I've been in love with three woman in my life and none of those relationships worked out in our favor. I'm not ashamed to say I've cried over them, got over them, and revisited these relationships with high hopes of them working out...and I fell flat on my face sending me back to lick my wounds and start all over again.

The feelings brought on by these relationships ending were never good. I hated how I felt (rejected, misunderstood, not good enough, insecure, angry, lost), how it affected me, and most of all I hated the fact that someone could intrude my heart with such power that I couldn't get a grip on my emotions. It was as if someone else had control over me...

All of these feelings were very hard to sit with and tackle. In hindsight, taking the time to understand why you feel the way you feel is one of the major keys to a healthy life and healthy relationships.

It took a little while for me to discover why I felt all of the things I felt after these break ups. It took longer for me to see past my hurt in order to understand my significant others perspective and hurts (which is very important). It took even longer to reconcile and apologize for my faults and miscommunication. Longer than that...It took me about 3 to 5 years to understand my imperfections and begin to recognize where they stem from.

My imperfections are something like a vampire that I tried my best to keep out of the sun because it's a painful experience when they're exposed to light. Although I'm aware that I possess good traits...it's my imperfections that ALWAYS cause trouble in relationships. At the beginning of 2012, I went on this long journey of learning and accepting who I am. Part of that journey was sorting through my imperfections little by little and discovering more and more about the way my heart operates and what has influenced its growth throughout my lifetime. Opening myself up to see what has hurt me outside of dealing with anyone helped me appreciate the relationships I've been a part of. Sometimes it was just me...and I fell victim to my insecurities and negative thoughts when I was in these relationships. I'm sure my significant others dealt with the same issues but neither of us were vulnerable enough to be honest about it. There's so much strength in vulnerability! It's actually the most honest act you can offer in love...baring your entire soul no matter the outcome. The risks are high because you're sharing your feelings and imperfections BUT what if you share this act with the right person? 

At the end of 2012 I stumbled upon a greatest discovery... 

Yes I am imperfect... 

Yes I will always be that...

But my imperfections aren't designed to fit everyone... 

They have to be exposed to the right type of light. The right person can spot the imperfection but have such an understanding of who I am that they are aware that I'm willing to adjust to the world that we are attempting to create together. I'm not asking for a pass...I'm asking for an opportunity to grow with someone and adjust to her world and vice versa. I'm asking that you don't use my vulnerability against me. If I slowly unarm myself...please don't shoot me while I'm defenseless.

I know that I have to try my hardest not to bring a broken world I was trying to create with someone else into this new world. At the same time, it's common that people deal with fight or flight when something from the past is triggered. In those moments you need to be able to be vulnerable about what exactly happened in the past that triggered the feeling of fear without someone judging you or becoming defensive. Vulnerability is nothing but a cry for understanding and protection. That is what all of us look for in love...safety and protection. We have hopes that love will cover us no matter what...

The hard part is detaching all the bad experiences tied to previously being vulnerable with the wrong people. These relationships changed our thought process about love. It's amazing how all of our previous interactions affect how we love people today...

 

Here are things I know to be true about myself before ever falling in love:

1.) I was giver...

My father who continuously gave to our family taught me how to treat a woman through his actions towards my mother. I was taught to be generous to a woman because they are God's gift to man and should be treated as such. A woman should feel special when she's in my presence and nothing less than that. 

In Love:

I listened to my father's words and applied them to relational situations. The difficulty of being a giver is that it leaves you open to being taken advantage of when you give to the wrong people...

After the Love was gone:

I no longer want to be a giver after giving too much of myself and being taken for granted. 

 

2.) I was private/protective...

Sometime in the last 10 years or so it became popular for people to share everything about their entire life with the world. I'll never be down with that movement especially when it deals with my love life. For me, privacy is protection and whom I love is sacred. I'm okay with my family and close friends knowing about my love life but it's not to be displayed as show and tell for the rest of the world.

