I said a prayer for my heart tonight.
I felt that cold seeping in.
The inky blackness that hides in my veins. Just waiting for a call to duty. To harden and cement a barrier so thick that I will be protected from this hurt.
The white hot barbed-wire that courses from my gut. Twisting and turning a tangled rusted knot. Weaving itself a corset through my rib cage. Suffocating and stifling. Tighter. Till there were only two words.
The two words that risk the most dangerous of dangers:
To love and to be rejected.
And I know rejection.
I know what it’s like to have your mother call you a pig. Rip off your clothes. And make your brother and sister watch while she whips you with the belt buckle.
I know what it’s like to have your father fear you more than he can ever love you.
I know what it’s like to have a man leave you. But not all at once because that would just be too kind. Instead, it’s in millimeters and moments. Till you don’t quite remember if he was ever there in the first place.
I know rejection.
And still. I hear the words.
I want to obliterate them. Banish them from my memory. I want to shut them up. Gag them. I want to puke them out. And flush them away. I want to hide them somewhere safe. For some other night when I will know that I can trust.
And still. My soul will not be silenced. It craves connection. It speaks that moon language.
It knows the truth. That love is never dangerous.
So I said a prayer for my heart tonight.
And my tears washed the blackness away. And the ocean wind broke through the weathered barbed-wire.
And I remembered.
The two words that repair all wounds.
And keep any heart from turning to stone.
I remembered the two words that obliterate all risk. All danger.
The two words that make me willing to walk out into this dark night. Alone. And not afraid.
The two words that remind me that it’s not about what I get back. It’s not about being accepted, approved of, or included. It’s not about how well I can contort myself to fit your expectations. It’s about what I give. To you. To me. To all of us.
Because it’s not worth living life any other way.
And even though the hardening and steel sing their siren song seducing me toward their fortressed prison.
I shut my eyes tight.
And say a prayer for my heart.
To help it choose to love.
Because this is the only direction to keep walking.