Journey Through Love (A Poetry Collection)

 

Journey Through Love

 

Journey Through Love (A Poetry Collection)

Excerpt:
“No one ever told me that love would be a journey.
That I would be backpacking through the windows of your past
boarded to hide the things you’re ashamed of.
Skating by your insecurities in order to ease the pain.
Knee deep in the only ocean that separates you from your truth.”

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Her Husband, My King: Unconventional Ties , Part 2

Her Husband My King Unconventional Ties

To Read Part 1: Click Here

“Love is composed of one soul inhabiting  two bodies. “ -Aristotle

Looking into his eyes was like looking at myself in the mirror.  Except he was everything  that was good about me.  I thought he was beautiful.  There were times when I questioned my beauty. I had been told my whole life how beautiful I was.  But when you’ve gone your entire life falling for guys who never thought you were good enough,  you wonder if people are just saying things to be nice. You wonder if they saw something deeper.

I knew that I had a beautiful heart,  but it’s impossible to make someone fall in love with your heart when they aren’t attracted to the owner.

It was like he saw my heart through my eyes.  I didn’t have to tell him who I was because he knew.  The more time we spent getting to know each other,  the more we realized how much we had in common.  Like that one time I smashed my finger in my car door and had to cut off my ring that I always wore. Then there was the time when he broke his finger and his wedding band was stuck. Same hand,  same finger,  different bodies.  Then there was the fact that cold weather made both of our right ankles hurt, due to a similar injury years ago.

I remember growing up and feeling upset. Not really knowing why, I would pray for my future husband. Because if I came from him, I was bound to feel his pain. So if I was emotionally upset for no reason, he had to be going through something in that very moment. If there was a pain in my chest, I assumed his heart was hurting. So I would anoint my chest with healing oil because I needed him to be okay for me. If I was unable to physically take care of him, I needed to be able to do it spiritually. God heard more prayers about him than myself for a while.

Fast forward about ten years and there I was falling in love with a man who seemed to have gone through life wondering about me. He knew that he was missing something, but he had no idea what it was.

_____________________________________________________________________

“You’re beautiful, Rack.”

“No one’s ever called me beautiful before.”

“You’re how I expect royalty to look. Everything about you, from your facial structure, to the way your eyes wander when you’re in deep thought.”

“Thank you!”

“You’re welcome.”

“Let me take you somewhere.”

“Where?”

“It’s a surprise. Do you trust me?”

“I do.”

“Meet me in the parking lot of the place where we first met? Tonight at 7.”

“I’ll be there. What should I wear?”

“Wear something that makes you feel beautiful.”

I knew exactly what to choose. I knew that he would love it. But most of all it made me feel gorgeous. I bought the dress a few years prior. I had gained a few pounds since, but it still fit just right. There was a time where I loved to wear sundresses, but that time had passed. The extra weight had caused me to push all of my dresses to the back of the closet. I barely wanted to see myself in a dress, so I was sure that no one else wanted to see it either. But when Rack told me to wear something that made me feel beautiful, I chose the only thing that I knew would bring back the old me, the Sheila that could turn the head of every guy in the room.

I was there about thirty minutes early, and he was already there. I was early to everything. I would much rather drive normally and get somewhere early than to rush and be late.

“Rack, you’re early!”

“So are you. Ready to go?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be.”

“Don’t be nervous. It’ll be fun.”

“I’ll take your word for it.”

He drove for about twenty minutes before we made it to our destination.

“I’ve always wanted to take someone here. I’m happy that you said yes.”

“Anywhere with you, was fine with me. You could’ve invited me to church and I would’ve been happy to go.”

“Speaking of church, how often do you attend?”

“Every week. My church family is really close. We’re really more like friends than anything.”

“I think that’s cool. I grew up in church. But let’s finish this conversation in a few. Follow me?”

We got out of the car and he led me to this lit grassy area near the parking lot, under a tree. I wasn’t sure where we were but it was beautiful. You could see the stars in the sky and there was no one around. The typical person would be afraid. But I knew that he wouldn’t let anything happen to me.

The sun had set and the moon was full. There was a blanket laying under the tree with a basket. There was a tea candle on top of the basket. The wind was still tonight, so there was no chance of it blowing out the flame.

