The Love Chase: Paused here, Afraid.

By Monica C. Voskamp

I do so much to silence
this deep ache inside.
I deny. I run. I hide.
I ignore the jagged lines in my soul,
Bleeding out dark pain untold.

I don’t want to face this pain in me.
I don’t want it’s dark misery.

My stomach curls.
I feel it’s weight.
I linger here, tempting fate.

Could I bear to look into my own soul?
Could I stand still, unafraid
Of all the untold I’d face?
I’m afraid it will undo me.
So I stand on the edge of my soul
Longing to see, longing to understand,
Longing to bring healing into me.

But I’m bonded in this place,
Afraid. I can’t step forward.

Won’t. Can’t. Maybe both.

I don’t know, except that I’m afraid.

So I run, I run from my soul’s door.
I don’t want to face, to feel the pain.
I run in every direction but north.
I don’t want to see the truth of my heart.
It scares me, it scatters me,
Undoes me.

Why am I scared of what could be good?
Why do I crave a dark covering instead?
Why do I refuse the calm of healing?
Why do I tear myself down endlessly?
Why do I hate?
Why do I hate, what’s inside of me?

And I’m scared it’s worse.
I’m scared that I hate me.
Who is me, in this vast sea of
Why is me? Does the speck of me even count?

I look a bit into myself.
I don’t like what I see.
I cannot find me.
I’ve been chasing the wind
Trying to be everybody’s else dream.
I’m tired of trying to deny,
Who is me.
Yet I’m left in this complex,
Because I’m also scared of finding me.

I’ve demanded myself too long,
Too hard and it is breaking me.
I demand, and let myself be demanded of.
I know how to hate, be hated. I know how to shield out the pain.

I don’t know how to love,
This is what haunts and wrings my soul with agony.

I’m afraid of love.
to be loved, to know love.

I know the dark.
And that seems so wrong.
In the world I grew in,
I shouldn’t know hate so well.
I should know love.
I should. I should.
I should, but I don’t.

The word itself seems to elude me:

What does it mean?
Is it even worth pursuing?
The more I try to uncover it
The more I meet despair.
I realize I’m a long ways away,
From that place where love will be.
I’m so much worse off than I realized.

I’ve been denying how much
Dark resides in me.
And how comforting
It’s heavy cloak has become.
I’m scared to leave these shadows.
I’m scared to meet what isn’t hate, what isn’t pain.

That’s all.
I’m just utterly afraid.
I’d rather hurt myself,
Let myself be hurt,
Beg myself to deserve the worst,
Than meet what isn’t cruelty.

I’m afraid, so afraid to meet love, face to face.

Photo by Iswanto Arif on Unsplash

Yes, it’s twisted, but this is my stance.
The place I stand is here, in the earthen ground,
Of what breeds hate…

Hurt. Lies. Confusion.
Jealously. Envy. Distrust.
Hurt over and over again.
All turmoils up hate.
Anxiety. Fear. Greed. The darkness is here.
I’ve vowed to protect myself from any form that
would make me vulnerable.
Vulnerable to that word,
Vulnerable to that hidden truth,

It seems every time I look for love.
I don’t find it. I’m left with a bitter taste.
I feel like giving up this chase.
This pursuit was one I had hoped
Would bring me to a better place.

This chase of love has exposed me raw. I’m overwhelmed by the emotions awakening. I don’t know if I have the brave energy to leave my dark cave. It’s my security, my life’s story.

All that’s familiar to me is here in my twisted place of safe.
Will I leave this broken scorched ground,
For the sake of finding what isn’t dark agony?

I can’t answer just yet. I’m paused here,

Photo by Cherry Laithang on Unsplash

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