When I moved to LA after the death of my mother I can honestly say that I have never been more happy and free in my entire life. Still dancing full out in my rain storms, taking life one day at a time and feeling as if I could take on the world on my own, was everything that I needed. A lot of soul searching had to take place. I was forced to find myself all over again, to remember who I was and to focus on who I wanted to be at a very fragile time. I was spending all of my time and resources making sure in my own way that although my brother and sister had to bear the weight of losing a parent they wouldn’t have to know the feeling of lost dreams and being left behind, we hit the ground running. At some point though life started to calm in that amazing way that it always does. My brother and sister started to come into their own, and even our mutual problems that we often fought together started to balance out, normalize and individualize. I was back on my own. The place that I had worked so hard to build myself up to years prior had presented itself again, and there I was, my own woman.
The un dealt with emotions and feelings from my past and life in general wasted no time coming back to the surface. It seemed like as soon as I was able to breathe and my dance storm sessions became less frequent, suddenly I had all of these bottled up emotions and insecurities that I had suppressed in order to care for everyone else, and even to care for myself. From issues with my father, anger at my mother for leaving all the way down to resentment for my ex. everything I thought was dealt with, made its way to my frontal lobe. As much as I thought I was being free, taking care of myself and loving everyone I was only really dealing with one problem, and that was losing her….The one common factor in every resurfacing life issue that I was now working through, was that they were all issues of the heart. I prayed and worked on forgiving my father even though I wasn’t sure if any apology would ever come, I asked God to heal me and take away the feelings of unworthiness from my previous relationship, and I loved myself harder and stronger to deal with everything else. But despite every effort to be whole again I also noticed I was letting NO ONE in. It had been two years since I was in a relationship that lasted 8 years, and almost a year since my mother passed. I was in NO rush romantically but it started to worry me that I wasn’t just turning guys away, I was letting them close an inch and then running full force 100 miles an hour in the other direction, never to be heard from again. My heart was closed, and I didn’t think that It would ever be open again. Suddenly my freedom didn’t feel as free and I was quickly realizing that this closed off person that I was becoming, was actually starting to suffocate my strength, and make fear rise up in me at rapid paces. To be able to love was appearing to be one of the strongest attributes of a woman, and I was lacking. Happy with myself, yet drowning in fear of sharing that with anyone else ever again. To top it off I started to think of all of the things that It would take to ever be compatible with someone else. Vulnerability?! HELL nah, you want me to talk about stuff? my fears? DEAL with my insecurities? why in the world would I do that, we we’re all friends at this point. The biggest realization that I was having though was that my relationship with God was just getting back to a comfortable place, which is where my relationship with any man would stem from. If I couldn't trust anyone, did I really trust him? I certainly didn’t trust my worldly dad at this place in my life, how would I be able to trust someone else?….What if we broke up, what if I end up unhappy and have to leave, what if they leave…what if they broke my heart like my father, what if they take away my peace?.... I constantly had to let these thoughts drift away into nothing, they were frequent, but I wanted to be superwoman. For myself and by myself.
All of the sudden I was standing in a Starbucks completely soaked and cold from a spilled drink and this person standing in front of me wouldn’t stop hemraging apologies.
