I should be studying for my law final. Instead, I’m crying for the third time this morning. Fortunately, the Bride was around to tend to my wounds. I really do have the greatest friends. But I also have a great enemy. It’s not Monster or even He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named-Lest-I-Retch. It’s me.
“I’m every woman, it’s all in me”,Chaka Khan(and Whitney) once sang. For the most part, I live this out. Still, I have to own the fact that I also resent myself. I am angry at all the things that have gone wrong in my personal life. I blame myself for it. Corinthians tells us that “love keeps no records of wrongs.” I have archives of all my mistakes. Plus a few files of what I feel men do wrong. That won’t work anymore. It can’t. I can’t always run out of my house for a 2-mile walk with the dogs. I can’t always call my best girlfriends so I can cry my eyes out. I can’t always write every man off because he’s not acting like Cary Grant or Humphrey Bogart. I can’t keep hurting myself the way I do.
It starts out as indignation: “How dare_____?” It quickly degenerates into self-recrimination: “What if I was prettier? What if I weighed less? What if I was more intriguing?” Then it collapses into all-out despair. I remember unhappy moments. I begin to think about the fact that I was supposed to get married this year. I remember the sharp pain of the biopsy that changed my life. I think back to the text message that made me feel that it was all my fault. Then I’m a teenager again, the scared child who would sit in her closet and sob, the girl who would slap her herself, pinch, scratch, cut. I don’t do these things now. But the pain is suddenly palpable, an overwhelming presence. So I cry and talk it out and pray.
I am trying so hard to open myself to the world again. I am terrified. What if I am too fragile? Or too angry? I’m a living paradox, at once vulnerable in my romantic idealism and calcified in my cynical resentment. Everyone tells me to move forward and I do, out of sheer tenacity and willpower. Deep inside, I am scared to death. Not of dressing saints and becoming a spinster but of actually being open to love again. I am afraid of what I want most.
More importantly, I must open myself to forgiveness. I must forgive myself.