When I was four years old I would repeatedly ask the man that was my father, "Daddy, do you love me?" See, kids don't understand what they can't feel or see so the impatiently rational, "Of course I love you!" response didn't really answer the question. He didn't *act* like it so how was I supposed to assume I was being loved?

It's not until this year that I realized I've believed that to be loved, I have to be invisible. No thoughts, no feelings, no reactions, no hurt, no joy. To express is to betray the silent agreement I've made to not exist so that there is more room for the other person to feel loved. Underneath that is the conflation that attention = love. Or that to take up space is to take from the love-stash. Being loved was a limited time offer only.

I'm learning that love doesn't always return to sender. You will not always get back what you put in. Deeper than that, few will really know or understand how to gauge what you're even putting in. Not everyone thinks in terms of energy or intentional, genuine reciprocity. "Of course I love you!"

I'm no longer willing to engage with love as merely a concept or even just actions. I have to feel it. You have to tell me why you love me. Show me how you love. Reciprocity is no longer an option for those claiming to be affected by my existence in such deep ways that they can say- I love you. It's not enough.

In all the stories told of me and what I am worthy of since my before my great-great grandmothers conception, this one of bullshit, not enough, painful, hollow love is one I am no longer willing to tell.

You will love me without any, "Of course!". Because neither I nor anyone claiming to love me will be taking this privilege, this blessing, this gift of life for granted. Do not love me with obligation but with intentionality. Do not love me with familiarity but with intimacy. I will be loved on purpose.

Being loved is the experience of not having to ask if I am.

saltwater & stars

{If you're interested in working with Jupiter in Scorpio + your story, these are the kind of conversations we'll be having in Exposure sessions. Synchronistically, I wrote this in a 10 Week secret writing group initiated by Jena Schwartz. You can join the next one or find out about the 2 Week offer here:}