At some point growing up I decided that the only way to survive in the world was to shut down and close off my heart. I’m sure given a choice I would have chosen only to avoid the pain of life… not the pleasure… but open or shut were the only options available.
Most of the time, everyone and everything around me was inconsistent, physically and emotionally. A broken family, turbulent relationships and an appalling time at school all contributed to this.
Every time I started to get settled, it would all disappear. I had no control, and I couldn’t trust anything. It became unbearable.
I couldn’t make people or the world go away, so instead I shut up shop and hid my true self away from them, behind a mask…
I put a smile on my face, and became a reflection to others’ wishes—like the princess in the tower, a prize to be admired, completely untouchable.
I had the perfect disguise…
Today…years later I am a rather different person,
On my journey to get here, I felt like an adrenaline junkie, always seeking out excitement and pushing it to the edge.
Out of fear I tried to control the relationships in my life, as I had learned to control my emotions. I also looked for others to control me instead, always believing that power equalled love…Oh, how wrong I was…
The truth, though, was that I was still avoiding the depths of my own emotions.
It was falling in love though that would take me there and break me there.
With no warning a man came into my life, and I fell uncontrollably and unconditionally in love for the first time. I was completely unprepared and terrified.
But this wasn’t a fairy tale.
He didn’t rescue me, and I didn’t rescue him. Instead, I saw myself reflected in his confused and sometimes harsh approach to my deep longing.
And after a while, I began to realise…
He couldn’t love me, because I didn’t.
All the bottled pain, loneliness, and rage came crashing out of me like a wild thing let loose. It wasn’t neat, tidy, or controllable. It was messy, scary, and tremendously painful. It took time to heal the wounds that had been left unattended for so long.
Instead, I had to learn see it for what it was—just stuck energy that I needed to release to be happy.
I now generally live my life playing freely in the wide expanse where the two meet, being aware of me, the best I can.
It’s a balancing act—avoiding those extremes. It’s when we master this that we can love freely and live true to ourselves.