It happened again. I told myself the last time I messed up that I wouldn’t make the same mistake once more. I swore to my best friends that I would use more wisdom in picking the right man. I promised myself to set boundaries so that I’d never feel this type of pain all over again. I didn’t and paid the price. As a result, there I was in the same predicament with a broken heart. I thought it was genuine love. I assumed he would handle my feelings with care. Truthfully, I couldn’t blame him for what happened because I saw the signs at the very beginning. He was no saint but I’m no victim because this wasn’t his first strike. I allowed him in so easily without proving to me that he truly cared. His actions demonstrated that he wasn’t really into me, however, when my feelings came into the picture logic and sense walked out the door. I vowed to pay closer attention to the red flags. As cliché as it sounds, I was confident that I’d be the one to change him because I’m a “good” woman. I thought this was the definition of unconditional love. I believed I was being his loyal ride or die chick because I refused to give up on us. He had me open. Ultimately, I thought I let my guards down but I actually never put them up.
The beautiful part in this experience is that I realized with mistakes come opportunities to grow. Now I understand why it’s vital to protect my most prized possession, my heart. I‘ve learned that everyone who’s interested in me doesn’t deserve my time. Every wink, blink and compliment shouldn’t be entertained. I’ve learned that setting standards is for my protection. I’ve learned all attention isn’t good attention. I’ve learned to take my hands out of what God is trying to break apart, it’s about his will not mine. I’ve learned love is not confusing. Love is not selfish. Love is not greedy. Love is not self-serving. Love doesn’t ask you to compromise your values or beliefs. I learned that what you see is exactly what you get, if you can’t accept it, move on. I’ve learned that if he wants you, he’ll show you. I’ve learned that because someone comes back to you, doesn’t mean it’s destined to be. I’ve learned that I’m worthy of some good loving and without a doubt, I’m worth the wait. I’ve learned my body is my temple. I’ve learned that love isn’t about chemistry or feelings, it’s much deeper. I’ve learned it’s not about how much energy you’ve invested or how long you’ve known someone. In my 30 years of living, I’ve learned what love is by experiencing what love isn’t.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, I think of some love lessons I’ve learned that may help you as well. Protect your heart and keep it out of harm’s way. Your love is priceless, value it. Demand respect through your actions. Love yourself first, don’t settle in order to fill a void or escape loneliness. Be brutally honest with yourself at all times. Know your worth and keep your love sacred because you deserve only God’s best. Essentially, I am reminded that we have to guard our heart.
What’s one valuable lesson love taught you as it relates to guarding your heart?