Be My Shelter & Teach Me How To Walk On My Own.
Every now and then someone comes into your life and provides the kind of shelter you need to get out of the three-ring shit-show that is your life.
You just need some help, some guidance, a hand to hold, and the Universe sends this person at the exact moment you were about to break.
He absorbs your words when you speak and you soak up his like a thirsty sponge that has been left out in the sun too long. He tells you he wants all of you; your feistiness, your tumultuous emotions and your brand of crazy.
You want to inhale him, memorize the tone of his voice, and the feel of his skin beneath your fingertips. You want to savor him so you can recall these memories when you’re back out there, navigating the unknowns and the uncertainties of your life again.
You relax and let him hold you, see you in ways you don’t normally allow people to see. You let him under your skin. You don’t like people getting this close, but for this one, you swing the door wide open, giving zero fucks. You’ve had enough of a life half-lived in fear of other people.
He gives and you take. You give and he takes.
You feel your heart crack open to receiving as you watch him enjoy the pleasure you offer. You see that you are allowed to experience pleasure, not thwart it, or block it. You are allowed to let people, good things and experiences into your life. You don’t have push them away in fear they will hurt you. You’re allowed to do more than just give.
You are more than just a container.
Receiving doesn’t feel comfortable yet, but you try. You feel his hands against your skin. You attempt to be still, urge your mind to be quiet, but when you do, you feel the lifetime of holding, of pulling back, of not fully feeling emotions, threatening to boil over. You blink back tears and let little peals of laughter escape instead.
Despite what the chatter in your mind says, you aren’t meant to keep everything contained inside of yourself. You aren’t supposed to hold fast to all of your love, doling out teaspoons of it at a time when what you really want is to drench this person with love and gratitude, with everything you’ve got.
You understand you have no control over this person. Nothing you say or do will make him stay or leave. The only control you have is over your own emotions and actions.
You can show up or not. You can give love or keep it to yourself. You can stay or run, and you already know what a spectacular runner you are.
He lights you up, breathes fresh, clean air into your tired lungs. You are the same and yet different with him. You’re not a dimmer version of yourself because he sees straight through that. He knows it’s not who you are and he wants the sparkling, gritty edginess of your entire being and you want to give it.
Except you aren’t sure how to access all of those parts because they’ve been buried under years of being cast into a role that no longer suits you, has never suited you, but you played it so well. You attracted others who loved the role you played, and when you attempted to reveal yourself they recoiled in fear and confusion.
You were not what they had signed up for.
This continued to confirm your belief that there was something inherently wrong with you. So you tried and tried again. You worked harder at your role. You memorized your lines, and purchased all the right costumes. You attempted to make yourself into a kind of person that is more palatable to the world, easier to swallow, easier to handle.
You felt hollow and empty pulling an artificial version of love out the ones who wanted the show you put on. All of the spinning and acting kept you from connecting with people like the one in front of you who actually want you as you are, not the watered-down version you’re used to offering.
He holds the scary broken pieces you’ve swept away into a corner and hands them to you, reminding you that you are indeed capable of anything and there is nothing to be afraid of. He pulls off your mask, your costume, and continues to accept you.
You see how far away from yourself you’ve gotten, and in that moment you right yourself again and shift back onto the path you were meant to be on, vowing that no matter how scared you become down the road, you are okay just as you are.
When it’s time to go, he holds your hand as you approach the bridge that will take you from one life to another. You will not get attached this time. You will let him go along his way, to follow his path as you step into your next adventure.
As you cross the bridge, you spring forward with such force that it astounds you. His energy has blended and melded with yours, giving you the push you needed to move forward. Your hand is still warm from his touch. You can still taste his lips against yours and you savor what are now memories of him.
You start over and build a new shelter with a mixture of your being, your experiences and the gifts he provided. You hold him and yourself with an open palm instead of a clenched fist for the first time in your life. There is nothing to cling to.
You are safe.
Melissa Lee is a Seattle-based writer artist and yoga teacher. Her work has appeared in xojane.com and the Garland Court Review. She blogs about sexuality and writes erotica. You can contact her here.