Do you remember that feeling when you were learning how to swim and you tried to hold your breath just a little too long? Your lungs started to burn and the panic started to set in. You weren’t sure you would ever get to taste the air above again.
That’s what loving you was like.
Loving you was burning lungs.
Loving you was not being able to breathe.
Loving you was panic.
Loving you felt a lot like drowning.
I spent too many years under the weight of the water that was you, not sure if I could ever make it to the surface again. You kept me underwater where I had no power, no control. You kept me trapped and scared and alone. Dying.
I learned to believe that I did not know how to swim, when the truth is you tied anchors to my feet to keep me from being able to do so.
When someone teaches you that water equals drowning, you learn to avoid it at all costs. Once, the thought of swimming in the sea brought you joy and comfort, but now you run at the thought of it. If you avoid the thing that almost killed you, maybe you’ll be safe, but avoiding something that is meant to bring you joy is no way to live.
Maybe you just needed to wait for the right moment to dip your toes back in.
He was that moment.
If water is love, and you were drowning, then he… he is like being able to swim across the world’s oceans. He is floating on your back, being hugged by the water. He is the waves gently kissing the shore. He is all the beauty and mystery that exists past the shoreline.
He is strength.
He is healing.
He is good and challenging and breathtaking and his love is as vast and deep and beautiful as the sea.
He showed me why I loved the water again and helped heal the pain from almost drowning for years.
He is patient, slowly showing me that, while there are always risks involved in swimming (and in love, in life) the risk is worth it.
Because water can be beautiful.
Love can be beautiful.