“I’ve never been on a picnic.”

“I figured, if we had no distractions, we could get to know each other a little better. I know that our usual hangout spots aren’t really conversation friendly.”

“You’re right. But I enjoy being in your presence more than you know. I think I’ve grown to know you pretty well, my idea of you at least.”

“Tell me something. What do you see when you look at me?”

“Well, I noticed you from afar. You seemed quiet.  I imagine that you grew up in a loving household with siblings. But I also imagine you being the quiet one. You look like you used to play sports, maybe football. I think you’re smart and have a knack for learning new things. It seems like you’re good with your hands.”

I grabbed his hands with mine,

“They’re rough. So, I’m sure that you’re no stranger to hard work. Your eyes are gentle. I think you have a lot of love inside. You give the best hugs. But I feel like you don’t get them enough.”

“So, you’re just going to read me like an open book huh?”

“Your eyes tell me more than you probably want me to know.”

“I’d tell you everything about me if you asked.”

“An open book.”

He laughed.

For the next hour, we ate shrimp alfredo, baked salmon, and strawberry cheesecake, courtesy of Chef Rack. I had no idea that he could cook, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was stuffed and I hadn’t laughed so much in my entire life.

“I hope you enjoyed yourself.”

“That would be an understatement. This is the most fun I’ve had in a very long time. I don’t usually leave the house much.”

“Well I’m glad you did, or else, you would’ve never met me.”

“That would have been a great injustice.”

“I agree.”

“I spent a lot of years wondering when I would meet someone who would mean the world to me. But I knew that if I didn’t get out, I’d never meet him unless of course he was a pizza delivery guy or the mailman.”

“That’s the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard. Well I’m glad that you knew you deserved much more than that.”

“I’m glad I did too. I think this is the start of something beautiful.”

“Something beautiful indeed.”

He drove me back to my car and for the first time, I wished that he didn’t have to leave. The closer that we got to my car, the more I wished he would keep driving, to somewhere far away, that we could be together.  Before I finished that thought, we had made it.

“Text me when you make it home?”

“You can count on it.”

“Thank you for tonight. I had an amazing time.”

“Anything for you, Sheila.”

I hugged him and he kissed me on my forehead. It was the warmest, most gentle kiss.

“Goodnight Rack.”

“Goodnight Shelia.”

The drive home was quiet, but loud. I couldn’t stop thinking about him and honestly, I didn’t want to. Thoughts of him were bound to turn into sweet dreams. As I walked into the house, I made sure to shoot him a text.
Text conversation

I was convinced that if nights ended with dreams of him, waking up without him may not be so hard.

Finding Your Happy: When What You Can Get Isn’t Good Enough!

 

enjoying life

Photo cred: Michael Butler Jr. of one901

 

“You made this choice, so you have to take what you can get.”

When you’ve been hearing this your whole life, you start to wonder if you’re making the wrong choices. But you were also raised by a strong woman who taught you to go after what you wanted and to never take no for an answer.

But there’s nothing wrong with telling yourself no sometimes, especially when it’s for your own good.

We go through life wanting to be accepted. When we’re not, it hurts. It also hurts when people misunderstand you. You spend time getting to know people and you show those people your surface. After all, everyone isn’t built to see your heart.

Everyone won’t understand how you can love so deeply even when people don’t love you back. They’ll turn your good deeds into selfish acts. They’ll diminish who you are. They’ll misinterpret your nonchalant nature that protects your open heart from getting damaged for lack of care. And that couldn’t be farther from the truth. You actually care too much, so much that you’ve sacrificed a lot of your dreams for friendships that didn’t last more than a month.

You’ll cry, you’ll pretend not to. You’ll spend most nights feeling like that fifteen year old girl who no one liked. The girl who fell in love too quickly and gave too much. You’ll wish those memories didn’t exist. You’ll be reminded by your best friend that those memories remind you to never go back to that place. You’ll cry on their shoulder. You’ll send them messages in the middle of the night because you know they’re not awake to read them. You’ll wake up the next morning to a love letter in the form of praises and honesty from one of the few people who actually get you.

“You’re beautiful,” they’ll say. “You’re important and forget anyone who thinks otherwise. They may not need you. But you need you. I need you. Fight through this!”

