Chapter 15: Love During My War
The tea gets cold faster these days.
Sleeping beauty used to be a fairy tale I admired. Well, until I learned its darker truths in an older version of the story. Truths I didn't expect to be a reality for me. It's not easy surviving, and the fools who think it is should step away from saying it to me. Surviving is not attractive, or something to make me this golden soul in the abyss of time. Surviving is a difference of circumstances that just makes stepping forward harder. The world met me with dirt, and I'm trying to make gems.
When people ask if I'm okay, I tell them I'm fine. Its the narrative I found easier to present as time went on, and my experiences kept overlapping in ways I did not know to be prepared for. Its one thing to look like your thriving, it's another to maintain that in conversation. So many instances the past few months where I felt that shattering, was not a strong enough word to describe my internal wars. I try. I try again. I fail, and I fail some more. It is a cycle of barely making it to thriving to returning back to surviving. So then comes the question of how can I dare love myself in the middle of a war that I fight every breath I take. Do I even have time for it? Can I love myself without guilt or personal reprimand?
I think more than ever because I'm surviving, love is the most important. Especially since, in a life that offers little, love and support are all I can claim past my hurried words. Thus why through this time, I've been greeted with an odd but startling perception of the world. That the depths of empathy and kindness are unfathomable. Trust me when I say, to take the emotional battering I do and still smile is a cosmic miracle. I've found that my compassion and empathy are constantly rising, despite the decrease in patience and energy. In a world so bleak, I discovered a vulnerability and overwhelming moment of being human. I refuse to be ashamed of finding the time and space to love myself, especially when i know I need love.
Where is the heaven, that my soul needs? Even in poetry, peace is not written by me. Distrust, lust, and agony are my muses. A church is not where love is. My home is not where love is. That I am capable of producing love, I know that i deserve it. Am I wrong to love myself during the war within? No.
So remember to love yourself first, Empress Jade
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