The first time we kissed, we were laying next to each other, with the back doors of his converted sprinter van opened wide. The night sky had wrapped itself around the mountain tops and the cool air moved to the sounds of crickets in the dark.
When his lips touched mine, my insides started screaming. It felt like my heart grew arms inside my chest and were pounding its fists against my sternum as if to say “STOP!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!”
He pulled away and tears welled up in my eyes. I started sobbing, and his eyes grew so big I could see them clear as day even though we were in the dark. Worried he had done something to hurt me, he pulled me close.”Oh no, what’s wrong? Did I do something? I’m so sorry.” He wiped the tears from my cheeks. “Talk to me. What’s wrong”
I was mortified. I was overwhelmed. I was stupid.
“I”m so sorry” I managed to choke out. “I just – you’re so wonderful, you’ve loved me so well through our entire friendship, and I just – I’m so messed up. I’ll mess it up. and I don’t want to hurt you.”
Over the next 6 or 7 months, I would wrestle with this belief that I didn’t deserve real, beautiful authentic love.
But what really matters in this story is not what happened, it’s what didn’t happen.
Something told me to stay.
That really quiet voice in the back of my head – and a conversation with my beautiful friend Johnnie helped me relax.
“Let a good man love you, Annabelle. It’s the most amazing adventure you can have”
This was the beginning of a true saga. A series of lessons and a period of growth that is nowhere near finished, but after nearly a year of this adventure, I’m ready to start sharing the lessons.
This is Lesson #1 – the first lesson I had to learn about real love. Whether you believe it or not, you deserve to be loved. You are made to love and be loved. This is a GOOD thing. Lean into it.
To hear more about my love story and journey so far, check out the conversation I had with Sophie Kowk, the founder of Love Intently on their podcast!