While my heart isn’t the playground where you used to tease and be mean to the girl you liked, let me borrow it as a metaphor.
My heart is the chains connecting the swings to the wooden posts; it is the wooden posts themselves, proudly standing like flagpoles and as firm as life itself, taking on the rain and the sun and the snow and still standing tall even when it takes a hit or gets slightly bent.
You’re a guest. Come play in my space but remember, when I offered you a turn on the swings I wasn’t giving the whole thing over to you; it is mine, and you’re a guest. I used to give its ownership away but learned then (after multiple emergency repairs) that careless people do not make good owners and if you want something well done, do it yourself.
Well then, I guess this own-and-maintain contract is called self love.
So excuse me if I refuse to feel stupid: for inviting you, then the next person, then the next, taking only the lessons from the past but not the old answers as guides. As I stand proud and tall in a sea of colors, I know not everyone likes the swings, and that’s what makes things interesting.