I've Loved Them Fiercely

While staying on the water, taking in the quiet lap of waves softly touching the shore, the lilies bending towards the sun, the smoke curling wistfully from an evening fire, and the sleepless nights spent listening to the loons longingly calling to one another... My thoughts once again turn to love, as they often do.

To the men I have loved. Do love.

And to the men who have tried to love me. Some have tried very hard. And some have come close. Some have only tried half-heartedly.

But I have loved all of them fiercely.

I’ve given and sacrificed and fought and felt. Truly felt, for every single one of them. Hoping every time that it would be my last time giving and sacrificing and fighting and feeling. And yet somehow knowing that it would only be another instance in my life where I’d settle for something, for someone, who only loved parts of me. Just parts. Never the whole.

Never the whole.
Yet, I loved them fiercely.

There have been men who simply couldn’t, or wouldn’t, put me above the other things in their lives. The other things that (are supposed to, or should) naturally become less important when one human loves another. Men who placed me near the bottom of their emotional to-do list.

But I loved them fiercely.

There have been men who shied away at the first (or maybe second, or third) sign of difficulty, of adversity. Men who chose the path of least resistance. Who were afraid of, or discomforted by women who challenge them. Or men who just required rainbows and butterflies all the time. Men who lacked the emotional fortitude for the grit that real relationships are made of.

And still, I loved them fiercely.

Men who loved my legs and my eyes and all of the things in between. Who were smitten with how I made them feel. Who were overcome with desire, enraptured by passion. But the emotional means were never worth the physical gain. And they eventually gave up, regardless of their yearning.

But I loved them fiercely.

Men who slept as I cried.
Who heard, but didn’t listen, when I spoke.
Who looked the other way when I was in need.
The smooth talkers, the commitment-phobes, the halfhearted triers, the fair-weather lovers…

Men who would say I was too needy, oversensitive, moody, emotional.
That I was too difficult to love.

Through the years they have shared my bed, seen corners of my mind that I hide from the rest, touched parts of me that I lock away, and have torn away pieces of me when they leave. So many pieces, I’m not sure there are any left.

But I find myself still trying to give those pieces away.

Perhaps I’m still hoping for one who will put all of them back together. For one who is brave enough, patient enough, committed enough, kind enough, strong enough…

Fierce enough.