The Secret Guardin’

Vulnerability is not my forte. I don’t pretend to be the open book girl at all. I acknowledge, and have since the first time I blogged, that I’m more of a cactus than an orchid.

Unfortunately, in love, this is not only an issue, it’s a gun that misfires and constantly presents the risk of a shot to the heart of the man in my life at that time.

But, I mean, let’s be real. It’s incredibly difficult to lay everything out there for someone else when you’ve been a one-woman (or one-man) show for several years.  I’m used to doing everything myself, and not pulling someone else in to help me sort things out, make decisions, or just acknowledge the less-than-best parts of me.

The ridiculous part is, there is literally nothing my new love could tell me or share with me that I wouldn’t completely accept without judgment or fear. It’s pretty hypocritical (and not giving him enough credit) to assume he brings anything less to the table.

I have always taken pride in handling things myself. I invested my time in my own life and the advancement of my family. I didn’t complicate life by bringing other people in too close and, as a result, I learned some pretty bad habits about keeping people at an arm’s length at all times.

To have a healthy relationship, you have to let the other person in incredibly far beyond the velvet rope of your life.

They have to get in past the gates and into the deepest parts. I’m slowly seeing that the closer the person gets to the darkest parts of your past and present, the more you can learn about who they really are. And if they respect the privilege of the all-access pass to the most guarded parts of you, you might find yourself feeling more free than ever.

I was swimming through the depths of iTunes playlists today as blog post topics swam through my head, and this song came on. I immediately thought of all the ways I’m stifling my current relationship by keeping walls up, putting new ones in place of ones he’s knocked down, and generally creating resistance for absolutely no damn reason.

Being a cactus isn’t being real. Keeping the gift of love, even if it’s just your closest friends, at a distance with prickly protective spines is shortchanging yourself, and it’s not respecting the people placing themselves at your side.

A cactus may be able to withstand sandstorms and blazing desert heat, but what’s to admire?

An orchid, on the other hand, is beautiful and delicate at the same time.

And I know that, although being delicate and vulnerable is so much more intimidating to me than fighting a bear or being robbed at gunpoint, the man who puts up with my walls and stands in front of me whether I’m being a beauty or a beast deserves it from me. And I deserve it as well.

Janine & The Mixtape: Hold Me


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