Four Letters that can change you…

Love is not violent. It took me three decades to learn that. Within that time I spent it forgiving the unforgivable. Loving those who wished harm and sometimes death upon me. There isn’t an ex-boyfriend who doesn’t hate my guts or never wants to speak to me again. The abused always abuse. Most times without us even knowing it.

I consider myself a reluctant borderline masochist because my tolerance for physical and emotional pain is high. Thinking love was who could scream the loudest and get over it the quickest. In my bed it was the same focus until I got the help I needed. Unraveling all the painful moments that made up who Vonti was. The best advice I ever received was – Live in the Now! My therapist said to keep those memories in the past and come back to the present. Be here in the current moment and not the vivid pictures of the past. Sadly they weren’t a dream and yes they do play over quite often.

However what I define love as now is pain free. Being accepted for all the dirty scars by my friends, family and partner is amazing. It’s an ease but not a breeze when two people accept “I’m comfortable and you smell like home to me”. Love is joy and instant. Doesn’t always come with intimacy but can be intimate. You can bump into someone in the street and the aura surrounding them makes you want to give them a hug. When I’m in tune with me others look up to stare. There is me anchored to this world that others are drawn to. When I Love now it’s from head to toe. Unashamed but scary nonetheless.

Walking around this concrete jungle has me seeing love as joy. That smile that comes from a good night of sleep, the sun catching you at the right angle for that perfect selfie, no make-up but still feeling like a bad bitch, watching your favorite movie again and again, sitting across at dinner with your partner and smelling a dish that swells your heart. It can be so many moments in your life to hold close and never forget. Focus on that. Feel that. Shelf whatever bad thing doesn’t make you adore thine self.

Love is not being afraid to have days by yourself. Or crying about the things that hurt you. Internalizing it can cause more damage than good. It took me 39 years of being on this planet to know things aren’t ending. They’re just beginning to be what it should’ve been when I was a child. I’ll never be able to take back those nights crying against the wall after being beat by those who love you. Or having a Me Too moment twice in my life. The echo of screams and arguments going too far. That wasn’t love because my shaky hands tell me so. The time I spent staring down at the sidewalk as I walked. Ashamed thinking everyone can see what’s been done. They can hear me screaming as I shuffle past avoiding all the cracks in the pavement like the cracks in my heart.

It is one foot in front of the other doing a cliff dive with no parachute. Except with love you never should hit the ground. If you do, that ain’t love. Because where the fuck were they to catch you? 

Head over to womensenews.org to read my featured article on empowering women in the workplace

Image source is: http://cuttingedgetheater.com/project/love-is-a-splinter/

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