I look in the mirror, as I do every day, and breathe deeply, reminding myself that I can do this.
That I am surviving, thriving, that this is my choice—to live my life alone.
Alone, for now, with a broken heart.
There are those who have loved me half heartedly. They could not appreciate the fierce love that I gave so openly and willingly. They craved my passion and fire, my determined fortitude and eagerness. They longed to feel the drive that keeps me moving along…never satisfied with the status quo and always wanting more.
They longed to crawl inside my skin and experience the hunger, the life, the strength that draws them to me like bees to honey, because though they are afraid, just as I am, they are not brave.
And they wanted their soul to be awakened. But, they didn’t want to love with the same intensity in return.
It was too hard for them—too raw and open.
They wanted to hold me in a certain place where they could reach for me only when they were in need of what I had to offer. Then, they wanted me to return back to my box until they were ready for me again because I was too much and not enough. I made them see things in the mirror of their soul that frightened them, truths that they didn’t wish to uncover.
But, I was not made to be a mere plaything for someone else’s momentary pleasure.
I was not created to be loved in pieces.
I was not destined to be left wanting day in and day out.
I didn’t want to be left out of the deep love that I craved.
I longed to be ravished and devoured.
I knew that putting my heart on the chopping block for someone to consume meant that I expected the same intensity in return. I understood that to risk pain was the only way to truly love—that if I could give it all, someday I might receive all that I had given and more.
I believed that even if my heart broke over and over again, someday my love would be appreciated and reciprocated in a way that sings to my soul.
I felt that home is not a place, but a person.
I knew that in time we all must die and so the only way to love is forever and right now.
I had been shut out from love before and have refused to be in the same place again. I knew that I had limits and was not afraid to enforce them. I knew that I must continue to love as openly and fiercely as I am now: with my heart bleeding for all to see—and that was the only way to find the souls that understood mine.
But I knew the one thing they didn’t know, the one lesson my pain taught me, that even though I was put in the box, I had allowed myself to be put there and I was the one who had to climb out.
And I did.
And I will never be put back into the box without my permission, to be kept hidden in the shadows, out of the light.
For I belong out in the sun to be adored, to let the light of my soul fill others.
I know that if I ever return to that box, it is because the ones who I allowed to put me there are worth my love and effort to make the sacrifice—for a time—and if they love me and if I love myself enough, I will remain free where I can shine and my soul will no longer be caged.
I will break my heart and smile, because with every break I am allowing more room into my heart to love and be loved freely. For the unbroken heart is loving naively—without the deep pain that comes from heartbreak, the intense joy of true love is unappreciated.
We are here to break, to die over and over, so that we may live—in love.
Author: Stephanie Parry
Editor: Catherine Monkman