You’ll feel embarrassed because as hard as the night before was, you’ll find joy in the sunlight. You’ll find joy in waking up in the morning. You’ll realize that your emotions are real, even the fleeting ones.

You’ll find your happy in small moments, in passing smiles. You’ll find a smile in your dreams. Peace lives there. You’ll learn to wake up with your dreams still on your heart. Because most days it’s the only thing that’ll keep you going.

You won’t accept “take what you can get.” Because whose right is it to tell what to take. People will force themselves into your thoughts. They’ll try to tell you that you’re less than everything you know to be. They’ll point out your flaws in hopes that they will overshadow the good in you.

You put good things into the atmosphere. You give all the love you can, in hopes that it’ll come back to you. Even when it doesn’t, you’ll know it wasn’t in vain. Because one day there will be a moment when all of the happy that you were looking for, will show up out of nowhere wearing your hopes and dreams proudly. It’ll show up dressed in confidence and beauty. It will be all that you prayed it would be and then some. It’ll remind you of all those nights that you spent wanting to feel accepted. And you’ll see that it never mattered. Because in the end, you found your happy and what you have now, is everything you’ve ever wanted.

Her Husband, My King: Unconventional Ties, Introduction

Her Husband My King Unconventional Ties 

I grew up learning that woman came from man’s rib. There’s the story that God put man to sleep, took one of his ribs and formed woman. So I believed that when a man found his rib, he would know. It would be as though he’d lived his life missing a piece of him and the moment that he was in the room with her, he would feel whole again. Also, the woman would feel at home when she was near him, after all she did come from him.  That theory died a little, after years and years of dating men who just weren’t it. I found myself settling for good enough. As long as they loved me slightly, I let it ride. I would give all of my love in hopes that something magical would happen. It never did. Because they just weren’t the one for me. Until the day that I met him.

Let me tell you about my king.

You know the saying, “eyes are the windows to the soul?” Well I never thought that was true until I met Rack. Rack was 6’2 about 300 pounds. He was beautiful. He had skin that reminded me of the motherlands and a smile that rivaled even the best Colgate models. He was quiet and gentle. I secretly gave him the nickname, gentle giant. He was an artist. His persona gave off one of authority and aggression. But I saw something else in his eyes. I saw peace and a story that was waiting to get out. I also saw hurt. I could see that behind that gorgeous smile, something was wrong. I was dying to hear his story one day. But there was one problem. He was married.

Meeting him was like falling in love with yourself after years of wondering why anyone else would. 

It’s like getting to know you all over again, when you never knew you should.

You look into their eyes and you’re reflected inside.

You’re not sure where it’s headed but you’re down for the ride.

You’ll ride to the moon with them if it meant more time spent.

It’s so hard to walk away. You wonder where they’ve been.

You wonder if it’s just a phase, but you’re sure there’s more in store.

You’ve never liked to share,

But you like him a little bit more.

You’ll give him all the love because he’s shown so much to you.

It’s non-traditional, but it works for you.

I always told myself that I would never date a married man. So regardless of how he made me feel, I had to let the idea of getting to know him go. He’d never entertain my advances and I had no intentions of advancing past friendship. But there was something in the way he hugged me. It was almost as though he didn’t want to let go. I was comfortable with staying in his arms. But I kept looking past him. There weren’t many times when he’d go out alone. But I looked forward to the times that he did.

One night, he was alone. It was late. We were hanging out among friends and it was a bit chilly outside. I instinctively cuddled up next to him and he didn’t push me away. He welcomed me with opened arms. It seemed like the warmest place to be. In that moment, I knew that he was something special. It felt like I belonged there. I had no clue why he felt so comfortable, so familiar. I had no intentions of finding out. But the way he looked at me when I backed away made me sad. I knew in that moment, that I had to be close to him, that this had to happen. I knew that if he was home, I’d never be sick again.

That night was the start of something beautiful. Friendly text conversations turned into a game of 21 questions. We spent hours messaging about each other’s favorite things, from colors to positions. Nothing was off limits. We were getting to know each other after all. Funny how, I’d known this man for over a year, maybe two. But I didn’t really know him. I honestly didn’t know anything about him other than the fact that he was married. He was an open book and I was nervous. He did everything in his power to make me feel comfortable. He told me to take my time, and I did.

