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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lessons :: Risky Heart



From ages 7-17, I filled over 20 journals. I enjoyed documenting my life long before blogging was around. However, much of what I wrote was very dark. I felt horrible because I didn't have a boyfriend. I felt ugly and worthless. I concentrated on what I didn't have, as opposed to what I did -- an amazing family and wonderful friends. I'd always been surrounded by love, but it wasn't the type of love I longed for, so I thought of it as less important, less meaningful.

Since then, I've had my fair share of relationships, lasting from a few weeks to a few years, ranging from completely casual to deeply serious. I've given my heart away many times -- too many times -- only to have it broken, the shards thrown in my face. I've been hurt physically and verbally, hurt down to my very core, a type of hurt that hit places I didn't know existed. I've had family love and friend love, but I've wanted romantic love, too. I've wanted it all, and up to this point I've been willing to throw myself into every opportunity, thinking over and over again that I'd found The One... But now, I'm exhausted.

Yet, my heart still beats.



A good friend recently gifted me the book Life Lessons, which I've been reading slowly, journaling as I go. It's categorized into chapters regarding individual facets of our lives, and the lesson on relationships points out something I'd never recognized before: we tend to think of romantic love as the only love that really matters.

I remember complaining a couple months ago: "I'm surrounded by good men, but it doesn't matter, because I'm not in a relationship with a good man." Yes, you read that right -- I was complaining because I was loved in a way that I didn't care about. I'm realizing how selfish and stupid that must come across, how much of an ungrateful perspective that is. And doesn't feeling the need for a man in my life completely contradict my self-proclamation of feminism?

I'm working on it, but it's a continuing process; I'm ashamed to admit I still catch myself. The other night, I went out with a few co-workers. Before leaving the office, some of them said that they couldn't go due to plans with their significant other. Annoyed and jealous, I wailed half-sarcastically, "Nobody loves me!" Ouch. How does a statement like that make the people that do love me feel?



Growing up, I wondered why I got hurt so much, and now I know: it's because I'm risky. I'm not talking about skydiving or cocaine, I'm talking about risks of the heart. Traps are laid out for me and I walk right into them, instead of trusting my intuition. Or maybe, my intuition is wrong. Either way, I wish I was safe. I'm jealous of people in relationships, but I'm also jealous of people that are able to keep walls up. I wish I didn't love so easily, freely, abundantly. But I will never be a guarded person -- no matter how much I want to be.

It's hard to have hope for the future when things continue to get more difficult as I grow older. But as I grow in age, I also grow in my soul, and my heart only gets bigger the harder it breaks.

I'm learning.





(sources: 1 | 2 | 3)

25 comments:

  1. Oh my beauty=
    It is so true that when we find the love most important (loving ourselves first and number one), it attracts the 'mate' you are meant to attract. I know from experience. It took me YEARS of abuse(physical and emotional) til I just exhaled and let it go-then through a major bunch of fate twists I found (or was blessed with) romantic love and it was magic.
    Now, as I look backwards, he was attracted to my soul and that's what we all really need, I suppose.
    big hugs
    Reva
    (a saged 46 yr.old lady for sure!)

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  2. This little moment of truth here in your part of the blog world...and it makes me think for a moment, that things don't get simpler or easier as we get older--the mysteries don't change. You're so right about appreciation for what we do have. Hope you keep writing about it!

    xo Mary Jo

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  3. Everything gets difficult in so many different ways, we just seem to realize everything more and more as we get older. Having walls isn't the best thing either, I can promise you this. Being one who has been guarded my entire life - it makes every single aspect of any relationship - friendship or intimate - difficult. It's people like me who envy people like you for the ability to love so easily, while you feel opposite. If only there was a happy medium...

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  4. Your posts always speak to me! I want to read that book. I feel everyday I learn something new about myself through my life lessons. There is something new and difficult to tackle everyday but that is the joy of life. =)

    With Love,
    Yvonna
    ysgstyle.blogspot.com

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  5. A few years ago I felt the same way. I was frustrated for how often my heart was being broken because like you, I took risks in love. I felt awful. One day I told an older woman about my dating life and she was so excited and said, "Wow! That's so great! Do you know how much practice you are getting for when you will meet your husband?" And after that I changed my perspective and took all the failures that were still happening as practice. A couple years later, after not dating for nearly 2 years!!!...I met my boyfriend that I have now and our love is so different and so profound. I'm not attached to it but just appreciative and willing to grow with it.

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  6. Thank you for this. I identify completely with every word and am going through the ramifications of a risky heart this very second. In high school through my mid 20s I had a huge amount of dear friends who loved me, but I was never happy until I was "in love". Usually with someone who had deep-seated issues in one way or another and didn't have the capacity to actually love me back for who I was. Now I have a tiny handful of friends left, a broken beyond repair relationship with a little boy caught in the middle of it all. Thinking I need to check out this book, I need to start making some changes, for my son's sake just as much as mine.

    Thanks again,
    Bre

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  7. I think it's only natural to have to learn this really hard lessons over and over again, pretty lady. Don't be hard on yourself. I have the complete opposite problem. I am sooooo guarded that it is really hard to crack me; I keep a lot of fears in and that is not good either. So we're all working on something and getting better and learning. LOVE YOU.

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  8. Ah! I don't know why my comment deleted. But I identified with your risky heart, and in a what is hopefully not the completely obnoxious self promoting way that people think is okay to do on the internet, linked to http://www.awashwithwonder.com/2012/05/when-your-ex-doesnt-cease-to-exist.html, because it is how I learned that I still loved well without a lover and healed from loving a little too hard.

