love me when i least deserve it...

learning to love is a difficult journey. life has a way of putting obstacles in front of us that we have no way to understand or to comprehend our own reaction.  the past few months have been a venture into this realm of the unknown and an experiment in defining myself and what matters most to me.

i've come to love someone, more than i thought was possible. i've come to love him so much so that at times it frightens me. it's not a perfect love but it is there.  in that beautiful imperfection i've struggled with something that i once thought of as a strength but I'm beginning to reconsider.

years ago i learned that i must first and foremost protect my most precious asset, myself. since that time i've come to understand my inner most wants and needs and to address that which i feel is most important to me. i've come to appreciate my thoughts and become acquainted with my motivation. however, at times i find myself flying on autopilot and i allow those thoughts which affront me or that might be inconvenient to labeled as offensive to my progress. that isn't always the case.

this man i love, this brilliant soul has taught me so much, though i doubt he is aware. he is at a very different stage in life and our paths have crossed at a time when perhaps others in my position would turn and walk the other direction. something has pulled me in and kept me at bay as i uphold and maintain this relationship through the day to day struggles. don't get me wrong, this isn't dysfunctional by any means, well no more so than any other relationship. so let me rewind my though process and start closer to the beginning so that you might understand.

a few weeks ago, i was asked, "what does being in a relationship mean to you?" it was by far one of the most difficult questions i have ever been asked. my first thought is that the man i love is my one true best friend in the world. he's the man that i can go to with all of my problems and with my dreams. i can share all things with him and not fear judgement or ridicule or well, fear on any level.  to me a relationship is a haven from all that surrounds me. it's the one place that i can truly be me without worry of repercussions. i can say what i want and do what i want without having to worry what the other person will think of me, well as long as i show him the respect that he deserves of course. but then a relationship is the reciprocal of that statement as well. as much as i want to be me i need to accept who he is and what animates him, his quirks and idiosyncrasies. i need to accept him for his good and his bad, the proverbial "for better or worse." knowing that you have someone at your back at all times is a comfort and a relief.

i want to lift him up and be that shoulder to cry on or lean on whenever he needs it.  i don't want him to feel like he has to do anything alone but rather that he has someone rooting him along every step of the way.  i guess that's what a relationship means to me. We all know walking that path of life isn't easy. it's rough dealing with the obstacles that life throws at us day after day and knowing that i have someone that i trust 100% on my side, that is there to help me and guide me and make me laugh and let me cry...   makes the journey through life so much easier.

but sometimes it's not easy to get that message out. there are times when asking for help, calling out for relief and aid is most difficult part of the journey. sometimes silence is the only message that we get. sometimes harsh words come out when all we mean to say is how much we need help and don't know how to deal with this trial that has been thrown in our lap.

this is where he has taught me a great deal about myself.

relationships are also work. they require constant energy and effort to maintain those open lines of communication and trust and mutual respect. but most of the time it's not perfectly equitable. most of the time one gives while the other takes and then as circumstances change the roles reverse. it's normal, it's part of the cycle. it can be a beautiful thing. right now I'm learning the great importance of my role as a support. i've often lived by the belief that you should never give up on someone that you can't go a day without thinking about. but a part of me almost did...

as the rougher waters have come and obstacles have presented themselves i have been forced to evaluate my place and my role and my values when it comes to respecting myself and respecting my relationship. the past couple weeks haven't been ideal. it hasn't been a fairy tale. but it has been such a great time as well. i find myself lost in the moment as i feel his hand brush against mine and when i feel his touch. i feel such a great elation when we are together and longing when we are apart. things haven't been easy for him and in that time i began to feel as if i was entitled to some sort of explanation, some reasoning, in order to assuage my troubled heart.

then in my temps-libre, which i have an abundance of, i came across the image that you see and the quote therein was like a message from heaven. 
Love me when I least deserve it because that is when I really need it.
in my most dark and difficult times i often felt completely alone. i was cruel and mean-spirited to myself and to those around me. i was lost and had abandoned any sense of control or restraint. i said and did things that were unbecoming and simply wrong. i felt alone. i was alone. even those that were by my side in the physical world had abandoned me emotionally and cared not about the best of me. was i falling into that trap? in my effort to preserve myself was abandoning the one i cared for most? were my feelings of hurt and loss detrimental to the relationship that i had built up? was i leaving my one behind as i selfishly looked out only for my heart? was i leaving him in his time of need? ... only time will tell.

but in this moment, i have come to realize that i must stand as that support even when those around me are telling me that he doesn't deserve it. or when even he says he doesn't deserve it. because it is in those moments that we all need it the most. it is those moments that we need love and direction, hope and caring. it is in those times of struggle and anger, hurt and pain that we need to have a hand to hold on to and a heart that feels our angst and pain, stress and struggle and yet finds strength in the moment.

to you my love, i say this, i will stand by your side in all things. i will lift you up when you are down and hold your hand when your heart is heavy. i will struggle with you and be your rock as you are my gibraltar.  when the storm is past and the waters are calm we will know, no words are needed i feel you, i see you.

i love you,

nathan - signature 001

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