
It was through this relationship that I learned one simple truth: When you love another without being whole first, that love can be your destruction.
I thought I gave him everything of me. Unfortunately, I was not whole myself, so I could not see that I did not have an “everything” to give. I poured and poured into our relationship, craving validation and reassurance. I bled myself dry and expected him to recharge me. Naturally, he could not deliver in the way I had already decided was the right way for me. Finally, it ended in the blaze of my torched sense of self-worth.
One fine day, the love I thought was destined to last forever was gone and I was crushed. I was an empty vessel waiting to be filled, not realizing the only one who could fill me was me. I spiraled so far down the rabbit hole, I one day forgot I was lost. I forgot I was hurting, I forgot I cared. At least, that is what I told myself. Heartache moved into the depths of my soul, unpacked, and had no intention of moving out.
The attempts I made to heal after this breakup were just emotional bandages. I applied them to the external manifestation of my heartache. I drowned the pain in double shots of chilled Ketel. I self-medicated with all the wrong drugs. I even took a dive into the black hole that is the Las Vegas adult entertainment industry. I just could not see that the only way to heal was to work from the inside out. I needed to love me for me, or else I would destroy what little was left of me.
By Krystyna Hutson
Photo by Farrukh – Flickr License