I once knew love. It went on a hike with me up to a waterfall and called me a b* along the way. And when my feelings were terribly hurt, it said, “Don’t be silly! You know I love you!”
I once knew love. After three months it married me. It lied and cheated and threatened and pushed me across the kitchen. After two years I left. It stalked and harassed and tormented me until I had to flee the state in order to be safe.
I once knew love. It looked like a helpless child without a mama, clinging so tightly that I all but suffocated under the weight of this grown child; a one whose only sense of security was to control my every movement so that it could ensure I would never abandon it.
I once knew love. It would conduct its life in a strategic and formulated way and so long as I fit into the formula it created to sustain the status and image idealized in its own mind for itself, then I was welcome.
I once knew love. It was scared to death of abandonment and would verbalize commitment but could never make it official because it needed an escape route so it could leave before it was left. It left, over and over and over again.
I once knew love. It was captivating, held my attention with intensity and presence, made me feel like I was the only woman in the world, but there was no loyalty but for the game because it made all the women feel that way.
I thought I knew love; but it was never love – at all.
But then I did meet Love.
It looks like kindness, gentleness, acceptance, patience, adoration, compassion, selflessness, unafraid, sturdy, and sure. It is not judgmental, doesn’t need me to be something I am not, has never left me, and encourages me to life and freedom. It is bright, unhindered, not encumbered by the weightiness of life. It is Truth. It is empathetic and not hurtful. It does not throw daggers or fists or words or threats, but embraces and cherishes and uplifts and shares.
Held warmly and safely inside the arms of this Love…I became free…to be me; the one I was created to be and intended for a good purpose; not one stuffed inside a box of expectations I will never meet, but a wide open space where freedom and flourishing reign.
This Love sets captives free. This Love set me free.