Dear Girl with the big, wide eyes,
Once upon a time I thought I had so much to give. The way my heart used to swell up, so round and full had me convinced of that. There was always so much in there, pressing against the edges desperate for release. It became essential, the pouring out of myself, like breathing.
What do people need? I asked myself. People need love, and so love is what I gave. I stopped time and emptied pockets in order to lay hold of the last shreds of love in any given instance so it could be packaged and given away to a soul that needed it.
People need to feel safe and secure, so I went about cradling people’s hearts in my arms, whispering and shooshing away the fear.
People need money so money I acquired and I gave.
People need time so I stopped mine, built a camp fire out of it so people could sit around it and be warm.
People need to be heard, so I listened with all my being. I heard the words that tumbled out of their mouths, caught the emotions that showed up unbidden on the surface of their skins, in the way their eyes looked yonder at things in the past that hurt.
Understand, little one, that I did it because I meant it. But along the way I got lost…as one does when she stops checking for the right turns on the path. People start jumping from every corner wanting a piece of her. And as wonderful as people are, they are not always gentle in their taking. Some take because they are used to taking, others take because they feel entitled, and then there are the rare few who take because it is an honour to receive from you. Each tumbles along their path learning, failing and relearning how to take and give in love.
See, girl with the big, wide eyes, love must be given away, even to yourself. In fact it is essential that you love you for the security you need to sit and inhabit yourself. Without that stable, solid being in yourself, you simply cannot love others. Instead you will always be looking to occupy them, to live inside of them. I did this as far back as my memory takes me. I tried to live inside of someone else over and over again until I woke up one day not too long ago and realised how selfish I have been throughout my years. I realised I needed to be with someone not inside of them for me to fully see them, for me to fully love them for who they are apart from me. This is so scary. Because it means that one, people can just walk away as I am not a human anchor to hold them rigid in place forever. If I am not inside them I cannot stop them from turning this way or that way. Two, it is not my job to control people. But I desperately want them to love me. So where does that leave me then?
These are the things no one will teach you, baby girl. Experience may surprise you with them. I forewarn you. It will hurt but be brave. Allow yourself to be peeled back so you can see all the places that need to be filled up.
When you are empty, you start breathing symptoms of that lack – excessive neediness, clingy-ness, possessiveness, envy, jealousy, suspicion, insecurity, fear, hiding away. I have been intimate with each of these. They come to fill up the vacuum.
So don’t let them. Shut the door on them by taking care of yourself. Know your worth and surround yourself with people who will remind you of it when you can’t see it. Mature people who can tell you the hard truths of life and whose intentions you trust. People who can disagree with you without withholding their love. People who can help you fill up.
Certain situations may bring out the worst in you. Use them as mirrors. See what is missing and fill it up. Remember that the best love is given from a place of fullness. So it behooves us to take a moment to be kind to ourselves, to listen to ourselves, to fix ourselves, to fill up ourselves even as we do the same for the people we love.
The world needs what you can give but you can’t give it if you don’t have it so fill up first.
yours rooting for your success,
Girl on the other side