For the past three or so years I’ve sent out a monthly quote to everyone in my text thread. The quote goes out on the 1st with the hope that it’ll help everyone who receives it (and myself) start the month off with some inspiration. With the passing of the iconic Toni Morrison in August, I decided the next quote had to be one of hers. It felt really good reading her words through the list of quotes I google searched, there wasn’t one that didn’t feel good to me. But then I came across the one. It was short and sweet. “Love is or it ain’t. Thin Love ain’t Love at all.” I read it the first time and went “whew!”, like ain’t that the truth. This was the one. The message I needed, so the message I’d give to my people. I saved it in my notes and waited for the 1st.
When I woke up on September 1st, I started to send out the message one by one, copying and pasting to each recipient as I always do. As I did this, I tried to keep being aware of the words, so by the time I finished, I’d read it over one hundred times. At this point I had a thought. It feels good to wake up on the first and have a quote signify a new beginning, a new chance to do better, to grow more, to be more than you were in the last month. But shouldn’t the actual words in the quote do more than that? Is it possible for me to use each quote to not only kick off my month, but to theme it; use it as something to keep in mind all month long, something to focus on? So, I decided, this month is all about Love.
Further into my morning, after I was dressed, I went searching for a short meditation that I can do everyday of the month that’s on theme. I found a 7 minute recording called Love Affirmations in the Insight Timer app. I meditated to it and thought, “this is perfect”. The affirmations were definitely on theme for where I was in my life in that moment. It was all about opening up to Love, seeing myself as worthy of Love, and being receptive to Love. You see, in the last couple of months in therapy, I’d made a huge shift by expressing my desire for romantic companionship. You may be thinking “so what? Everybody wants that.”, but this was a huge deal for me. For too many reasons to detail right here and now, I’d spent a long time believing I didn’t want romantic Love or what most would consider a traditional relationship. I thought I was on the verge of something great and new.
Now, without telling too much of my business, it’s important to note a couple of things in my romantic life in this space and time. I had a couple of prospects. There was a new person who was really great in all ways except one big one that was totally not his fault at all. I just wasn’t very attracted. Then there was the old thing. This thing was from a past I should know better than to revisit. But I fell back in. It was a very quick swim, but I came out drenched.
On the 13th day, everything I thought I had control over came crashing down. I hung out with the great, new guy for maybe our fourth time. By this time, I was pretty sure that I didn’t like him. But I convinced myself that I needed to keep my agreement of the date we had already planned weeks before, and that maybe, in this new setting, I’d see something in him. I didn’t. The only thing I did see was the absolute worst thing to see in a situation like this; genuine interest. I could tell he really liked me. In this case, that really sucked. It made it even harder to think of doing the thing that I knew I had to.
We hung out early, so I spent the whole rest of the day thinking about how I was going to tell him. While my mind was on that, and it was really important to me to do it right and not ghost him, I was also preoccupied. I was texting with the old thing. The old thing held a strange place in my heart, even though things ended really badly with us, when we were good, we were great. We were really good friends with amazing chemistry. So, in this new space of “yes, I don’t want to die alone, let’s pair up with someone, Briana”, I’m thinking wild thoughts. “What if this is it? What if this thing is back because we’re better now, more ready? What if this is more than we ever thought it to be?”.
Without getting too far into it, let’s just say those thoughts got crushed as soon as I expressed them. While, I’m thankful that at the root, we really are such good friends that I was talked to honestly and rationally about how this just wasn’t going to happen. The gratitude was there, but it was buried beneath some deep and heavy feelings of rejection and disappointment. My ego went on a rampage with the negative talk, “you’re weak and desperate, what were you even thinking?”, and of course, “nobody wants you”. I wasn’t expecting the pain even though a tiny piece of me expected the rejection. I cried. I mean, I wept.
After the tears and some deep breaths, I gave myself some silence. I thought about the juxtaposition I was faced with. What are the odds that as I’m trying to figure out a way to reject someone who really is great, I’m being rejected by someone who already proved to not be what I should be settling for? It seemed bizarre, but i had to think of what the message was in this. Then the quote came to me. “Love is or it ain’t. Thin Love ain’t Love at all”. If it isn’t there, at its highest and fullest, you don’t need it. More than anything, self-Love has to be the basis of all things. Loving yourself thinly may cause you to prolong a connection that you know you don’t want. Loving yourself thinly may cause you to think you want or deserve something that you really don’t. When you Love yourself thick, you can see it in your connections.
Later that night, I sent the great guy a text letting him know how I felt. He was very understanding and grateful for my honesty. Just like I was grateful for the old thing’s honesty, even though it was sharp. In that moment, free of all prospects, I shifted my focus and dedicated the rest of my month of Love on Loving myself thick! I wrote my own affirmations of Love and put my focus back where it belonged, shifting my attention away from the thin.