I wouldn't suffer a man who'd expect me to submit or settle for one who would always leave me to lead I need someone who knows how to tame and tend hot flames a soul with the stature and strength to make mine savor a surrender To be softly swallowed up in faithful protection and gently nestled in a magnetic field of overwhelming trust and safety My writhing agitation and anger within must be melted with the sedative of a light hearted nature that soothes with abundant laughter I cannot be held by a handsome face beautiful bodies quickly become boring the brilliant aura of a burning spirit is the only sight that makes me swoon Come collect me, if you dare the dragon my prince must defeat is perched upon my very essence with ignited wings of pride and passion I will not be insulted or made to stoop or force my consciousness to condescend my lover must be like the tide that makes all boats rise
There are many reason I identify with polyamory primarily the science that explains it's our nature but also because it allows me to love again even though my love for you has never faded Monogamy proclaims I cannot love more than one in this model my life would have to be spent alone or else in a horrible, shameful sham of love because you will never again be mine to hold Polyamory is something I am able to practice quietly within my own heart the alter I still gently tend for you in my soul need not be torn down or take up all the space I can share my love with others without letting you go which is a true blessing because that's a choice I am unable to make The feelings I have for you are probably the best part of me and it would be a tragedy to discard them all together What a relief to be reassured there is no need for me to be alone just because you no longer love me while I will love you forever What a gift to get to keep you nestled close to my heart no matter what to never have to lose the vivid color of all that you still are to me
The Unedited Self
First loves, I've learned can cut to the quick because we haven't quiet learned yet how to conceal our worst qualities There is a certain magnetism in someone who has seen our deepest flaws but chooses to love us despite them there is a humbling awe in such acceptance Not to insinuate that later lovers would not be as generous of heart rather that the older we get the less chance we give them After adolescence we get so good at hiding away all the parts of ourselves that we aren't proud of hidden under a heavy layer of secret shame Only those who've always known me have seen who I truly am unedited before I crafted the silk screen of self I've erected for protection No opinion of love or hate can touch me as it once did there is a certain safety in isolation but the soul withers without sunlight Unconditional love is hard to come by when you won't allow yourself to be known maybe the world would surprise me but I fear I'll never let myself find out
Why do you still seep through my subconscious and sour my dreams with your familiar scent? even when I finally feel sure I can let go your phantom reappears to pierce my heart Months of black void nights suddenly ended with blurry images and emotions on fire still razor sharp after all these years bleeding out onto my white sheets as I sleep Even the me inside my mind has grown weary of your semi-frequent infiltration last night I told you I wished you'd never have come back into my life at all Even so, there is something distracting about the way nothing else feels real after our unconscious encounters everything else becomes hollow For this reason some part of me still savors the sweet drops of pain you produce within me a reminder of the tender stirring I once felt inside a stark contrast to the silence that now smothers
When You’re With Me
I start to get frustrated when you're away I forget all the reasons I love you seeds begin to stir inside my subconscious spinning stories of mistrust and cynicism I fill the space between us with thick shadow unshakeable doubts that make me shudder cringing at my own incompetence in communication afraid of looking foolish in the face of disinterest Prepared to push away when you pull me in rehearsing my preemptive rejection for self-protection perpetually surprised when I immediately melt and let you fold me tenderly in your arms again Set at ease by your soothing, sultry smell the stability of warm skin under soft fingertips stilling the tumultuous tide churning deep inside replacing it with gently waving fields of sweet grass Stay with me a little longer let me linger in this sacred, silent connection let it seep into my cells so that I cannot forget the simple, supple harmony between our hearts
Teach Me How to Know You
I so desperately want to know the delicate details that make up the lives of others. The small, seemingly insignificant instances that strike us all, the strange stiches that have sown us into who we are today. The utterly unique patchwork pattern of experiences that compose every individual. Intimate, private memories that stand out and tangle up our hearts with hidden meaning. I don’t want to know how your day is going. I want to know who you are.
Small talk has always been one of my deepest frustrations, a tedious trial to be muddled through with the intention of reaching the real conversations that lie beneath it. My jaw clenches at the impossible effort it takes for me to navigate this fragile transition. Some people seem to open themselves to my curious soul like the mouth of a river into the ocean. Infatuation, fascination, true connection. The inexplicable, spirit quenching rawness of seeing behind the curtain of another person’s consciousness. The conversations that feel like pure creation.
Other people remain forever closed to me. Infuriating mysteries, staring at the bare walls of an empty room. No cracks to peer through, no insight to be uncovered. I can’t think of the right questions to break through blank stares. I know there is so much more inside, behind those unknowable eyes. Everyone has the depth that I hold within, an entire galaxy of thoughts, perceptions, and memories. But how do I learn to unveil the inner world of others? I can’t just ask them who they are. This gradual uncovering must come organically. Yet patience alone isn’t enough to draw it out.
