I’m here to tell you why I think you’re brave, even if you don’t feel like it all the time. Or even ever. But you are brave, it’s true.
You’ve gone through heartbreak. The kind where your chest hurts, your stomach turns and your thoughts are constantly lapping each other while they each run laps in directions of their own volition.
Then, some of that pain subsides. You still remember it quite well but it’s not so bad after some time and so you take your bruised, cracked, and bleeding heart and offer it up to people again. Maybe it’s a potential significant other or a family member whom you’re just now getting to know.
We’re not meant to be broken. Rather, we’re built to bounce back from the heartbreak. But that doesn’t always mean making ourselves whole again. Sometimes, life is about learning to adapt- to live with the cracks. Maybe the fault lines of the heart give way and split to create more room for people whom you had no intention of crossing paths with. You hadn’t planned for him. For her.
Sure, some of those people won’t realize that your heart is so fragile, and they’ll trip over it on their way through life. It’s not intentional, they didn’t realize that you put it in their path, but it leaves an imprint just the same. Now that person is forever on your heart. This still hurts, but you know that it wasn’t meant to be that way and that they also believe that you deserve better and maybe there are different shades of heartache, and you adapt to this one too.
You could keep your heart to yourself at this point. Surely, it has been through enough. It’s yours, and yours only, and you don’t have to showcase it for anyone. But you know that happiness is truest when it is shared, so after promising yourself that you’ll never do that again, you think maybe it’s worth a shot.
You’re brave for putting your heart out there again and again. Some people will understand what you’ve handed them, how precious it is, and will help you to watch over it. They’ll walk with slowly and with care, each foot carefully shuffling forward to match the other, rather than one after another. Their hands cupping your lifeline, still beating, careful to get it to where you both need to go, together.
Others may forget they have it and drop it along the way. Some will get bored and play games with it, giving it back only when they decide that THEY have had enough.
You kept your heart in a glass case for so long. But somewhere along the way, you realized that people could only see and not touch and you longed to feel and to be felt. You are brave for allowing your heart out into the real world, where scary things lurk in the bright day and maybe you also have been trusted and the more hearts you’re given to juggle the more you have to accept that some will fall. You wonder if it will be worth it to stoop down and pick it up, juggling the rest in your trust all the while.
So this time, this time, you think you know how things work and you put your heart in a cage, where it thrashes about, begging to be let out and to try just one more time because our hearts are foolish that way. They don’t know what’s good for them, but we know. Even so, we think, what the heck, and we’re brave and a little stupidly curious and we can’t help it because by the time our minds have scoped out the practical route, the heart is already miles down its own path unsure of what lies ahead. You follow it knowing that there was a safer street just two steps east, but your heart is alive and thinking and that’s not where it chose to take you today.
You’re brave for following.
You’re brave for taking your own lead.
And I am proud of you.