When I met him my chest cracked open and I gave my everything to him; the beauty and the mess all came crashing in a pile at his feet. We exchanged our vows - our brokenness, our beauty, and the terrible lies that stowed away in our hearts. Instead of opening my wings and taking him in, I spoke with a poison-tongue, throwing bricks, building a mighty wall. He threw bricks of his own. We knew each other so deeply, so intimately, and knew how to hurt each other with precision; we were doctors with a fine scalpel and a twisted, steady hand. As the hurt in each of us grew, the wall grew higher and stronger until we had barricaded each other off completely, and bled so deeply we didn’t know how to recover.
We tried relighting our love with passion, but that wasn’t enough. In between the kisses and gentleness was a fiery storm that kept brewing. Nothing was ever resolved, just hidden away long enough to sneak a few kisses and a strong hand upon my shoulder. Those moments proved the love we had for each other, but it just wasn’t enough.
Maybe it was a simple “I’m sorry.” Maybe if we softened our hearts long enough, we would have this desire to understand each other’s hurts instead of being offended by them, or reducing them to inaccuracies. Maybe it wasn’t about right or wrong. Maybe it was about all of the omissions our hearts had been trying to scream out, but couldn’t. Maybe if we quieted our anger, we could listen closely enough to hear the dying whispers of what we needed most. Vulnerability - to lose the skeletons instead of violently stuffing them into the sanctity of our home.
So we practiced. By saying “You hurt me,” instead of “I can’t stand you.” Through eyes blurred with tears we admitted our fears, rather than sabotaging our love with jabs that ultimately revealed our own loneliness. We practiced gratitude for the little contributions and sacrifices that we both somehow once resented because they never seemed adequate enough. We began to search for the deserts in our own wounded hearts. We acknowledged them, let them be felt, watered them with grace, and began to mend and forgive.
As I softened, so did he. He fell into me once again. He hid in the sanctity of my supple arms, and let his insecurities come pouring out. For once, I was whole enough to affirm and love him, instead of bruise him. Our hearts were turning from stone to flesh. Our fists unclenched. Our hidden resentments were replaced with gratitude and clarity, and we could see each other for who we really were. We stripped ourselves down to the barrenness of bone and started again. This time the only mess that lay at our feet, was the chaos of bricks that had violently come down.