Doesn't everyone have a defining moment in their life? Multiple ones...where you know nothing will be the same? Moments you never saw coming because you were looking in all the wrong places...?
"I fell in love with you because you are happy go lucky, carefree, and we have such a great time together…I want you to be happy always…being exactly who I fell in love with…You.” -Antonio Calderon
Yep, read that and swoon folks. He is incredible. Every bit of him. He is my partner in life and love. And although I could list all of his greatest attributes here, I won't, that isn’t what this is about. It’s about truth and understanding. Let me share with you my favorite way he saves me.
You see, the reasons he loves me are simple…I am always trying to complicate it. He didn’t say he fell in love with me because I am a Nurse/Entrepreneur or even mention how much money I should make. He made no mention of what my body looks like or how much I weigh. Not a blip about my hair color or the color of my skin or eyes. Furthermore, he said nothing about my past or any other expectations, but obviously I have already decided he had them. He is kind and gentle, and always reminding me that chaos isn’t where I must live. I do that to myself. He is a true example of strength and love. In fact, I often tell myself I don’t deserve him, and then I convince myself that he must think this too. But he doesn’t. He never has or never will. (I am working on all of these feels with God and therapy, but I am sharing here because I know one of you can relate, and that’s why I do this…share…because we are all in this together right??)
It is I who has those ridiculous thoughts. It is I who manifests these beliefs that he “has”. It is I who doesn’t believe I am enough, not him.
But it’s all simply not true. He is my gift. My mirror if you will. He stands up to my negative thoughts and rebukes them. Over and over again. He refuses to have me shame myself or not see me exactly how he does. And he is patient when I just can’t see it. Which is what Jesus does, and it’s how I know he’s my gift.
For the first few years of our relationship, I just thought I was too sensitive and he too realistic. That he really didn’t know my heart. That him sharing the truth with me would be all of the reasons he’d leave one day. But with consistency and time (truly him not giving up, even when he wanted to…but he just never could (that’s how God works folks)) I see it. I literally have started looking in the mirror and being proud. Not ashamed. I make lists of the things I am, instead of what I am not. (I literally used to make lists of reasons I am worth leaving...I actually began this habit as a child. It helped me understand why everything went wrong. I was able to make sense of all the reasons my Dad left, and why I felt abandoned) <==== disclaimer: I know this wasn't reality, but it's the only way I could make anything around me seem real back then. Unfortunately children who don't know how to cope with loss will resort to things like this and worse. And these lists don't age well, I promise.
So, hold on, before you start thinking…oh my this gal has surely lost her marbles…know this (and this is the hardest part to come to grips with) the way I treat myself, is a direct reflection of my childhood. These self-sabotaging thoughts, well, I collected them over the years. It didn’t happen overnight. These thoughts that consume me some moments (no longer days or months, thank God) are real and raw. Some came when I was a small child related directly to the shooting of my Dad…and some came later when my feelings of rejection were validated by others close to me. It isn’t fair but it is my truth.
The years I have wasted running from this have only caused deeper damage. But this gift of my husband allowed me to stop going in that direction. I no longer run. I stay and put in the work. Here I am, bearing it all for the world to see. And it feels so damn good. This whole blog series has offered healing for me. Sharing my story is the exact path I am supposed to be on. And someday that path may shift, but I can handle that now. Change no longer trigger chaos. My irrational thoughts of perfection and fear no longer rule me. Now don’t get me wrong…I am always a work in progress, but what a beautiful story of redemption I am telling. I am beating the odds despite the statistics. He showed me it was possible to learn to love myself so that I can fully share my gifts. He gave me my person. He gifted us to each other. A heavenly father and earthly husband who never give up on me. How lucky am I?? Not lucky at all. His grace is sufficient for me.
My person loves me for exactly who I am. No requirements, no expectations, no dollar amount, or long list of accomplishments attached. Just true love for my carefree and happy go lucky heart. Because the truth is…these qualities of mine balance him. His only ask is that I am happy. Every time I start to fall back in this journey…I’ll remember this fact…the only requirement is to always be living my happy. Seems like the same kind of love from them both, to me.
I will close with this, maybe you don’t believe in God or love? I am not judging but I absolutely do. I am not here to beat you over the head with my bible. That’s not how I believe we really reach or love one another.
What I want you to take away is this…
You are enough. We all are. Our own personal stories are not something to run from. They are what make us unique and help us navigate through this crazy world. No matter how good or bad. Learn to love your story and see how your story no longer overshadows your greatness. I challenge you to start telling your story and see how it transforms your life. Remember you have the power each moment to rewrite your book. Write it in a way that makes you love your story all over again. -xOxO Hollie Calderon