It is time I write a letter, but not just any letter, a letter of thanks and gratitude. For it was you, who taught me how to truly love myself.
Thank you for the way you used to look at me. With just one look of your eyes, you showed me such an intense and powerfully strong, pure love that I thought, at times, my heart was going to burst. In your eyes, I could see the reflection of my true beauty. A beauty I was unable to see in the reflection of most mirrors.
You once told me you could “get lost in my eyes” or that “one smile from me could brighten your whole day.” For that comment, and many others like it, I also say thank you. Thank you for reminding me about the impact a simple smile or act of kindness can have on the world. How ironic that you frequently acknowledged how I could make your world better by just being in it, and yet, to you, the world we lived in was cruel, dishonest, and corrupt.
Thank you for holding me to such high expectations that I felt I could never meet. Expectations that left me feeling as though I would never be as good as you or what you deserved in a partner. After we broke up, I was left with a shattered and pathetic self-esteem that was to be put back together like pieces of a puzzle too big for just one person to complete. The lesson in that experience was that those standards I felt you were imposing on me were actually ones I had set for myself by myself. You were amazingly wonderful and in (almost) every moment, I felt an immense amount of gratitude for our relationship; however, you were no match for my fiery, loving, kind, and passionate spirit that desperately sought freedom. I fiercely loved you and it burned painfully long when we both realized we were falling apart as a couple. This realization evoked fear, anger, and rage in both of us, which led to desperation, sadness, and insecurity.
Thank you for your incessant jealousy. It reminded me that I am worth fighting for. No man should ever again question my loyalty, nor should I be told I am too friendly, and that my misleading behavior is disrespectful to my boyfriend. Unfortunately for you, that was not my truth, and neither were your words.
Although your jealousy caused arguments between us, in the end, I thank you for not fighting for me and, therefore, allowing me to see my inner strength and courage; for I am a resilient, hard working and brave woman. I am a Warrior, far stronger and smarter and capable than I ever imagined.
You used to tell me at the most random of moments that you loved me. You would say, “I love you, Keri… So. Much.” I know you did. Like the taste of a sweet, deeply rich dessert filling my belly, I could physically feel your love and desire for me. If only I could have loved myself that much, perhaps we would have lasted.
But through our petty arguments and strong disagreements, sleepless nights with you on the couch and me in our bed, I reflect back on such sadness, but can now see the value in all of those moments. Such moments that ultimately led us to an inevitable break up, and later (so I hear) to you meeting your future wife. For me, those events have led to a place of learning and growing, to an extreme place of self-love and unwavering gratitude for this life. I strive to live in a place where my heart is unconditionally filled by me first before anyone else, and by doing so; my heart remains kind and exempt from pain.
My heart remains open and honest.
My heart is no longer heavy and aching for validation and security.
Lastly, thank you for showing me what anger looks like. You see, fear often consumed you, and I hated it. I hated seeing the person I loved so dearly taken away, devoured up by Ego. However, what I realize now is that fear and anger lived inside of me also. After we broke up I allowed it to exhaust me and I wish I knew then what I know now, which is, no matter what and despite all situations, I have a choice to give my power to fear or to love.
So, thank you for spending several years of your life with me. For growing and learning together as well as apart. Thank you for loving me more than I was willing to love myself because ultimately, I am a better person because I met and loved you. And most importantly, thank you for so abruptly stopping loving me so that I had no other choice than to do it myself.
With so much love and gratitude,