“I’ve been told my written and verbal declarations of my feelings to the men I’ve loved are:
Making myself look desperate.
Giving him too much power.
One person said she wished she could share her heart the way I do but not at the full capacity of which I do. Because, well, the full capacity is just too much.
Another person told me to keep men aloof. Sorry, but I don’t play games in love. I just let my heart pour as if it was water descending from a faucet, causing a bathtub to overflow. I am known to flood the whole house. I know no other way. But even I get embarrassed by turning on my own faucet, sometimes.
We know our self-worth is not dependent on anyone else but ourselves, however, we’re still human and words said make us soar or make us lose our wings. Depends on the commentator, right?
We’d all be lying, even me, if we said we never cared what they thought. (Although the older I get, the more I listen to Gary Vaynerchuk on the regular and I’ve been giving a lot less f—s. His mentality will free you.)
But, in reality, the more I heard I was too much, the more I started to believe it.
I would often pride myself on my ability to effortlessly share my whole heart with the men I loved, even when they ignored the fragile disclaimer that came with my tired heart. Despite all the endings, I always got my own closure, be it face-to-face, on the phone, within a story, or in an email I sent years later.
But, just recently, all that negative noise was in my ear like a bad infection until a woman I’m forever indebted to told me differently.
She deserves all the credit. I wish I could share her name. Maybe one day.
She appreciates my compassion and has protected my secrets. She also knows empathy in a way most of us struggle to. After all, it is her job – literally.
After I shared one of the above comments with her during one of our texting sessions, one of her replies stopped me in my texting tracks:
‘I admire your open heart, though. No one will ever not know how you feel about them and that is a gift.’
A gift, you say? I had a midnight moment of flashing lights flickering all over my spirit on the other side of the phone screen and it was healing.
You mean all that rhetoric isn’t an indication of another ‘issue’ for me to work out? It’s a gift?
She just confirmed everything I’ve ever known about myself but almost let go of because the negative noise became continual.
She saw the good in who I was. She understood the tenderness and importance of how deeply I express myself to certain people.
She reminded me not to alter my ways. She reminded me not to stop myself from sending that emotional text or writing that emotional story about him.
We’re always fighting who we are because the world always seems to find a way to tell us we’re overbearing or we need to be corrected.
We’re always questioning what they say more than we’re believing what we say.
I’m tired of fighting that noise. I’m tired of battling with someone else’s perspective.
If someone sleeps tonight knowing I loved them with all I had and that comes off as stalkerish, weird, or too much, then so be it. If writing a love letter or a thank you letter to someone I was with and then sending them the link to the story is crazy, then I’m crazy as hell.
I don’t want to live my life stuffing all my feelings down like I do potato chips when I’m sad. The most important thing in the world to me is that people know what they mean to me, absent of pride.
So don’t ever fight what is important to you. Don’t ever fight what comes natural to you. Don’t ever fight conflicting hearts because you don’t do it the way they do it.
Quit thinking everything about you is a d–n flaw. How are characteristics flawed, anyway?
We all know love in a different way. We’re not meant to have twin hearts.
Yet we constantly project who we are onto others. And yet the world (real and fantasy) consists of a mirage of different love stories from one princess to the next. There’s enough room for various versions of our hearts; you don’t have to delete yours. And I don’t have to delete mine.
Let my interaction with the one who sees me, appreciates me, reminds me to stay who I am, and who finds the beauty in why I do what I do be your reminder.
Let people like this woman direct us a bit more. Because as she reminded me…
Your gift isn’t your shortcoming.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Felicia Naoum of Parma, Ohio, and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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