I See You: Can You Feel how Loved You Are?
I see you.
You may not realize it, but I do.
I see you with eyes shaped by tides and waves, hills and trenches. When your joy explodes into the ether, and when the implosion of sorrow damn near pulls my heart out of my chest and straight into yours, I see you.
I notice you.
The way you reach for words when answers born from old fears rise up against a tentatively opening heart, or when you spin the rings on your fingers as you pretend the surge of decision isn’t rolling heavily across your face and shoulders. You carry all that is life so well, with such grace; do you even know?
Do you realize how beautiful you are when you meet fear with tender strength, or uncertainty with the next step, no matter how tentative? Do you know how you inspire me? Even while fumbling, you’re exquisite. When bliss bursts through your every pore, you are breathtaking.
I watch you navigate boundaries. I see how you reach when you can, how you honor your heart when you pull back. Society pretends that hearts are too soft, too irrelevant, and that boldness, bigness, hardness protects and powers through, but then what of tender truths and tiny reveals?
Where do they go to breathe when we fill the air around us with shoulds and fines and never betters?
Where do we go to carefully unwrap the most sacred pieces of us, the fire-forged and grief-hewn star parts of our spirits, transformed by love into inner microcosms, feeding radiance into our bloodstreams like luscious, passionate fusion?
That radiance… it fills our blood and bones and rises up to fear-thickened skin where, suddenly met by years of doubt and uncertainty about our places in our lives and the lives of those we love, it is told to shrink, to quietly tiptoe through fields over-thick with sleeping desires and still-fragile dreams.
We quell that rising, making ourselves tiny and unobtrusive and inoffensive, when what’s inside of us is greater than our skin can hold and feral in its pursuit of fully embodied freedom.
Early on in our tender years, even before failure brought us silence, and before deception brought us to our first unyielding moments of torpid rage, we learned how hurt could thrash our spirits until our weary bodies wept. Those first pains taught us how heartache creeps into our stomach and limbs.
The way those around us responded to our pain may have taught us about expectations and boxes and shoving every giant feeling down, down, down, packed tighter, crammed cruelly into our throats and chest and gut.
That is not love’s way.
Love’s way is the single word of affirmation that somehow burrows through every bitter lie we’ve ever absorbed until it finds a big enough remnant of hope to lift gently from the wreckage.
Love’s way touches us sweetly, reassures us, enfolds us in safety, even in the midst of the unknown. It makes the broken pieces beautiful, beautiful enough for us to love the edges back together and bathe the places where they touch in acceptance until every single scar glows with the dazzling intention of bittersweet brilliance.
Love leads us through the stitching together of old wounds, but allows us space to question, to learn, to be imperfect.
Love supports us even when we search for words or hide our worries, in our grief and in expansive joy, when we burst forth, and when we pull back. Love is there when we fumble, and it is there when we soar.
And me? I see you. And I hold you.
When you don’t even know it, you come into my thoughts, a brief memory or a moment, and I wrap my friendship around you, warm and gentle.
Does it lift you up? When your very joints feel the strain of life’s weight, do you feel so many hearts behind yours? Can you feel how loved you are? Do you know my heart? Do you notice me too?
I’m not that far away, possibly fumbling for the right words as I fidget with my own rings, awkwardly hoping for someone else to see me with eyes shaped by their wounds and healing, by their heartbreak and bliss, sending a thousand tiny tender pulses from their heart straight into mine.
Christy Croft lives in North Carolina with her sweet family who fill her to overflowing with warmth and delight. Since first volunteering at a suicide hotline when she was 19, her life has been enriched by opportunities to walk with people through darkness and transition, offering quiet companionship or a hand as needed as a doula, rape crisis companion, support group facilitator, teacher, priestess, mentor, mother, and friend. Her writing typically explores spirituality, compassion, trauma, gender, sexuality, and intimacy. She dances, sings, spends time in her backyard labyrinth, learns new foreign languages with romantic abandon, and finds long hugs and people who freely say ‘I love you’ endearing. She loves mountains and rivers, likes lists, and sometimes blogs at The Sacred Loom.