A Return To Innocence

Reading time: 6 – 9 minutes

Carlos has returned. Carlos is Home.

You all know this by now, but what you might not know is that my heart has returned to its innocence again. NOT because of anything dependant on Carlos, but because of the process I endured while he was away. I had two choices: I could succumb to the lethal lie that I was just completely unloveable and broken and that no one could ever get into me to rescue me from that darkness… OR, I could use that time as an emotional reality check and gently reach into myself to rescue me from my past. I was stuck there. I was lonely there, but I was not alone. I was my own jailer and my own torturer.

Yeah, I took over where my mom left off.

Immediately upon experiencing the joy of my relationship with Carlos, I took the very first opportunity to destroy it for myself and prove that I was just unloveable and easily rejectable. I quickly caught myself and did everything I could to still the mean voices of protection telling me that Carlos was just another in a line of people who would ultimately reject or betray or dismiss my love.

What ultimately gave me my footing was the deep remembering that *I* was the only person who had ever truly rejected me.

Over the years since leaving my childhood home of torture, I spent so much energy looking, waiting, hoping for someone,… just SOMEONE to prove to me that I really wasn’t as awful as I was always told I was, growing up. I didn’t know I was doing that, but in retrospect it is painfully obvious. How could I ever accept myself if not even one person could love me enough to make all of the pain go away??!!

Well, no one CAN love me that much. When you force someone into a hole in your heart, they just get harder to hear, to feel, and eventually you assume they are gone. I HAVE been loved and I AM loved, but I keep stacking people into my heart where the gaping hole is and then I never truly see them again, even when they are right there in my life being the best of everything I could ever want.

Carlos’ trip out of the country helped me fix that last gaping hole that remained. In the time that he was gone, I finally GOT IT that Love wasn’t something dependant on proof or someone else’s choices, behavior, or expression. Carlos would forever fail my expectations if I didn’t learn to embrace that wound inside my heart and own it.

I realized how unfair it was for me to just assume that I was a gift to Carlos…

“Here, Carlos, here’s my heart! Oh, and oh yeah,… it’s all busted up and I don’t want it, so do you think you could spend your entire life trying to convince me that my heart is worth loving? Could ya? That’d be great. Meanwhile, I will spend all of my time distracting you with actions that just prove how easily and strongly *I* can love, while you struggle to make me feel safe for even a single night and then ultimately fail, leaving you feeling just wonderful!”

Uggh… the humility of admitting I behaved that way! But I did. NOT intentionally, but I did.

So while Carlos was gone, I “got it.” The revelation was silly, like suddenly seeing a pattern stand out of a cloud formation. And sadly, the realization WASN’T new news… it was just that this time I “heard” it. I got it. I’ve given lip-service to it before, but never the deep transformation that I had this time.

You know what, it really did suck that I was raised with such abusiveness and torture. I totally understand why I would then search desperately for someone to love me, to accept me, and show me a new world. Part of my healing was accepting my past behavior that led me to do and behave in ways that were simply to earn or find love.

All the while, it was right in my own hands. My heart was in my hands, in my own arms, sticky and bleeding from the years of child abuse and then my own neglect. I had never allowed that part of me to grow into any strength of its own because I was still searching for a mothering love to heal it. The thing is, seeking the love and healing of others is NOT the problem and it is a good thing to do that, but if a person doesn’t participate in his own love and healing, then the results are ineffective and sometimes even lethal.

So before Carlos had returned, I was already heading toward an inner peace and self-acceptance that I had never reached before. I was thankful for the experience and I had decided that I was okay with whatever Carlos may decide to do with the relationship. I was just grateful to know him and I was grateful for my inner growth.

So, of course, Carlos returns… and it turns out that Carlos is totally disoriented (yet LOVINGLY PATIENT) by my insistence on this being an issue at ALL. He just smiles, shakes his head, hugs me, and understands.

We had an amazing talk this past weekend to just figure out where we are with each other because now it is at the point where we have to figure each other into our daily lives and into each other’s plans for the future. I asked the most direct and scariest question of all: “Now that the thrill of newness is gone, is this relationship REALLY something you want to have as a responsibility in your life, Carlos? Do you really want to try to fit me into your life, into your future, into your priorities?” And without a single sign of impatience, delusion, or defensivenes, he answered firmly, “Yes, that’s why I am with you.”

Although I was ready to accept any number of possible ways our relationship might go, I have to say that this response resonated with what I would consider the absolute, best possible answer!

Without going into a lot of detail, the gist of this post is to say that nearly EVERY issue you have read about me and my fears in relation to intimacy, self, and Carlos over the past few weeks… are all put to rest.

I am not naive enough to believe I am COMPLETELY healed, but I am wise enough to know that I have now dressed my wounds on my own, have pulled several people from the darkness of my heart, and I can now stand next to them and know I am loved.

I think this past weekend marked a major step toward my return to innocence. Everyone goes through that Rite of Passage at some point; an internal process into adulthood that makes you long for the past, re-examine old wounds, let go of other people’s ideas of who/how you are supposed to be, and to grieve our child-like innocence and fun we seem to have lost.

The key to that successful passage is in allowing the examination of those wounds, honoring your past, using the influences of people that actually work for us, but letting go of that which does not, and allowing a discovery of a new kind of innocence and fun as an adult. It’s kind of like coming full circle… and being born again, but this time, being born as a creation from yourself, not from the ideas of others.

It’s a beautiful thing…

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