The more often I find myself unable to crack the complicated code of true connection, the more I surrender to inner solitude. Giving up is what I know best, especially when it comes to other people. When I can’t see someone, I can’t believe that they see me. The smothered shouting of my soul demands a real witness. Demands to be drenched in the bottomless black water of knowing another being.
If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others. You will not be able to love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able of developing compassion for others.Dalai Lama
It feels like this sentiment has received a lot of backlash in recent years. People are offended when you suggest their lack of self-love somehow eliminates their potential to love other people. This quote is at the back of my mind a lot and I’ve thought about it in different ways at different points in my life. I believe both perspectives have validity to them. I don’t think it’s impossible to have love for other people if you don’t love yourself. I know the love I receive from the people in my life often makes it more possible for me to show myself love and compassion. But I don’t think that was ever the message trying to be conveyed. The message to me was that you can’t love others fully or as much as you would be able to if you loved yourself.
Relationships of any kind are very difficult for me. I do think it stems a lot from the way I love myself, or rather the way I don’t love myself. Throughout my life, all the relationships that have stuck were with people that are extremely open, loving, caring, and communicative. These people are the easiest for me to connect with, because I feel safe with them. And I guess to a certain extent, maybe they have the self-confidence and self-esteem to not take it personally when I am in one of my anti-social moods.
I’ve recently noticed how a lot of my other relationships break down over time. If the other person is not always openly expressing their good opinion of me or how much they value me and our friendship, I slowly start to convince myself that they don’t care about me. Because of this often mistaken perception, I pull away. They notice me pulling away, so they pull away. My suspicions are confirmed, and the friendship/relationship is dead. Without the presence of a palpable and verbalized unconditional love, I don’t ever feel secure enough to maintain a relationship with someone.
This stems directly from the way I feel about myself. I don’t believe I deserve friendship or love. It makes more sense to me that someone wouldn’t like me. I seek out cues to reinforce this belief whether they are there or not. It takes a LOT of weight and evidence in the opposite direction for someone to counterbalance my negative self-perception. Which can understandably be an exhausting dynamic for anyone without the predisposition to interact that way.
This is what I think it means when someone says you have to love yourself first. No, I’m not incapable of having meaningful, loving relationships. I’m fortunate enough to have several that I deeply value. BUT I would be available for forming close bonds with many different types of people if I had a higher amount of self-worth. My self-loathing makes it far too painful to be vulnerable with anyone that I’m not 100% certain will receive that vulnerability with positive regard and support. I’ve already rejected myself to such an extent that seeing that reflected by another person, whether real or imagined, is unbearable.
I don’t think you have to love yourself to love other people. But it does make it a hell of a lot easier.
Conflict breeds closeness a concept I've never quite understood how can fighting foster connection? I've always favored a clean break Torn, tired muscles grow back stronger every time I suppose this is the principle I've never applied Emotions too big to express evaporate on my lips speaking out signals vulnerability it's safer to pretend I don't care Always held at arm's length trading isolation for immunity from all the messiness wound up with others Relationships aren't worth the risk this mantra once protected me always alright, but alone and uninspired sometimes it feels too late to change
Attachment Style & Love Language Overlap
Observing and researching my own attachment style and preferred love language over the years has taught me a lot about myself and the types of partners that I gravitate towards. When I read about all of the different attachment styles I always end up classifying myself into the fourth and arguable worst form of attachment: anxious-avoidant attachment. Perhaps this is normally expressed in a more self-destructive and unhealthy way than I exhibit, but nevertheless none of the others seem to fit the way I feel. Here a short breakdown of the four basic attachment styles and how they present:
- Secure: This is the ideal attachment style. You love and allow yourself to be loved freely with little to no inhibition and typically have healthy, well-balanced relationships with others.
- Anxious: People with an anxious attachment style constantly fear being abandoned and need endless reassurance and affection from their partner. These would be the “clingy” partners.
- Avoidant: The avoidant attachment style leads to people being aloof or resistance to forming close emotional bonds with others. They prefer to remain independent and have a hard to being vulnerable and trusting others.
- Anxious-avoidant: This style is considered a disorganized attachment style. It is a mixture of the anxious and the avoidant styles. People with this style oscillate back and forth between fear of abandonment and fear of commitment.
I identify with the last style because I do feel that while I desperately want to be loved and to be close to someone, I’m also terrified of that idea. In some ways this leads to a lot of self-sabotage in my personal relationships. One day I will feel horrified at how much better my partner is than me and feel certain they will leave me and I won’t be able to bear being without them. The next day I feel chained to them and find myself searching for ways to escape the relationship/nitpicking all of their tiny flaws.
Another thing I’ve come to understand is my love language. It’s always been harder for me to pick up on subtle cues and appreciating the meaning behind physical gestures. That’s why I usually gravitate towards partners that are very vocal about their feelings for me. I love to be constantly complimented and praised and sweet-talked.
