woman stand in train rail

This Is What Happened When I Chose Myself

Trigger warning: Domestic violence

There was a disconnect between my head and heart for a long time.

When I was 17, I met someone and I fell hard. I gave every morsel of myself for years, until there was nothing left. I remember my utter devastation the first time that he revealed he had cheated on me, the way my stomach dropped the first time he grabbed me by the throat. I remember the solace and comfort I found in his arms afterwards because, despite it all, he was still the one who felt like home. And that was something that would remain the case for years to come.

During the final years of our relationship, my mind was working overtime, frantically picking up the pieces, rationalizing what I was choosing to endure, so that I could keep myself and my family together. It told me that things would get better, and sometimes they did for a while. But the same patterns would repeat, time and again, despite my body screaming at me to choose differently.

Eventually, my heart gave out. I decided that I wasn’t going to allow myself to feel hurt anymore, no matter what. So I sacrificed my softness and replaced it with strength, but at great cost: I also diminished my capacity to give and receive love.

Even to myself.

I know what it is to be numb, to be on the outside looking in at your life and feel so far removed from what’s happening in front of you. It was a long time coming—too long—but eventually I realized that if I wanted to live fully, I would have to open my heart, tear down that wall I’d built around it, and learn to trust myself again, because there can be no love without trust, and what is life without love, without feeling?

It’s been two years now since I chose myself.

And now here I stand on another edge, as the old world begins to crumble beneath my feet. I am ready to let go at last and make the descent—the journey of a lifetime, one that I believe will continue for the entirety of my days.

I’m only just beginning to feel safe to explore my vulnerability, to rest in my own softness. My feminine still feels foreign to me. For the longest time, when I’d catch a glimpse of myself, I knew that beneath the strong, capable woman that those around me saw was nothing but a frightened little girl. She would have fallen apart in an instant if she thought for a moment that there would be someone there to hold her while she let herself feel it all.

Now I’m ready. I trust myself enough to be that person, waiting with arms wide open.

I’m excavating and meeting different aspects of myself and honoring the experience as it unfolds moment by moment. I’m resisting the urge to turn away, even when I don’t like what I find. I’m learning that I am fluid, that one day I am one woman and the next I may be someone entirely new. And that’s okay. Sometimes I can be a walking contradiction, but at least I’m no longer running from myself.

Or running at all.

My mind has finally slowed down enough to meet my body where it is. I feel as though time has become completely and utterly irrelevant; life has become an open return and there is no destination in sight. It really is all about the journey now.

The current of the Feminine is shrouded in mystery; her process is something that cannot be rationalized or understood with the mind. It can only be felt. And in order to feel her in her fullness, we must surrender—deeply. This is not the last death and rebirth that I, or any of us, will experience.

The longer I live, the less I hold as absolute truth. Because what is knowledge if you cannot feel the meaning behind it?

There is no place for pushing or forcing here—it is as simple as letting myself unravel like silk thread and return to my raw form. Here I am, nothing and everything all at once. The irony is that all I ever needed to be whole was my own permission to come apart at the seams. Landing back in the body after spending so many years in my head has been the greatest undoing of my life thus far.

So here I am, feeling my way.

Relishing in the comfort that only being in my body can provide. Making time to move, to dance and just enjoy the sensations that arise without giving a fuck how it looks. Bravely exploring the depths of my own sorrow, letting the tears stain my cheeks without hurrying to wipe them away. Marvelling at the fact that I can be both the giver and receiver of such ecstatic pleasure in the same breath. Sinking into my own experience and witnessing myself unfurl.

I don’t need to search for a place to call home anymore—at long last I’ve found it. I was the one I had been waiting for after all.

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