I love pouring my heart out into other people.
I just do. I am over the top. I will sing you songs. Write you letters. Buy you books I think you would like. I will carve out time for you in a place that feels like there’s none. I will listen thoughtfully to your troubles, help you carry them to the river as you trust the water to wash them away. I will ask for the words that lay in the deepest, forgotten back corners of your heart. I will ask for you to speak them aloud, and I will tell you mine. I will build a shelter around you so you feel safe to bare it all—shadow and light. When we lock eyes, you will hear the language only souls speak. The love I pour into you will transcend time, and you’ll know when you feel it still 15 lifetimes from now.
Yes. I love pouring my heart out into other people.
For that fact I’ve had to learn the hardest lessons in boundaries, self-worth and codependency. It was so easy filling everyone’s cup, but when it came to my own it stayed empty. I starved myself of love in the pursuit of love. The road back to myself, to my center, with not just a cup overflowing but a fountain, has been long and arduous. But I cannot doubt that I am here, swimming in a self-love and inner knowing affirmed by my ability to handle the outer chaos around me.
To fill my cup I had to be honest with myself about many things. Most especially about when I’ve given only in expectation to receive. When offerings came not from genuine love, but manipulation born from wounding and fear. To face myself, my fear, disappointment, grief and shame and sit with it, hold it and release it is my most difficult task and greatest teacher. The healing comes in waves. It’s a practice. It’s a road you walk with no tangible destination, but a feeling. I don’t walk it alone. Anytime I lean on a friend, cry on a shoulder or open up my heart to show a place unhealed, I am met with compassion. There are no words to describe the love I’ve found in my friendships. True friends, soul family, are willing to see you in all ways that you are. They put you on no pedestal. There’s no distorted vision of your being. They just see you, and that’s enough. Whoever came to your mind as I was describing this, please text or call them ASAP. Thank them. Tell them you love them too and see their light.
Back to my point—I do not desire to hold back, and I do not have to. If you are like me, a romantic, a lover, a poet, a wordsmith, a mystic, a dreamer; let your nature roam free. Work with the inner leanings of your soul rather than against. It is possible to pour your love into people and have boundaries. If someone cannot receive your love, you must redirect it back to yourself. Don’t let the rejection of your offering become a challenge to offer more, and don’t let it scare you into stopping your love. Like I said, redirect. Redirect! Redirect it back to yourself, to your family, your friends, your neighbors, your mentors, humanity.
Also pro-tip: pouring yourself doesn’t have to be a rushing waterfall. It can be a slow trickle. Until you learn more about someone. Until you build trust. Until you feel safe. Take your time. This is a lesson I learned recently, thankfully. I’ve always known “Love cannot live where there is no trust” (a quote said by Cupid from one of my favorite Greek myths). Yet there I was time and time again pouring my love into strangers who had built no trust with me. I so often let chemistry and the wonderful intoxication of connection lead me down long winding paths of up and down whirlwind romances that only led me back to myself, worn out and wishing for something more.
Things are different now. They’ve been different. It’s easier to say no. To say take it slow. To say this is what I need. To say this is not enough. It’s peaceful, and I didn’t have to sacrifice who I was. I simply became more of it. More love. More strength. More boundaries. More self-worth. More commitment to a clearer vision of what leading a good life means to me.
This world is changing rapidly with no end in sight. It’s surreal, devastating and dizzying. But please, hold onto who you are at your highest self. Hold on to your values. Hold onto what values you. If you don’t know what or who that is, be curious. Remain open to discovery. But also don’t worry about being centered all the damn time. This is not Zen 101. Nothing about the current state of the world is Zen, okay? I talk about centering a lot, but to center is to be in a moment. The action itself is fleeting, but the feeling is eternally within you and always accessible to you. A moment of reconnection while we traverse the complicated and unpredictable landscape of life that lays before us. Negative emotions come and go. Positive emotions come and go. They are not who you are. Every now and then practice reaching your center however you want to do it. Do you paint? Do you run? Do you write? Do you laugh? Do you hold your child? Do you go for a drive? Do you sing? Do you lay in a field watching the clouds slowly pass by, ignoring the ant crawling on your arm because hey, maybe he’s watching them too and you don’t mind the company? There are so many ways throughout your day to touch this part of yourself that is full of maitri (loving-kindness for oneself). The moment before or after it maybe you were crying, screaming, checked out, sulking, grieving. Whatever it was, all are okay. Truth is, you can center yourself and the absurd fact remains that although you have an entire universe inside your head, you’re simultaneously one of many little beings hurtling through space and time at inconceivable speed. So, for the time you’re here, as challenging or delightful it may be, who do you want to be?
Because I already told you about me. I love pouring my heart out into other people, and I’m learning to be more myself in a way that’s healthy. I love holding space for healing. I love seeing all of who people are, even in the darkest and deepest of ways. I love remembering the little things no one notices. I love my solitude and losing myself in my senses. I love green and being surrounded by it. I love new ideas and the buzz of brainstorming the limitless. I love storytelling. I love philosophizing over coffee. I love eating cake with my best friend at two in the afternoon just because we feel like it. I love walking in the rain. I love being vulnerable. I love so, so many things and people on this weird little planet. Finally, I love owning exactly who I am and stepping into the power I have to change my life, in both the smallest and largest of ways.
So, yeah. That’s who I am and going to be. No matter what happens.