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March 21, 2021

Giving A Piece of My Heart with an Ulterior Motive

Photo by Magdaline Nicole on Pexels.

The phrase, a piece of my heart, has been thrown around so in many ways in the context that another person ‘took’ something from us. Remember Janis Joplin’s song, A Piece of My Heart? I think the phrase describes our selfishness, because the reality is that we ‘give’ our hearts. We are so selfish we fool ourselves into believing we love other people with no objective. I thought I loved someone, but maybe I was just learning to love myself.

When I was with him, I released a piece of my personality that I’ve never shared before. And some bits that I used to share, but lost as I grew older. I told him things no one else knows. Not because they were a secret, but because no one else ever prompted or inspired me to say and analyze these things. I didn’t even know these things myself until I put them into words for him. When I released my inner thoughts, I understood that part of myself for the first time. His perspective of life changed mine, his energy made me want to respond with creativity and learn new things, and his compliments forced me to acknowledge my favorable traits.

So, when he walked away he was dragging that part of me, that piece of my heart, on a string. I watched part of myself vanish into the distance knowing it wasn’t going on its own free will. Standing there afraid, I was sad to think that part of me would never come back.  I realize now, it’s not just him who I miss. I miss myself.

Everyone makes choices and gives away different pieces of their hearts. Some give lots of small pieces. Some give away none. Others give very large pieces, so there can only be a few.  I’ve been selfish and stingy with what I give, but I gave him a very large piece. When he had it and he was connected to me, it felt great. But now that he untethered himself from me and stole that piece, I feel the emptiness. But, if I gave it to him, how did he steal it? The blame cannot be placed on him.

If my heart was full of many tiny pieces and one of those pieces fell away, I probably wouldn’t notice. But this I notice. The piece I gave him was too big, too overwhelming. He is very wise and told me not to assign so much importance to him. I desperately want him to walk back and laugh at me for being too dramatic and love me for making him love himself. I want that piece of myself back, but I also know I can’t wait for him.

So for the first time ever, I’m challenging myself not to feel regret over something not working the way I hoped. I love how much I loved him and how that love made me aware of myself—my shortcomings and my attributes. I will get that piece of my heart back by sharing different parts of myself with others. I’m confident that I will find even more pieces I didn’t realize I had. Once I replace that large piece, I will break it into lots of small pieces and give them away freely. Loving him made me realize that in order to selfishly love myself, I must first learn to be less selfish and give away small portions of my heart to many people. We need to admit that loving someone else does have an ulterior motive—to love ourselves.


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