Lighthouse

My dreams have always had a way of tearing me down. They come through each day like a wave and with my eyes open I watch as the things around me get worn and washed away, and then the wave comes back and does it all again. I’ve watched this cycle for as long as I’ve been dreaming. I’ve noticed that the more intense the desire, the more intense the wave. When my heart races at the thought of getting what I know is right for me, that’s when the water comes crashing in at full force. I stand with my feet buried in the sand and my body held strong, ready to get hit by what’s coming my way but refusing to be knocked down. I don’t cover my face. I don’t turn my back. I just stay tall and firm, confident in knowing that I will not fall. And while I’m proud to say that my feet have never been washed out from under me, I can’t say the same for the things around me. When the water pulls back it often takes relationships, opportunities, materials, and other things that I thought were too secure to be washed away. I want to run. I want to chase after them. But I spent so much time burying my own feet in the sand that I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to move, and now the same ocean that has it’s grip on me rolls back in laughter, carrying the things I thought were mine to keep.

The truth is, with everything that comes and goes I am learning that a dreamer’s journey is a lonely one. I have fought and struggled and chased down everything that I wanted to stay, hoping that I could remain steady where I am while controlling the fluidity of what’s around me. But I was never known for my ability to chase so I am learning how to show strength in the roots that I build. Though I chose sand for a foundation, I know that when packed and secure, it can be as strong as I need it to be. The only weakness comes from the things on top that refused to dig deep enough to stay. And while I will enjoy everything that sits around me while it’s there, I will also let it go with peace. The water is not meant to be dangerous or scare me into finding solid ground somewhere else; it’s meant to wash away what no longer belongs to me. And as it takes things away, I will remain steady. I will let the beat of my heart and the light of my dreams call out to the water in front of me and serve as a lighthouse to guide and welcome what is mine. Boats and rafts filled with new people and new loves will find their way to me and I will embrace them with open arms, but I will not ask them to stay. I am where I am because of my dreams and they are where they are because of theirs. And if the water washes them away as they are called to venture somewhere else, who am I to stop them?

And as time goes by, I know that with everything around me, I am changing too. I am being molded into who the world is calling me to be. Sometimes my edges are sharp and the clouds in my mind match the ones above my head. But other times I am soft, and the water rolls off me with ease and I am unbothered. Most of the time, though, I am somewhere in the middle – fierce with determination and wild with desire, but calm and content all the same. Enough to tackle what comes, but to accept what goes.

I have built myself into the anomaly of a dreamer standing still. I am a lighthouse attracting everything that is lost and searching for a way, welcoming all that is meant to be. And, if in time, a boat is sent my way with nothing on it, then I will know that it’s time for me to dig up my roots and continue elsewhere. But things in life – be it dreams, people, opportunities, or otherwise – are not meant to be chased, they are meant to be welcomed. And whether I am standing tall in the sand or flowing free in the water, I will welcome what is brought to me and let it come and go with peace.

Do You Deserve the Love you Accept From Yourself?

Growing up I had always been afraid of heights. I remember having panick attacks on roller coasters and clinging to my best friend on a ferris wheel because the idea of being so high up and having so far to fall terrified me. There was no sense of “freedom” being up so high, it was just pure fear. At some point, though, I decided that I hated being afraid of something so trivial. So, I did what I could to tackle that fear. I rode more roller coasters. I climbed to higher heights. I tried to expose myself to the very thing that scared me so much so that I no longer felt afraid. Or rather, so that the fear didn’t mean nearly as much to me as the thrill.

I did the same thing with love.

Throughout this year, I began to analyze myself more deeply and learned a lot about my fear of love and where it came from. I learned that the amount of failed relationships that had surrounded my life had paralyzed me to the idea of love and caused me to (subconsciously) live in fear of relationships. So, just like with my fear of heights, I decided to dive headfirst into love.

I met a few people here and there and explored the posibility of love with each one, but it never felt right – none of them felt like the perfect match. Then, I unexpectedly fell in love with a man who wasn’t, by any means, perfect. His hobbies were more like obsessions; his temper was strong but shortlived; his opinions were nothing shy of (overly) passionate. But none of that mattered to me because I still saw perfection even in all of that. I saw his crinkly smile and felt the way it made my heart skip. I heard his laugh (which was more like a giggle) and couldn’t help but feel laughter bubble up within myself. I listened to the way he talked about things that mattered to him and I felt something that made cliche’s seem normal and love songs make sense. I knew I was in trouble, but with everything he did and said, I fell a little more.

I wish I could say there was a happy ending to the relationship and, because of him, I learned that there was nothing to be afraid of, but that’s not the case. Instead, I learned why I was afraid to love – I learned how much it could hurt if it didn’t last – and added that to my current knowledge of where the fear came from.

I’m not going to give any of the gory details on how the relationship ended because I don’t want blame to be pointed in any one direction. (I may write something that focuses on the relationship later on, but for now, this is a little more about me.) I believe wholeheartedly that the failure came from both ends – we each had things we needed to work on and that’s simply why we couldn’t be together right now. But when I look back on the relationship, I’m able to see how, in my opinion, we were doomed from the beginning; he never knew how to love me and I never know how to accept love from him – it doesn’t mean the love wasn’t there, it just means we were on a track that would eventually run short.

While I’ve never felt a pain worse than heartbreak and I think I definitely have quite a bit of healing to do, I’m glad I got the time that I did with a man who has such a great heart so I could learn what it’s like to love and allow myself to learn more of who I am. My last post was about my own mental health struggles, and being in love with someone else was exactly what I needed for me to realize how little love I had for myself. Each time I got upset about something he did or didn’t do or the appreciation I did or didn’t feel had little to do with him, but a lot to do with me. It was a realization that was hard to accept, but I’m glad I know it now.

Opening my heart up as much as I did when falling in love with him and then having it broken in the end was the only way for me to see inside of my heart and take a deeper look at what was in there. All of my insecurities, loneliness, and struggles were finally making themselves evident and it’s because of the appearance of those things that I couldn’t have a successful relationship with anyone even if I wanted to. I would always end up either pushing that person away or putting too much pressure on them, something that wouldn’t be healthy for either of us.

But maybe that’s what falling in love is all about. Maybe it’s about learning what’s in your own heart and then acting accordingly. It’s easy to hide from things until you start exposing yourself to someone else. Shallow relationships will never get you there, but deep relationships will force you to expose some of the most vulnerable parts of yourself, and that’s part of what makes them hard but so worth it.

I learned that I could give all the love I have to someone else, and I think I did that to the best of my ability, but that doesn’t mean anything if I don’t know how to love myself. After all, how can I truly accept love from others if I can’t even accept it from myself?

“We accept the love we think we deserve,” right? I would encourage you to truly ask yourself what kind of love you think you deserve…

Does it align with the love you’re showing others?

Does it align with the love you’re showing yourself?