I will tell you a story now, and hope you will understand its beauty and significance someday, though the words may haunt you in your darkest hours.
“In the beginning, I took all of my glittering attributes and wore them proudly, like a crown. I thought myself beautiful and glorious, and felt the wonderful surge of power that comes with being unforgettable. But the time came when I began to question my value, and I wondered if anyone could even see me shining so proudly. Or did I shine for no one at all? Had I only tricked myself into the light, where predators are many and weaknesses are apparent?
I had thought I was in good company, but I turned fully to see that i was shatteringly alone.
I took the first beautiful jewel from my crown and held it in my palm. It had grown heavy and overwhelming, and it pained me to see it there. So I buried it in the ground where I could pretend that I had never known it existed. Each jewel, I weighed in my hand and placed quietly in the ground until the hole was filled with everything bright and stunning that I possessed. And a determination began within me to pretend that I was not the glorious creature that I was.
And so I would have remained. Until you.
I went to the same hole that I had dug and timidly picked up the shining jewels that I had abandoned there. They had not dulled with age, but seemed deeper and richer and more achingly beautiful than I had remembered. I adorned myself with them once again, but not in the way I had worn them before.
Once, I had worn them with pride and vanity. Now, I wore them with fear and trembling, and did not know what to do with my hands. I touched them to my face and felt tears there. Tears of remorse and regret for possessing such beautiful things. Tears of unworthiness and confusion, but mostly tears of brokenness. For I knew this would never be enough. My best self was incomplete, but it was all I had.
I came before you with my hands open and my eyes lifted, and tried to share with you all I had, but you did not see me through the clouded delusion of yourself. I called to you through the darkness, but you took my pain and fears as your own, and I found I had no voice in that place. I wanted to be your touchstone. I wanted to make your world better. Little did I know that in so doing, I was making my world worse. Little did I know that I could be used up. In my ignorance, I had seen myself as a limitless source, but it was not true. There comes a time when I cannot sustain myself, let alone you.
To my destruction, I thought I could be there every time you came looking for me, and that this would be enough, but I have come to realize that I am more than that. With all my heart, I would have used everything I had for your good, but my goodness dwindles as I use all my hope on you. And I am a selfish creature by nature. Perhaps there is no such thing as unselfish love.
I loved you foolishly and with greatest sympathy because I saw the spark of life hidden within your smile. I wanted your world to become what it was meant to be, but I could not be used by you anymore, however unintentionally. When I came to the end of myself, I realized that I could not be your shelter, and I could not save you. Nor could you be the one to set me free.
So, I left you a piece of my finest jewel and vanished into the night. And, as I walked away, I was filled with the knowledge and the conviction that I could never be less than everything that was in me again. In all my glory and all my power, I knew I would tremblingly walk forth wearing the beautiful pieces of myself. And I would be whole. Not completed. Not finished, but I would be enough, and I would be strong.”
This is the painful story of love. I would protect you from it if I could, but you must know if you are to find life again.