Tug of War

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It’s an interesting combination: Having a great fear of being alone, and having a desperate need for solitude and the solitary experience. That’s always been a tug of war for me. – Jodie Foster

Part of my nightly “wind down” routine is to sit on the couch, turn the lights down low, and listen to Pandora. The Lumineers, The Lone Bellow, Mumford and Sons, and Need to Breathe are a few of my friends that accompany me and my wandering thoughts.

In the last few nights, I have heard the song Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars. It’s the kind of song that makes you stop and take notice. Their voices are sharp yet, harmonious, and you can hear the conviction in their voices as they repeatedly sing this line.

I don’t love you, I always will.  

They are torn in the fight of loving someone.

I don’t love you, I always will.  

For some reason, my mind keeps drifting back to playground days where the game of Tug of War was actively played. I can still feel the earth as my body is being dragged across. I can feel the stinging, the burning of the rope peeling away my skin. The pain, the scars are reminders of the fight. I can’t let go.

I dig my feet into the earth and make my stance. I fight hard to hang on. I refuse to loosen my grasp and let go. Why do I hang on so tight? Is the fear of losing too great for me to bear? Does surrendering into something more powerful than me show weakness?

It’s the same with love and with relationships. Why do I fight so hard to hang on to this image, this impostor of a girl who really does not exist? Why can’t I just let go and completely be myself with the one(s) that I love?

I am haunted with this question. What do I have to offer? The answer frightens me. All I have to offer is myself and that should be enough, but for some reason it (I) am not. What am I so afraid of? Afraid they will see the real me and reject me? Afraid they will turn and walk away?

As the song continues on, I hear this and I find myself agreeing.

I wish you’d hold me when I turn my back
The less I give the more I get back
Oh your hands can heal, your hands can bruise
I don’t have a choice but I’d still choose you

I don’t love you, I always will. 

Over the course of my life, I have played the game of tug of war and I have played it well. I have the scars to prove it. If I am ever going to experience real, amazing love, then I have to lay the rope down and surrender to what is and what always has been. 

Myself.

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