I knew a girl once.
She was as bright and warm as the sun. You saw her, and it felt like looking into a rainbow, the shades of her soul colored the world around her. She was known for her vividness, for her smile, and for her charisma. She loved like there was no tomorrow. Her heart was as large as the oceans and seas, she loved those who barely loved themselves. As water is necessary for survival, she thought she could save the broken with her love. She thought she could fill their cracks with her warmth.
Those were the people she attracted, not by choice, but because in her they found refuge. In her, they found a light that would brighten their very own darkness. This girl didn’t realize that’s what was happening. She thought, she so genuinely believed, that their attention, their hungry gaze, their words that dripped of honey, all of it was love. She didn’t recognize darkness, for light only ever sees light. As the sun is not a witness to the moon, she so purely believed that those around her could never be void of color and light. She lived with rosy-eyed glasses and a history of hopeless romanticism.
She poured herself into the wrong people. Thirsty scavengers in the desert, they took from her wells of goodness and love, greedily and selfishly. Not once did they offer her something in return and she did not realize this was wrong. Her job was to help and to give love, was it not? How could she ask for anything, even if that thing was love, in return?
I saw that girl later.
She laid broken, beaten, half-alive, devoid of feeling and sanity. She saw no beauty in herself, no goodness, no light. Her wells were dry. She had no love for herself and she had shut off her love for others. Love is cruel, she thought. Love is a lie, she screamed. Her mind wandered every night, painfully and achingly, back to the same place, back to the same space.
Where she saw commitment, loyalty, honesty, and true love, he saw a cage and a shackle. He saw a chance to take what he could not create on his own. He saw a chance to fill himself with her light and her love only while he needed it, while he wanted it, and then he would leave her. But not without betraying her first.
His words oozed of sweetness and sugar. His actions, however, were deceptive and laced with the spice of lust. He promised her a future, hours later he lay with another. He convinced her he loved her, while he lay with another. He told her she was the embodiment of everything good in the world. If that was true, then why did he deceive her? He should have just told her that in this future he saw, he did not see them together. That would have been easier for this woman of love to handle. That would have been a little easier to get over.
To get over this deception and ugly, soul-crushing truth that this relationship was built on a lie and as a cover-up for the actions hidden by the night’s sky…that was a battle. How do you explain to someone who’s favorite thing to do is love, that there are people in this world who will only use her for it? How do you explain to her that if she continues to give and give without receiving even a droplet in return, that she would not have enough love for herself left over?
At first, she could not make any sense of what had happened. How could something that felt so right, so perfect, end up being so wrong? It came to her slowly, the waves of truth hit her shores. The universe left seashells of enlightenment along her soul. Each one laid out what she had so naively missed before.
He was never good enough for her. There was never any light in him. He was selfish. He was cruel. He was manipulative. He had used her over and over again. He had demanded her attention, so she gave it freely while pushing her own dreams to the side. He had never been loyal to her, his eyes had wandered every day, sometimes even in front of her. But she had played it off, she let it go, and she brushed his shortcomings under the rug. She thought she could save him with her love. She saw a broken boy and thought she was needed.
She was accepting of a mediocre love and a mediocre boy because she believed she was mediocre. The universe was finally showing her the truth. It’s as if God had seen her settling for less than what she deserved, so He said, “You think this person is worthy of you? Let me show you what they’re really like.” With that, what this boy had done in the darkness was forced into the light. And the most traumatic experience for this girl ended up being the biggest blessing of her life.
Gone was the girl who believed in white knights and being saved. Gone was the girl who believed in filling cracks and giving away so much there was nothing left for her. Gone was the girl who let everyone take and take. Gone was the girl who believed that she needed a boy to help her fulfill her purpose to love. Gone was the girl who believed she needed a King in order for her to be a Queen. Gone was the girl who settled for mediocre. Gone was the girl who did not see her own worth. Instead, standing in her place was a woman of color, of life, of love, and of strength.
I know a girl now.
She is as bright and warm as the sun. You see her, and it feels like you’re looking into a rainbow, the shades of her soul color the world around her. She is known for her vividness, for her smile, for her charisma. Her heart is as large as the oceans and seas, she continues to share her love with the world around her, skillfully, carefully, beautifully.