The gifts of imperfection

The night of my birthday one of my best friends called me and we had a rather intimate discussion about love, marriage, and relationships. I have been thinking about it ever since and tonight, a night where I was feeling particularly open I added my thoughts. Enough to tell my story rather than hers, which is not mine to tell.

I lay here staring at the book cover of Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection which beckons readers to “Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.”  I told My Person tonight that from 19 I thought that at 29 I was supposed to be engaged. And here I am 29 and I couldn’t be further from it–and at peace with that. I added, “I can’t even picture 30 let alone 39!” All we are is right now. I decided. She agreed.

So what of relationships then? I contemplated my distance in relationships. Borrowed words describe it perfectly,

I never want to love someone so much that them leaving means my destruction.

I hear that and it pierces straight through me like a white hot dagger. It is my own absolute ‘right now’.  After surviving the solitary tundra that is depression I realize a large part of me is deathly afraid of ever being hurt like that again. My person asked me, “Do you think you’re that weak?” I flinched reading the question. But answered, “I think its that strong. And being that open means also being open to annhialation.”

So now that I’ve been made supremely aware…choosing, then, to remain closed or guarded, or love with limits is now a choice. Is that who I am? Well no…I don’t think that’s any of us, but maybe that’s who I am right now.

I want to forgive myself. For building this wall of protection that, from the outside is a treasure chest and from the inside is a prison cell. I want to forgive myself for loving wholly and losing. I forgive myself for breaking. I forgive myself for remaining broken for as long as I did have. I forgive ever cruel word I’ve ever said to myself and to others. Know that even the weakest parts of me just want to survive. I forgive myself for needing. For being haphazardly vulnerable. For investing in people, places, and things that showed no promise of return. I forgive myself for accepting closeness on behalf of intimacy and touch on behalf of affection. And I cry as I write that because it cost me so much.

I am flawed. I am imperfect and I have a story. But right now, I am forgiven. I am cleansed. I am uplifted.  I am.

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