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My dear, sweet friend:
I see you.
I see you for who you are, not for all that you are not or all that others might want you to be.
I see you as you, in all your soulful beauty and patience and desire to give.
I see you—watch you—hand out the love that you wish to receive.
I see you, time and time again, give more than you are offered to take.
I see you reach for the hands that reluctantly hold yours, and curl up beside the men who curl up beside others or, if they could, might marry themselves.
And, I see you hurt. Again and again, I see you hurt.
I feel your hurt with you.
I feel that squeeze of the pounding organ in your chest that we call heartache as you delete years-long message strings and albums of pictures.
I feel it punch your rib cage and mine when you cut them off. My goodness how it hurts so good to stand up for ourselves…eventually.
I feel the sob from your lungs and feel relief because I know that it’s one more breath of letting go. One step closer.
Closer to yourself.
Because, sweet friend—and I know this is hard to hear—you need to love you for a while.
You need to learn to hold your own hand and to lead it gently through your loneliness—that your hands can’t lead someone out of their darkness, and your light can’t patch their pitch-dark holes.
You need to cuddle up with yourself and come to enjoy those silent moments of alone time. It will come. It will come after first curling into your fears while moistening pillowcases with tears. It’ll come after angrily tearing off the old bedsheets. It’ll come after deciding that you’re ready for new patterns to adorn your space. It’ll come.
You need to see you for who you are so that you will not accept anyone who doesn’t see and love the whole of who you are.
And I know that when we are lost, it’s hard to see, so I will shine a light. This is who you are:
You are titanium strength and rugged determination bundled into a tender-skinned encasement.
You are Sisyphus climbing the hill. You struggle up only to fall. And yet, you keep getting up. Your boulders, I know, feel bigger than others’. And that just might be true. But you just keep pushing on.
You are cayenne lemonade. A lot of sweet, a bit of sarcastic sour tang, a definite bite.
You are a secure lifeline to your loved one. And I know you sometimes wonder who will serve as that for you. When you’ll be able to cut loose and rely on someone else to catch you, to take up that boulder for a brief moment so that you can breathe.
You deserve that.
And you deserve a person who will be a salve, a balm as you continue on your journey to tend to your scars.
You deserve a giver.
Someone who wants to drink you up and yet fill your glass anew.
Someone who sees all that you have done in life and wants to do it with you.
Someone who sees your weakness and knows that this is an area in which they can grow in patience and acceptance with the comfort of knowing that you’ll be doing the same, with all your heart. After all, that’s just what you do.
Someone who is not your better half, but your equal half.
But first, you deserve to heal.
You deserve to feel whole.
Remember this as you pick up the pieces.