pour my heart out – real Love

Love can be such a tricky thing.

What is often such a wondrous emotion, can also hold us hostage.  Keeping us tied to someone who we know – in our head – is bad for us; lies to us; hurts us.

Why do we put up with it?

For Love.

My cousin, D, was in love with the same guy since she was 13 and first spotted him at my sister’s wedding.  A few years later, they started dating.  They broke up and got back together; broke up and got back together.

A few more times.

They got married and had 2 great kids – a boy and a girl.

They bought a home, they started a business, they watched their kids grow.

They had their ups and down, but hey, who doesn’t?

They were in Love.

But Love didn’t seem to agree with her.  She was no longer the laughing, goofy girl that I grew up with.  Love made her unhappy; she was quiet, except when she was yelling.  She seemed frustrated and angry and depressed.  She had always been skinny, but Love made her skeletal and unkempt.

Last year she realized that Love wasn’t all she kept hoping it would be; for the first time since she was 13 she put Love aside, cleared her head and walked out the door.   She moved her children to a home full of support, understanding and joyfulness.  She started taking better care of herself – she quit smoking, gained weight and looks healthy.

The happy, chatty and funny girl that I remembered was slowly re-emerging.

I got to spend some time with D this past weekend, and it made me so happy to see her SO HAPPY.  She is treating herself to a trip to Vegas – and I can’t remember the last time I saw her this excited.  She couldn’t wait to be able to do what she wants, and not have to worry about making/keeping someone else happy in the name of Love.  It was like looking at a new woman as she gave me a fashion show of the new clothes she bought for the trip; and watching her strut her stuff in the 2 new cocktail dresses she treated herself to, her hands shaking with a mixture of elation and nerves!

And it made me smile.

Love can be a tricky thing, and it takes a strong person to walk away from its sometimes enslaving grasp; to realize that even the greatest Love in the world isn’t worth it if we lose ourselves and turn away from everything else that is important.

D still has a world full of Love; she shares her Love with her children and her family and her friends.

And for the first time in years, she is learning to Love herself.