“I can’t believe we’ve never talked before.”

“I can’t either, but I’m glad that we’re talking now, Rack.”

“If you could ask me anything, what would it be?”

“How many times have you been in love?”

“Not many. Maybe twice.”

“I’ve been in love too much to count. But none of them loved me in return.”

“I can’t believe that.”

“Believe it. I really wish that it wasn’t true. But it is. I spent a lot of time trying to prove myself to men who couldn’t reciprocate general feelings for me.”

“I’m not sure how you’ve stayed single for this long.”

“Hopefully, that won’t always be the case.”

“If I have anything to do with it, it won’t.”

I wondered if he was just running game. But he seemed sincere. It was almost as though I was having a conversation with my father. He said all of the right things at all of the right times. But he didn’t come off as a know-it-all. He was genuine. Before ending the conversation, he said something to me that took all of my anxiety away.

“I feel like I’ve known you my whole life. The moment I saw you, I knew that you were someone that I had to know and here we are. Can we keep this going?”

“As long as you’ll have me.”

That was something that I told most people. In the past, I had a bad habit of running men away. I had the tendency to come on too strong. I didn’t want to do the same with him. But he assured me that it was okay to be myself. Hopefully, it wouldn’t be too much. Even with his permission, I chose to keep a lot of my feelings under wraps. After all, he did belong to someone else.

This is How You Love Her: When You’ve Found Your Rib

This is how you love her (1)

Most girls have planned their weddings before they ever go on their first date. They cook pretend meals for their pretend husbands and change pretend diapers on their pretend babies. But this is all in preparation for the real thing.

She was ready for you before she ever met you. She prayed that when you met, she would know right away. When she went on her first date, she wondered if she would luck up and meet the love of her life on the first try. Of course, she didn’t. But when that boy broke her heart, her father was the one to tell her that any boy who didn’t want her was crazy and that she deserved better.

She spent the next few years looking for that in a man. She searched for her father in a world full of sons. She dated them all. She dated the popular guy who made her feel like she was the only girl who mattered, until she wasn’t. She dated her best friend who decided that their friendship was too important to ruin. Yet, a few years later, that friendship ended for an unrelated reason. She dated the shy kid who suddenly started to see his worth and decided to share that with the world.

She cultivated a man. She saw his strengths, she mended his weaknesses. She gave him something to believe in and he married someone else. But she wished his wife the best. After all, he had finally reached his potential. At least she got to see all of her hard work come to fruition, even if it wasn’t with her.

There’s something about a girl who loves hard. Even when he isn’t for her, she pours so much love into him that it’s bound to overflow back into her life. But she hasn’t always felt that way.

You’ll meet her and it’ll feel like everything you’ve ever missed is standing right in front of you, every prayer wrapped inside of one person, every dream turned a reality. It’ll feel like you’ve been missing a part of you but you never noticed until it was back at your side.

“Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” Genesis 2:22-23

You’ll remember the time that you broke your finger and find out soon that she smashed her finger that year. Bone of your bone. Though the pain wasn’t as intense, she shared that moment with you. Your lives have crossed in more ways than one and you wonder how you ever lived without her. You realize that she’s been through hell before you and you make it your mission to give her all of the love that she’s given to people who didn’t know how to deal with it.

You look at her and you see her heart. You see all the pain she’s endured and how she’s overcame it and wonder how she still has room to love you. She’ll love you back to life. She’ll show you that everyone you dated previously was nothing like the person that God created from you, for you. You still can’t believe it.

You’ll watch her grow just from being in your presence and you realize that neither of you could reach your full potential until you could reach it together.  That’s been God’s plan all along. All of those prayers were being manifested inside of a woman who knew as soon as she met you. Your side feels like home. She can’t be sad there. It’s exactly what she’s been missing. No wonder she’s been lost. Her home was always with you.

So love her, like you’ve wanted to be loved all your life. She’ll never disappoint you. She’ll never leave your side. Besides, she is your rib, after all.

