1. qualified for or having a claim to reward, assistance, etc., because of one’s actions, qualities, or situation:
2. meriting; worthy:
I wrote a letter to myself in the voice of someone that loves me this weekend. It sounds strange, and really, it felt strange. Really strange. To speak to myself in an endearing voice, to tell myself the sweetest things; it felt uncomfortable and foreign. To read them aloud to a group of women I barely know was even harder. But I did it. And in doing so I was offered an insight into myself-a gift that I am still opening.
I chose to write in the voice of my husband. I wrote a letter to myself from him, and it was beautiful. And I didn’t have to work hard, or struggle with the words. He says the most amazing things to me all the time. He is the strongest parts of me, and the softest. He has always given freely his love, adoration and affection. He has always been my biggest fan, my best friend and my greatest love.
I was crying before I even started to read the letter aloud. I was sobbing by the end. It was beautiful and kind, loving and tender. And I was reduced to a blubbering fool just reading it.
Because the voice that comes up out of my chest, that lives in my head and stores all the scary stories and false truths tells me this:
I do not deserve him. I do not deserve this love; a love that people look their whole lives for. I don’t deserve this kindness and compassion, the way he stares at me, the way he takes care of me. I don’t deserve this-any of it, all of it.
I have said as much to him many times, often in that joking tone I take when I am sharing a truth, but don’t want to be pressed. I hide in the humor. But in this circle of women I was not laughing, I was aching. My chest was cracking open and I was sharing the scary parts of myself for real.
I do not deserve him.
He has refuted this declaration over and over during our years together, and I have no doubt he will continue to do so. But it is me, I need to say it. I need to feel it.
I need to ‘bring my shovel and my light’ and dig deep. I need to find the roots, the seeds that started this insidious vine that is running my life, and that has the potential to ruin it.
I don’t deserve this. Any of it. All of it.
How long have I been carrying this with me? How far back does it grow? How long have I been choosing things-the wrong things-because I thought that is what I deserved? The wrong boys, the wrong men, the wrong jobs, the wrong friends. How long have I led myself down paths that I knew would lead to my destruction and better yet, WHY?
That is the biggie, right? Why? Why indeed.
Sometimes I am afraid that I don’t love him the way that he loves me, but I know that is not true. I do. I love him like crazy, and I hope he knows that. Most times I wish I could be 15 again and bathe him in love letters and gaze into his eyes like a lovesick fool, doodle his name in a notebook all day. All of the time I want to let go, feel passionate and reckless and sneak kisses in inappropriate places and say things he wants to hear.
But I can’t. I don’t. Or if I do, it is fleeting and awkward.
He is the reward I don’t feel qualified to claim. He is better than I deserve for my actions. I am not worthy of him.
Or so I believe, so I tell myself. So I have thought since the first night I heard him whisper “I love you”, so quietly I thought I dreamed it.
Perhaps I need to write more love letters. Of course, yes, to him, but more importantly to myself. Maybe I need to write more letters to her, to that young girl I used to be, the one that wanted so desperately to be loved that she got into cars with boys when she was barely 14. Maybe I need to talk to her, and maybe I really need to listen to her. Maybe she has some insight, something to share, some words of wisdom for me. An explanation at the very least.
I am grateful to that letter, to that assignment that brought me to this point. Today I know that what I deserve is an answer.