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  9. What a great, honest, from the heart post. Love xxx

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  10. thanks for writing this post. i think alot of us feel this way. but i will tell you something having walls up sucks too. because you still hurting your self by not allowing to have people see how much you love them or allowing them to love you. trust me i am just figuring this out. and once you have walls up for so long its hard to get them down. thanks again
    jes

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  11. Thinking back on when I met and married my husband I think of how fortunate I was. I had no idea what i was getting into. I had been thru my share of jerks before him, that's for sure. 18 years later, I thank my lucky stars I found him when I was so young and it worked out. It really is a crap shoot. I was just fortunate. Hang in there. There is the perfect person out there for you.

    vintagehoneybee.blogspot.com

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  12. This post definitely spoke to me. I've definitely been there - feeling sorry for myself because I hadn't found romantic love, even though I have an incredible family and at the time had great friends too. It was only when I learned to be happy with what I had that I found what I had been looking for - which, really, is often true of life in general. :)

    thejoyfulfox.blogspot.com

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  13. thank you so much for sharing.
    this subject has been on my mind a lot lately.
    romantic love is such a beautiful and at the same time frustrating thing.
    i still need to learn not to let my self esteem depend on what others think about / feel for me, and just enjoy what i already have as much as possible. that book sounds great, i think i might get a copy!
    xo, cheyenne

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  14. I Love You. -Mama

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  15. Or shall I say, "I Love You Too Much"

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  16. 1. I'm glad you're recognizing that love beyond romantic love is wonderful. I am single by choice, and I don't feel my life is lacking...BUT...I often feel my friends don't value me as much as they do their others or brush me aside while searching for an other. It is hurtful when you find someone's love very fulfilling and you think you life is wonderfully full of love, but the love you give to them is never enough, because it's not romantic.

    2. It is VERY good to be open hearted...but if you are getting too hurt, then you will figure out ways to be open hearted maybe a little less or maybe a little differently. It'll come naturally, as you learn what hurts the most. And if it doesn't come, that's good. You're strong and wonderful.

    3. Feminism is not about your interpersonal relationships and desires for romance. Feminism is an equality movement. You can desire to be a housewife and that fits in with feminism, because you have the RIGHT TO CHOOSE to be whatever you want, and that's feminism. Feminism doesn't mean you have to be alone or shouldn't want an other.

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  17. Time flies and shadows fall...
    LOVE is forever; over all!

    Remember what love truly is;
    GIVING
    and FOR-GIVING.

    Lust takes, love gives...
    "For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son."

    What more could He give than that which was most precious to Him.

    Love is NOT an emotion, it is a choice. We must decide to give and decide to forgive.

    When we can also do this for and to ourselves, accepting ourselves for who we are; then we are living in love.

    Blessings to you all!
    ~M. Weiss

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  18. 500 Days of Summer AND a SATC reference in one post?! This is why I love you!

    I know exactly what you mean about wishing you were safe. I was always so afraid to get hurt when I was single...and I did get hurt. It was after the worst break up that I had to put the pieces back together and embrace the love I have for myself. Self love is so often over looked but it is so important. Then I focused on the amazing love from all my friends and family. The fact that I have so many wonderful guy friends proved to me that I would meet the guy of my dreams one day. When I finally met my husband, it was like something out of a storybook. Suddenly, all the hurt, pain, and loneliness I experienced was completely worth it. They perfect guy for you IS out there and trust me when I say, he is worth the wait. =)

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  19. Sorry your love life is causing so many difficulties Stephanie. I do think loving yourself and appreciating the love you do have is very important, but we want romantic love too. We need it! So do keep looking and stay positive. There are lots of great guys out there.

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  20. I am glad you a recognizing the value you add to many people's lives. Hopefully you also recognize that you, and you alone are enough!!!! I think this recognition is what allows us to quit forcing things and enjoying what we are (and who we are/ aren't with) in the moment!

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  21. I really enjoyed reading this post, so many good points in it and a true awareness of yourself.

    I think in some ways, being too open is much better than being completely closed off. I have a friend who has never been in a relationship, not because she isn't pretty or a wonderful person, but because she is terrified of letting herself become attached to someone and letting her walls come down. She's so scared of getting hurt she's missing out on the good parts of being in love too.

    As with many things, it's all about finding a middle ground somewhere.

    Emily Jane xo

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  22. What a beautiful and honest post! It seems like we are all conditioned to believe that romantic love is the only true love, and that is a shame.

    Thanks for sharing :)

    Adrienne
    What Lola Wants

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  23. Stephanie, I too am in love with being in love! I fall in love very easily and give my all to that person. My most recent ex, on many occasion, would say, "you just love to love!" He didn't know how to love, like I did and at the end of the day, that was our biggest downfall. I felt unloved and he felt over loved, like he didn't deserve it! Getting older definitely makes it harder. I want so badly to be married and to be starting a family. I read so many blogs of these (what seem to be) happy homes and dream of the day I too can blog about my wonderful family. But for now, I try very very hard to enjoy my free time, my me time, because I do have faith in Gods plan. That one day I will find someone who just loves to love me too! I believe you too will find this person and all of your hopes and dreams will come true. Stay positive my little LOUDMOUTH friend and remember all great things come in time! Xoxo

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  24. Girls and boys! what for sitting and waiting for love? U must find it yourselves!! i`ve found my love on Dating for Professionals. Don`t hesitate!

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  25. Oh HOW I know what you're saying! You're like telling my life. Right now I'm feeling anxious because I think my perception of Someone didn't even once(!) relate to the real person and situation. Just my emotions. Which I didn't control. And then regret. But at the end of the day I like... Live! These all riskiness of heaart gives the fascinating life I think.

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