I just walked home from my final elementary-school back-to-school night.  The moon grinned wickedly from behind a smoky haze, and the air was heavy with the peace and quiet of a Thursday evening.   Crickets sang softly, porch lights warmed the path, and the neighborhood tucked in freshly bathed children for the night.

I felt loving and loved.

Last night I found myself perched in my attic, rummaging through an old box of treasures that stirred up more than dust around me.  I found memories from 6th grade – the same grade my son is in now – that took me back to that place where innocence and wariness collide with a celestial explosion that rocks worlds and results in a period of massive confusion.

And I remembered exactly how I felt.

Thirty-something years later, I’m still struggling with self-love.  It’s getting easier, perhaps largely due to the patience of special people who have crossed my path and have loved me until I could learn to love myself.  Sometimes a simple act of kindness feels like a warm embrace that rocks me gently and kisses my forehead.  When another person believes in me fully, I lose myself in the surprise of it – like the contented connectedness that comes immediately after a wonderful sexual experience. 

I feel loved.

This song speaks to me lately and brings me to tears every time.  I can’t find words to express how grateful I feel for the enormous love I have been given.  It’s seeping in to all of those remote, scary crevices that have been hiding in darkness for a very, very long time.

Much as you blame yourself, 
You can’t be blamed for the way that you feel 
Had no example of a love,  
That was even remotely real 
How can you understand 
Something that you never had? 
Ooh, baby, if you let me,  
I can help you out with all of that 
Girl, let me love you, 
And I will love you, 
Until you learn to love yourself 
Girl, let me love you, 
I know your trouble 
Don’t be afraid, 
Girl, let me help 
Girl, let me love you, 
And I will love you, 
Until you learn to love yourself 
Girl, let me love you, 
A heart in numbness 
Is brought to life, 
I’ll take you there 
Hey, hey(Girl, let me love you) 
Girl, let me love you, baby, oh(Girl, let me love you) 
Girl, let me love you, baby(Girl, let me love you) 
Let me love you, 
Let me love you, 
OhOoh,  
I can see the pain behind your eyes, 
It’s been there for quite a while 
I just wanna be the one 
To remind you what it is to smile, yeah 
I would like to show you 
What true love can really do 
Girl, let me love you, 
And I will love you, 
Until you learn to love yourself 
Girl, let me love you, 
I know your trouble 
Don’t be afraid, 
Girl, let me help 
Girl, let me love you, 
And I will love you, 
Until you learn to love yourself 
Girl, let me love you, 
A heart in numbness 
Is brought to life, 
I’ll take you there 
Oh, oh, oh, heyGirl, let me love you, baby
~Ne-Yo, “Let me Love You”

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