In Love:

This characteristic has given me the most trouble over the years because as a musician I share content on social media pertaining to my career but not too much pertaining to my personal life. On top of that I'm not big on everyone minding my business. Previously this has made her feel hidden or not claimed by me...

After the Love was gone:

I questioned whether I should've conformed to the ways of the world to make her happy...  

 

3.) I was a dreamer

The only way I won't reach what I believe I was created to accomplish in my lifetime is if God removes me from this earth. I'm aware of my purpose and operate in it daily. I LOVE WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING! As a musician/entrepreneur my brain is constantly moving and thinking of innovative ways to share my gift with the world in a way that is beneficial to people. I believe everyone should follow their dreams as that is the key to happiness...I do that every day and work hard to attain my BIG dreams! 

In Love: 

This characteristic has always been attractive...until it's not! It becomes unattractive when she feels I love my dream more than I love her. 

After the Love was gone: 

I always wonder why they couldn't see that my love for them and my love for my purpose aren't in competition. Operating in my purpose actually makes me a better person for them. I questioned if I should spend less time on my dream...

 

4.) I was a musician

I've loved and pursued music since I was a child and had no clue it would take me to the places I've been. Creating, writing and performing music is a job and responsibility I take seriously...from what I say on records to what I do on and off the stages around the world. Unfortunately, there are many stigmas tied to being musician.

In Love: 

There's plenty of attention from outsiders when it comes to performing live and through interacting on social media. While some take advantage of the attention, that's never been my style...but if she doesn't recognize that talking to fans responsibly is part of the job than trouble is at our door. I think the thing that was always interesting is I could be out here getting it in with groupies but I don't! So whenever trust was an issue it was frustrating... 

After the Love was gone: 

I felt like...I'm a musician and that's not going to change...

 

5.) I was a social introvert

As a musician, I'm constantly interacting with band mates, other musicians, managers, creative teams, directors, fans etc. Yes I'm social...BUT...people drain me!!!

I love time alone...that doesn't mean that I like to be alone all the time. It means that sometimes I just need a minute, hour, day or two...with my thoughts and myself. The time needed alone depends on how long I've been interacting with people. It's no offense to my significant other or anyone else...it's just what I need.  

In Love: 

MAN! Talk about offended! They took it personal...which was my fault because at the time I didn't know I was introverted but I knew I needed some space and couldn't explain it.

After the Love was gone:  

I questioned if something was wrong with me. How do you explain needing a day or two alone after being gone on tour for a month and a half? 

 

After the love was gone I questioned the five things that were a part of me before love existed...

I'm still all five of these things! 

This is who I am...

And I had to learn to accept myself! 

And accept that who I am isn't for everyone to love...It's for the right person to accept and love!

When I really internalized that...I eliminated feelings of insecurities, rejection, and not feeling good enough. Deeper than that, taking the time to learn and accept myself allows me to present a clear representation of who I am to someone who is truly interested in getting to know me. 

 

Who were you before you fell in love?

I think you should get re-acquainted with that person!

What we make of our previous love relationships is up to us, but I recommend that we focus on how magical the great moments were. All the smiles, laughter, euphoria, and moments that nobody can steal from us. It didn't work out between you and them but the memories did because they will live forever. You made your mistakes and so did they but you both have each day to work on being better for the person who is right for all of your quirks, imperfections, and characteristics. 

Take the time to reflect on the good parts of your past relationships. I am thankful for every woman that I fell in love with. More than that, I'm thankful for the experience of falling in love and being vulnerable and trying my best while I was in that space. 

Lastly, never let a love situation gone wrong stop you from being what you were designed to be. Don't abandon the great traits that previous lovers couldn't appreciate. Those traits are needed to design the world you were created to build with someone else. I'm not saying it's easy, but I am saying that that special part of you is the secret ingredient that your true lover needs...

I don't have all the answers...

These are just my thoughts...

We're all trying to figure out this love thing...

Lord knows I am...

 

Signed,

Aaron "Ab" Abernathy

 

P.S. Don't be afraid to give everything that went wrong with the wrong person...to the right person!

 

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