June 10, 2016

In Choosing Myself, I Choose You: Maintaining our Identity while in a Relationship.

girl, sad, grief dark, darkness, sadness, woman

I lost myself in your eyes again.

Our love is so breathtaking, like a bouquet of freshly cut flowers with fleshy emerald stems, luscious leaves and slowly unfurling bright pink stargazer lilies—that it turns my world upside down. Our love is so sweet that I’m dizzy and disoriented. My veins buzz and pulse with the most wonderful sugar rush, bubbling with naughty cotton-candy thoughts of you.

But—I’ve completely forgotten about myself.

I forgot about what I need, because I’m so deeply bedazzled by you.

I forgot about the whispers of my own heart, because I long to hear the tender beats of yours.

I forgot about the freedom I require, because being close to you is damn delicious.

I’ve effectively abandoned myself.

And in some moments, I don’t even care, because you make my cells sing a symphony of joy. You make me smile like I could capture the moon and drip its moonbeam magic all over our skin as we kiss passionately and bless the air around us with gossamer blossoms of love.

But I’m losing myself, every time I see you, a little more—I feel myself slipping away, ever so slightly, into the softest whispers of wind.

And I’m not okay with that at all.

I forget where I end and you begin. I forget what’s my sh*t, and what is yours. I merge with you, so naturally, organically—and it feels delicious, for sure—but it’s also wildly confusing.

I forget where I end and you begin—and I’m not okay with that at all.

But this is no new phenomenon for me.

Boundaries aren’t exactly my specialty, darlin’—because I’m sensitive as can be. I feel you. I feel your pain—your joy. I feel all that you’re going through. I feel it when you have a bad day—that subtle agony pulses in my gut like the thickest ink. I feel it when you’re having a hard time, as though it’s my own hard time.

And I drown in it.

I drown in your struggle and your joy.

But I can’t do that anymore.

I need to swim. I need to soar above it all. For myself. For you. For the sake of my jailed soul. For the blooming petals of my life.

It’s so subtle, delicately unspoken indeed—but these glorious stardust threads that bind us together have slowly begun to suffocate me. And it’s not that you ask me to take on your burdens like they are my own—oh no, you would never ask that—but I do it automatically, because I know no other way. It’s not that you ask me to soothe your stinging wounds, but I do it automatically, because I know no other way.

It’s time to know another way. It’s time to find another way. Something’s gotta change—and fast. I’m drained, pale, evaporating and exhausted—and I absolutely refuse to accept this as remotely okay. I refuse to let my own life die, wither and disappear at the sake of maintaining a relationship.

What about maintaining myself?

It’s time to keep that bold-faced question in my heart’s front pocket.

Because it’s not necessary to sacrifice myself at the altar of our love.

I need to speak louder and stand taller and claim the freedom that is not a luxury—-but my goddamn birthright.

And if this means I’ll lose you, then so be it.

I will risk it all—because I have to.

Because I downright refuse to lose myself.

So I shall let go a little bit, take a big, deep breath—and take a few steps back.

And find myself again.

And become luscious and whole again—and nourish myself fantastically.

And then, when I’m whole, when I feel strong again—let’s meet in the park by the mountains and talk for hours on end. I’d like to show you—and myself—how sturdy and grounded I am. I’d love for you to see me at my best.

And it’s scary to even think about taking these few slight steps away from you, these shaky, tentative steps towards myself—but I have to. I have to trust—trust that as long as I’m being honest with you…and myself—this love will take the course it’s meant to, that it will work out, exactly as destiny dictates.

I have no choice but to surrender, my knees tremble, quake and resist—but surrender I shall.

It can feel so oddly beautiful to let go, just a little bit.

I already feel sparks of empowerment tingling like embers in the depths of my solar plexus—egging me on, telling me this is the right thing to do. And I ’m so wildly thirsty for my own embrace. I’m so hungry for emerald pools of solitude. I’m downright starving for solo expeditions where I wander for days and don’t answer my phone.

This is an important fork in the road. And it’s important to recognize it as such…

Because I can either do what I’ve always done—blend into blotted togetherness, melt into you, into who I think you want me to be, disappear and forsake my identity for the thousandth time—or I can choose something new. I can finally learn how to maintain my identity while being in a relationship.

I choose new.

I choose my own heart.

I choose to be brave.

It is my deepest hope that in doing this, in choosing myself—I will also be choosing you.

I will see you so soon, my love.

Until then, take care of yourself tenderly. Fantastically. Magnificently.

I will do the same.

Because darlin’, I know that when we do what’s best for ourselves, it can’t help but benefit others. Even if it doesn’t feel good. Even it feels uncomfortable beyond words. Even if it feels like the hardest thing in the world.

Because we both know that it’s through these seemingly small, but immensely powerful acts of self-compassion that we change our inner world—and by consequence—our outer world too.

And it is only though self-compassion that real love can flourish.

Darlin’ it is my damn deepest hope that in choosing myself—

I will also be choosing you.

I will see you so soon.

For right now, I need to plug into my own heart.


Author: Sarah Harvey

PhotoFlickr/Sodanie Chea

Editors: Yoli Ramazzina; Caitlin Oriel

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