For The Girl Who Wants to be out of Her Feelings and in a Relationship…

letters-to-a-younger-meYou’ll fall in love, a lot, place them on pedestals, and give them all of you with nothing to show for it. They won’t return the favor. You’ll cherish the company, but hate the lack of attention. You’ll wish you were single. You’ll pray that they get it right. They won’t.

You’ll compare those men to your father. They’ll never meet his standards. You’ll realize that it’s almost impossible to do so. You’ll lower your standards. Every guy who approaches you after this fact will act accordingly. They’ll tell you that they love you. You’ll believe them. They’ll leave you for someone less  likely to love them. After all, you’re the first girl to ever love them completely. You’ll offer to help them become the best them. They won’t care enough to let you.

You’ll get your heartbroken and finally give in to reality, falling in love with whoever you want. You won’t let the rest of the world dictate who you love. You’ll love them unconditionally. They’ll be your best friend. You’ll fall on hard times. It’ll be too much for them to handle. They’ll break up with you before your one-year anniversary. You’ll cry. They’ll find someone else. You’re left to pick up the pieces. They’ll continue to want to be your friend. It will be hard and damn near impossible.

You’ll try the newest dating apps, POF and BAE. You’ll meet your cousin. You’ll have about three conversations before you realize you’re related. He’ll be upset. He’ll like you anyway. He’ll say, “It’s not like we’re first cousins.” You’ll tell him this isn’t Mississippi. You’ll stop calling and answering. He’ll get upset. You refuse to be kissing cousins. He doesn’t care. You’ll wonder how things would have turned out had he not been your cousin. You refuse to give your children a reason to be handicap. He seems to not care. You distance yourself from him. He calls you three months later. You’ve met someone new, a potential boyfriend maybe. He backs off.

You start to receive phone calls from that ex in college who still won’t admit to cheating on you back then. He’ll say he misses you. You miss him too. You invite him over. You spend the weekend together. He asks when you will get back together He leaves. You keep in touch. A month later, there’s a Facebook post. He’s having a baby. You wonder when it will happen for you.

You start to believe that you’re the stepping stone for men who want to get married. You show men how to love. You show them what it’s like to be loved by a woman who isn’t afraid of the word. They take what they learned and let it work for their next relationship. They’ll ask you to be a part of their wedding. You’ll be angry, but you do it. You spend the entire wedding happy for him until you see the way he looks at his bride as she walks down the aisle. You try to remember the last time someone looked at you like that. It hasn’t happened, yet. You shed a tear. People around you think they’re happy tears. Your best friend knows the truth. She says, “I thought you were over him.” You thought you were too. You’ll sit through the rest of the wedding. You’ll go to the reception. You go out with the new couple afterwards. You go home, alone.

You’ll join a single’s group. You’ll meet someone. He’s already in love with someone. You wonder why even be in a single’s group if you’re not really single. You X him out of potential suitors. You spend Valentine’s day at a single’s mixer with ten women and three men. One of the men doesn’t even like women. You have fun. You go to the movies and see “How to Be Single.” You go home, alone.

You spend the next few months reading love stories, talking to friends that are in relationships. You live vicariously through them. You fall in love wit the idea of being in love. You wonder when your chance will come. Everyone you went to school with is getting married or having kids. You want the same.

You’ll meet someone. He’ll become your friend. He’ll tell you everything you want to hear. He’ll spend his days getting to know you. He’ll tell you things he hasn’t shared with anyone else. You’ll spend hours on the phone getting to know each other. He’ll cure your insomnia. Conversations will turn into speechless conversations and you’ll feel like a fifteen year old all over again. Your anxiety tells you that this is too good to be true. It’ll tell you that this is only temporary. He’ll find someone who he likes better than you. But that day never comes. He only has eyes for you. He’ll put those anxieties to rest and make sure that you know he isn’t going anywhere. You aren’t going anywhere. He’ll be the manifestation of everything you’ve ever prayed for. He’ll come wrapped in a different package. He won’t be your type. But types keep people single. Your type never worked out before. This will be a good thing.

You’ll remember the days when you were just a girl who wanted to be out of her feelings and in a relationship. None of that will matter anymore. You’ll walk down the aisle to your favorite song, to your favorite man. He’ll love you for life. The only time you’ll be in your feelings is because he put your there, in a good way.