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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Loving with No Armor

   When I was growing up love was never short in abundance. My mom showered us with kisses, hugs, compliments, and approval. It's why sometimes I still ache for her bear hugs. In her arms I feel unconditional love, and acceptance. We don't earn love in my family. It is given freely. My mother and I have this love that is unparalleled in my life. She is the kind of woman who gives with every fiber in her being. I've watched her give up sleep, or comfort to help a friend. On countless occasions she has made huge sacrifices for someone who in need. From the bank teller, to the employee at work with a bad attitude my mother always tries to help people. When we go to the bank people know her, and they get these excited smiles to see her, and dish about their lives. Every week she drops lots of dollars buying treats for her employees who are not always grateful. She even has a way of making strangers feel special. With her larger than life smile, and big laugh, she has this way of making people feel at home. And, while my mother is tough she is also very genuine and tender. I've heard her share with people little pieces of her life in hopes maybe they will understand everyone goes through struggles.

This is how I learned to love.

As a woman of faith my mother taught us little Comptons that love is one of the best, most precious things you can give. And, our Father is not selective about who He loves. From the prostitute to the wealthiest of Kings, our mighty God loves everyone.

This is how I learned to love. I don't know any other way.

But, somewhere in watching my mom give love so freely, I tossed to the wind the lessons she tried to teach me about wearing my armor. My mom loves with an intensity that ignites fire in some people. It's the kind of love that motivates you to be better, do better, and try harder.
My mom would always tell me, "Baby, you got to save something for yourself. You can't give people everything."

It seems the only lessons I retained well, where the ones about loving intensely. Somehow I disregarded the lectures about protecting your heart. And, in the process of trying to love so hard I've been hurt, cut deep, and I wonder if I am the only person to blame.

I am a walking open book. There is little about myself I won't share, especially if I know it can make someone else feel better. My humor is self-deprecating. I'll offer up jokes, and punch lines about myself to make someone else smile. It doesn't hurt me one bit. I am not a defensive person. I will welcome you into my world, my heart, and my space with little provocation. Some people find this refreshing. There are no walls to jump over to know me, no game to spit, I love sharing with people. Sometimes when I'm falling in love, I'll give so much of myself I feel overexposed, naked even. And, somehow I hope stripping down to the bare essentials of myself will prompt others to do the same. I'm learning now not everyone handles hearts with care.

I've opened to so-called friends, only to have them use that information against me. I let my guard down with potential loves, only to have them push me away, and then trample on my tender feelings.  I have confided in friendly faces only to have them gossip, and slander my good name. And, in all of this I am not angry, I am not defensive... I am hurt, wounded, and confused. Why would anyone use something so innocent to be so cruel ?

My friends tell me, my heart is too big,  but I really think they are calling me soft. They say I need to be more careful, I really think they are telling me I'm a not smart with my feelings. I know they mean well, and many are tired of seeing me give so much and recieve so little in return. Trust me, I am too. I agree I do need to revisit those lessons mama gave about protecting my heart.

"Don't let people trample on you baby girl. You don't have to put up with that."

"You teach people how to treat you every day Mena."

"Stand up for yourself baby. Remember your peace of mind is more important than any friend, lover, or circumstance. Don't put up with just anything. And, remember we love you no matter what."

This is the kind of love that reminds you no matter how many people mismanage your heart, mama and the family will always be there.

I hear you mama. I will try to build the protective gates around my heart you told me about. And, my gatekeeper will pay extra close attention to who gets to come on the inside. As I am sitting here overexposed again, with little to show for it, I know that this kind of defense system is ok. It's doesn't mean I won't continue to love hard.. .. I just need to love smarter.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Possible: When A Good Girl is Smitten

Is it possible to fall in love after one kiss?
When your lips met mine a fire awakened inside of me.
Something lying dormant in me started burning.
When we paused for air, I exhaled, and felt peace.

Is it possible to want to give you my heart  after just one first date ?
Our discussion was so free flowing.
Your green, brown eyes gazing into my brown eyes.
You hung onto my words, and savored my thoughts.

Is it possible to need you after just a few late nights speaking with you ?
You opened your heart to me, even though it was hard.
You trusted me to protect those sacred secrets, those sensitive memories.
You broke down my walls with your tenderness, and I let you in.