Three months later I was head over heels In love with him. I’m not sure how I got from A to B so quickly and his persistence was luckily more powerful than my fear of opening up to someone. I still can't recall how he finally got in, but I do know that on my mothers birthday he showed up to spend the day with my family and I without knowledge, and on the anniversary of her death he stayed with me even in the darkest hours. Sharing hilarious stories from his past and talking about our love of hip hop. Every single important date that followed he was there without question. One thing is for sure though, I definitely was not an easy catch lol, my hardships had turned me into the “I don’t need anyone” girl and with this new amazing person came a host of baggage from both ends. Like me he had an extensive past, a story to tell and a host of demons to deal with. When I leapt though, I did it with everything and not only did I choose to love him, I let him bring his bags with him. I was terrified at the thought of it but the most lasting memory that I have from early on was the intense desire we both had to not judge each other, but to help one another unpack. I could see in falling for him every mistake I had made before and how much our generation gets it so dramatically wrong. The love he has for me is overwhelming in the best way and I still can't find the words to describe how a situation that I would have run from in the past, is one that I’m running towards now. I took the biggest chance that I had ever taken with someone, I handed him the a knife to kill me with and trusted that he wouldn’t. Surprisingly my relationship and trust with God improved fast and beautifully as well, unlike in my past I took my complete trust from him and the relationship, and gave it to God instead. I learned this time around that he may have the knife but God will always have the shield, and if all of our love doesn’t first come from him, it wouldn’t come at all. Neither one of us were looking for a relationship. Even in falling in love we had our guards up. Even joking at times about how I wasn’t a “forever” type of woman anymore anyways, how I wasn’t capable. "Didn't they tell you that I was a savage?" type, Funny story. Funnier if you could see us now. Yet every moment that I got the urge to run as usual far far away in the other direction I would pray and not only would God show up, he would too. I didn’t think it was possible to love anyone as much as I love him and never before have I wanted to be so healed, and even better than I am, not only for myself but for another person. Now don’t get me wrong, relationships are fickle, anything could happen at the drop of a dime, and people have a tendency to change. The older I get the more at peace I am with the constant whirlwind that is life. But despite it all, right now in the place that I am in, he’s become the exact piece that I was missing. A complete other entity that I didn't know belonged next to me. I'm not 100%, I don’t think that I will ever be, the hole that my mom left will be there forever, and at some point i’ll learn to be whole around it...but I am....and the beauty in being and living is more than I thought It could be. Or at least I was reminded of that fact. We often times ask God to do his part to “fill us up” and mend our broken pieces, yet we’re never sure exactly how he does. In my life this just so happened to be one of the many ways. For most people I think finding love after trauma is a negative thing. People assume that you are just filling the void or distracting yourself from your realties. In a lot of situations that is the case, and trust me, I have been that girl too. Often times we use relationships as a giant means of validation, to make us feel that if someone else wants us than that must mean that we are worthy. For me however being able to use my heart again period might be just a couple notches under everything that I have overcome. India has a lyric that says “ and if he ever left me I wouldn’t even be sad, cause theres a blessing in every lesson and I’m glad that I know him at all.” It used to drive me FUCKING mad trying to figure out why in the world a woman would say such a thing. If he leaves you he’s a dumb ass! was my only thought when I used to listen to it lol, and maybe its a little true, but I see now that I was missing the point. The freest thing that you can do as a woman and the most empowering, is to learn to love. Suddenly her lyrics make sense to me. To be whole without someone and to be whole with someone is and should always be one in the same. I used to think the absence of love was strength, to be able to obstain from it and to fight it, meant that you were a strong person, but really there is so much strength in love. Love is the absence of fear. To go from feeling as if I am impossible to love to feeling as if loving me was the easiest thing in life was definitely a transition to say the least. Maybe it was because of the extent of self love that I found in all this time, but somehow when he see’s me I know that he see’s ME. from the most vunerable versions of me to my strongest parts. Complete and unconditional. The one thing that I hope though that anyone that Is reading this terribly sappy love shit gets, is that life is unpredictable, filled to the brim with ups and downs and twist and turns that you will NEVER see coming. For me love sat in a place that everything that I need to move to the next level in my life stems from. To be able to love me as well as someone else is almost somewhat of a graduation for me, to use the very thing that I had sat on a shelf for so long.. The thing that I was missing is that its not enough just to love without return and to take care of everyone around you to fill the voids. Even at your highest sense of self to let love in is one of the greatest gifts that God has given us. I thought I was happy on my own, and indeed I was. I had grown into a very amazing person that I am proud to be. But I have never in my life felt stronger than I do now, being able to love and receive love back. To overcome the fear and trust that whatever God has for your life is for YOUR life. This entire relationship has reminded me of ALL of the other amazing things in life that I have yet to see and experience. My future didn’t seem dim but I was anxious, so many years I would have to live with all of these drastic life changes. SO many years that I would have to “get” through became so many years that I can’t wait for. Theres no white picket fence and "perfect" life in my world anymore but I do see a world now that I'm elated to be apart of. So I'm painting my white picket fence matte black and learning to find glory in every single thing that I and my life is becoming. Take some time in your own life and see what it is that you have yet to deal with, for me, it is this. For others a plethora of different issues and emotions could arise, but my message is to face them head on. While I continue to find peace and light out of my own brokenness, I hope you can use this to take a look at your life as well, I challenge you to start work on your broken and empty places. To take the damn leap, to learn that fear is a lie. There is an entire ocean of everything under there, of love, of freedom, and most of all, of life.