However, only very recently have I begun to notice a pattern in this. Sometimes I feel very lovey-dovey with my current partner and have no problem showering them with affection. But in the next moment, I will feel insecure and as though my feelings are not being reciprocated. When this happens the avoidant side of my attachment style takes over and I feel the need to push them away and prove to myself that I don’t need them anyway.
I asked myself the other day why it is that I often feel unsure of his feelings for me, despite having no real reason to doubt him. I believe the reason is that he does not really explicitly state his love for me with flowery, adoring language (words of affirmation). He says that he loves me of course, but he does not dote on me the way I am used to. When this is the only thing I am looking for to confirm his affection, I start to doubt. Yet, I’ve come to understand that while he may not say what I want to hear, he shows it more than any other partner I’ve been with (acts of service). And isn’t that more important?
While I always believed the undying praise past partners have given me, it seems like in the end I feel betrayed when their actions contradict those words. It may feel nice and exciting to be flattered, but flattery only takes you so far. If your actions say the opposite of your words, your words don’t really matter as much. While at first I may prefer to be spoken to lovingly, at the end of the day, I think actions speak louder than words when I’m willing to listen.
It’s much easier to exaggerate your feelings through charming words. The significance of your actions far outweigh this, and are much harder to fake. When I reflect on someone’s feelings for me, my natural inclination is to recall what they’ve said to me. I have been omitting all the things my partner has done that show me the way they value and appreciate me. When I also include this aspect, I find that I feel much happier and loved than ever before. Despite my inclination to worry and mistrust, over the last year, my partner has proved to me again and again their consistency and loving commitment in a way I’ve never experienced. I am so grateful to be learning to accept this new, reassuring form of love and start to recognize it more and more. I will do my best from now on to show my love in return as well as speak it, and to allow myself to trust again.
Pain makes me brave. Pain makes me honest. Pain makes me face the world with everything that I have. Sometimes it takes pain to show me what really matters, what I’ve been missing, what I’ve been taking for granted. When I’m comfortable I get bored. I become afraid to make any change at all. Even when it’s a change that needs to be made. I’m so afraid of shaking up the status quo that I’ve become accustomed to that sometimes “comfort” can be transformed into something worse than pain. Like a frog slowly being cooked alive in a tepid water that gradually begins to boil. I don’t realize how bad I’ve allowed things to get until it’s too late.
When something abruptly smashes into my comfortable complacency, there is fear, there is agony, but there is also opportunity. I am forced to change direction. I am forced to gather up the pieces of my life and create something entirely new. I am forced to be my own ally again. There is a haunting, fierce, indescribable beauty in pain. There is strength and resiliency and the birth of new hope after the fall. There is even a sense of surprise and pride in finding out just how much we are actually able to take without being broken. There is something awe inspiring when we lift our head from our tear-stained hands and realize, “I’m still here. I’m alive. This isn’t the end.”
There is great freedom in the feeling of having nothing to lose. There is a boldness that emerges, a confidence, even an urgency to go after what we truly want. Pain brings clarity and curiosity. Everything feels a little more real, a little more defined. Pain is the springboard for passion and creativity. It is a necessary evil. These are the reasons I find myself having a very complex relationship with pain, grief, and loss. Part of me finds a strange comfort in pain, an odd feeling of safety after losing it all. The burden of trying to hold it all together, the burden of grasping and clinging on to life is lifted for a moment. This brings a twinge of pleasure that blends into the pain. For me, pain is always bittersweet.
I’ve come to realize that the reason communication and confrontation are so hard, is not because I don’t know how to articulate my thoughts and feelings. It’s not that I don’t know what to say or how I feel. I’ve never had any issue explaining myself to a third party. But when I find myself facing the person I really want to talk to, I become so consumed with fear that I can’t focus. My mind becomes clouded with thoughts of what they will think or how they will respond to what I’m saying. Are they going to look at me differently? Are they going to be upset? Will they leave? Will our relationship change? Will they misunderstand me? Will I be able to respond adequately to whatever they say back to me? These concerns are so overwhelming that I tend to stay silent instead of having some of the most important, necessary, and intimate conversations. It is only once I feel as though I’ve already lost someone, that I find the courage to be open and honest with them.
In an instant our most painful experiences can become our greatest sources of strength. I look back on some of the darkest moments in my life with a sense of compassion and a knowing tenderness. It’s only much later that we gain the perspective to see the ways in which the harrowing experiences we go through are the very things that strengthen us, give us courage, and provide the pivot we didn’t even know we needed in life. Yes, pain is hard. Loss is hard. But it’s been said that anything worth doing is hard, and pain is always worth it in the end. Something even more complex and beautiful and real rises from the ashes every time. Be patient.