Words That Stick

03Words that stick: “If you can’t let me love you, what makes you think you’ll ever let any one love you?”

Love is not love that… how does the no rest of that line go from a Shakespeare sonnet my dad could  recite in his sleep, along with all the others that stick to his memory no differently than his own daughters’ names?

I come back to it again, like a healing refrain. Love is not love…

I’ll admit it took a while (too long? however long it needed to take?) for those words to stop nagging at me.

Sign of a true mindfuck, when you go back to the moment of impact and later, so much later, after the leaving for what felt like the umpteenth time, after saying no when she asked for “one last proper goodbye,” after finally coming to see that that is not love.

Love does not threaten or coerce or instill self-doubt. Love does not beg then apologize for begging before lashing out. Love does not call you selfish. Love does not hurl confused and fearful at you and call them love notes. Love does not leave you wondering: What if she was right? What if I’m just afraid to be loved, preferring the safety of my own locked heart and mind?

Words that stick come unstuck, when true love–the only love that is love–is warm water over time cleansing that wound, until the sticky residue of the bandage you concocted finally washes smooth and you are returned to your own skin, your own body, your own beliefs, and most of all, the freedom to discover a different kind of yes, the kind that is effortless and easy and kind.

I suppose this is the part where I thank her for that. Or not. Whatever. Sometimes it’s the words that stick that we learn the most from, in the peeling away from them, peeling out of town for good, and finally after so long of looking back, looking back no longer.

And now, I remember: Love is not love / which alters when it alteration finds, / or bends with the remover to remove.

With thanks to Dina Relles for prompting me to set my timer for ten minutes on my lunch break today. Hop over to Literary Mama to read her freewrite, and to share your own!

Image credit :: found here

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