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Loving my father was like loving through concrete.
I didn’t see the benefit of trying to love in such difficult conditions.
Then there was the first time I felt truly nurtured by a man.
It was so delicious.
Lying my head on his lap while he rubbed my head.
Allowing me to be soft.
Listening to what disturbed me,
Receptive even when I pushed back.
Because that’s how I learned to love and engage - through resistance.
Then there was Dustin.
Loving him was easy.
Our love was like a well-tended garden.
He nurtured too.
But while I was learning how to be taken care of emotionally by a man,
I also had to master nurturing man.
When I grew hard and cold,
his words, his love, our communication...
It made me want to hold on.
It made me turn towards him and not against him.
We took turns caring for one another.
Clipping at the dead ends,
removing what stunted our growth,
Replanting ourselves in more fertile soils...
I learned to soften during his lessons in Love.
I could grow here, I thought.
I could thrive.
And plenty of sun.