10 days, 240 hours, a week and some change....
Time so short but feels so long.
Is it possible  to fall so hard, and still make the love last ?
Can I hold you, embrace you, and comfort you?
Is it possible you could let me love you ?
Let me care and protect you.
Let me show how a real woman loves.
Let me be your everything.
Is it possible to fall in love after one kiss ?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Beauty & The Cute Girl Prt 2

Lately I've been hanging with some very beautiful women. The kind of women that walk into the room, and all the men straighten up and pay attention. When these women walk into a place for a few seconds it seems like everything is in slow motion. It's like when the James Bond girl came out of the ocean, water dripping down her perfectly sculpted body, hair swishing. Men nearby instantly feel their temperature rising, and their courage trying to pump itself up to approach her. While all of this is happening I am standing there wondering how the hell I got so close to this much hotness. And, I wonder if somehow I'll get lost in the undertow.

Jade and I started hanging out a few weeks ago. Her reputation had preceded her. One of my guy friends gushed about her like a little smitten school girl one night.

"Don't get me wrong LC you're cute, but Jade....Jade is freaking HOT."

As he said this I could actually see beads of sweat forming on his forehead. Indeed, hot was the word for Jade.  When people describe bed tossed sexy, they were thinking of Jade. I've been in her presence when she has no makeup on and her hair is a mess, Guys still lose their minds over her.This is what I mean by "Beautiful People."

Jade has long straight hair, this milky skin tone, and these adorable eyes. They are slightly green, almost blue, and piercing when she is commanding attention. It may seem I have a girl crush, but I want you understand, visualize this beauty so you get why men go so crazy. I've heard a lot of people say beauty doesn't mean anything. It's what's on the inside is that counts...  I live by that mantra, but after rolling with Jade it is clear it MATTERS.  Because, I've seem people drop everything, fall short of bowing to be in her presence as a I saw one evening.

Jade invited me to a little dinner party one night. I am pretty sure I was her parachute, a way to escape if things got boring or awkward. Considering that most of my evenings are spent barking commands at my nine pound dog to move while I'm watching Law & Order, I decided to take her up on the offer.

When we walked into the restaurant I was not feeling like the best parachute, since I was ready to escape myself. Turns out Jade and I have a different definition of the phrase little dinner party. In the very middle of the calm restaurant was a rowdy group of 20 local firefighters, cheering, and drinking.

We paused in the doorway of the restaurant, and I set my eyes on a table of, mostly men. Jade smiled, and approached the men.  Like an ocean breeze she rolled up to the friend who invited us and gave him a hug. I watched, and saw a dozen eyes giving Jade the look over. And, Jade's suitor seemed to be taking notice of the effect she had on the crowd. I could actually see his chest rise as if he was puffing it out to assert his masculinity. And, like a tribal warrior it was clear he was marking his territory, letting everyone know that Jade was with him.  Jade was wearing these hip hugging jeans, a simple red shirt that clung to her and a leather jacket.

My default mode in situations like this is silly, self-deprecating humor. I started picking on the other firefighters, finding small jokes that showed I could hang. This is classic cute girl behavior.

I think by nature cute girls often feel they have to over compensate for their lack of hotness with an amazing personality. ...this is me. I smile, I laugh big, and I make fun of myself. Even if you don't find me hot, I am grateful we'll share some good laughs That night was no different. I was in full "cute girl" mode. I spent the better part of 20 minutes laughing it up with the firefighters I knew. (as a reporter in a small town you get very close to some firefighters and police officers)

.  I paused for a moment in my comedy act to watch Jade.  I realized not only was she beautiful she was magnetic, and her power boosted others. I could tell her guy felt more powerful, handsome, and dominant with Jade on his arm. The whole label of a "trophy wife" was starting to make sense. Being with a beautiful person is like winning a prize for a lot of people. And, somehow they are more attractive because they nabbed a beautiful person.

After a few drinks, and rounds of observation Jade and I headed out. She hugged me goodbye, and we went our separate ways.  I slowly walked to my car, replaying some of the scenes from our evening. I wondered if a cute girl like me could ever get men to drool they way they did around Jade. I tried to imagine what that would feel like. Would feel vulnerable, naked, exposed? Would I feel powerful to know my looks made people crazy? Would I feel liberated to try on sexy for a night?  That night I decided I would find out.

To be continued........