One of the best songs, hands-down, is India Arie’s “I am Ready for Love.” I don’t know how many times I’ve sat around with my friends listening to this song or serenading my one-day husband with every flat and missed note.
It’s no secret that I want to be married. Like most people my age, if I made a list of “the desires of my heart,” it’d be pretty close to the top. To be honest, as time goes by, I feel this desire climbing its way over others, vying for that #1 spot. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not…
I don’t think my request is unreasonable. Everyone wants to be loved. Everyone wants that one they can be 100% themselves with, flaws and all. Someone they can share their deepest secrets with. Laugh with, cry with, struggle and triumph with. Someone they can give their all to without fear of it not being reciprocated. One they can trust without reservation. Someone they can feel safe with.
For this I’ve longed all my life. And before you say it, yes, I know that ALL of this AND MORE can be found in God. He IS love, and without Him, no form of it is possible. I am aware of this. However, I believe that love comes in many forms. I won’t go into detail, but if you have no clue what I’m talking about, here’s an explanation. While God’s love (agape) and the love of family and friends (phileo) have been everything to me (without them I don’t know where I’d be), there is one love I have yet to experience. Eros – romantic love. That Ruby and Ossie, Bill and Camille (or Cliff and Claire lol), Jay and Beyo David and Tamela-type love. And the list goes on and on.
I’ve never been in a relationship. Hardly ever dated. For years I’ve gone back and forth between the thoughts of “What’s wrong with me?” to “Maybe God’s just saving me for someone special.” And now, at the ripe old age of 23, it seems like all of my friends and all their friends and their friends are either a) engaged b) married c) expecting d) any combination of the above. Hell, at the very least they’re “boo-ed up”…not that this says much these days. I, on the other hand, feel like I can’t even get the engine started. While I know I shouldn’t compare my portion to theirs, it gets hard.
While I hate to admit it, this desire has turned into an unhealthy dose of desperation. Whew, yeah, that dirty word. This desperation has led me to get into some “situationships” I probably should have never been in. While I’ll save that for a later blog, as I now wind down from that emotional roller coaster ride, I am starting to get back to square one. I am coming back to reality and beginning to do some self-evaluation. I’m not completely happy about it yet (I mean who really wants to face their “stuff,” as Iyanla puts it), but hey, I’m getting there. In the midst of this look in the mirror, I’ve come to a surprising realization:
While the THOUGHT of love excites me, the REALITY of love scares the hell out of me.
How is that even possible?, you may wonder. I wonder the same thing. How can the thing I’ve wanted all of my life be the thing that I fear like none other? Honestly, I think I fear it because I know I’m not ready.
Despite how much I kick and scream and get mad at God for not sending me my “Boaz,” deep within, I fear seeing him face-to-face. No matter how hard I fight feelings of jealousy as I witness more and more of my friends getting married, I’m afraid because I know that now, in this state, I would mess it up. I would run him away. I’d hurt him or force him to leave because I’m not ready to receive all that the right one has to give. Note, I said the RIGHT one. I can deal with the wrong ones. I’ve done so for too long. I can handle the ones who are unavailable, who treat me less than I’m worth, who treat me like an option when I make them my priority. I can even deal with the good guys who just aren’t right for me. Why? Because regardless of how good or bad the experience, I know in my heart that they’re not the one. I know that inevitably, whatever we build is standing on sand anyway.
I claim that I am afraid of giving my heart to the wrong one and ending up hurt. And that’s great because I can ultimately blame the pain on them. It’s their inconsistency, their lies, their whatever that caused the relationship to fail (or never take flight in the first place). However, what I truly fear is giving my heart to the right one and ending up hurt because I could not sustain it. I fear that my faults, my baggage, my sins, my shit will be the real cause of demise. I can get over being hurt by the wrong guy. By placing the blame on him, I can remain a victim. I can continue hiding behind my issues, refusing to face my shit. But breaking my own heart because I couldn’t give it all to the right one – that’s a pain I just don’t think I can handle. It puts responsibility on the only one who has to power to do anything about it – ME.
So, at this point I’m back at square one. I’m back to this journey of healing, wholeness, self-love, and self-discovery that I have willingly detoured from chasing “love” that never actualized. I’m looking within, facing my fear, accepting the truth, and hopefully dealing with my shit. I refuse to let my “stuff” keep me from finding – and even more importantly – keeping the love that I so greatly desire. The love I truly deserve. Now, I’m not ready. But one day I will be. Until then, I’ll just keep on keeping on.