Hit after hit, you take it on the chin. Can you remember a time in your life where you weren’t in fighting form, ready to rumble at the sound of a whistle blowing or bell ringing? It’s as if you exited the womb with your fists up, ready to protect yourself the moment you entered this world. It’s like you already knew, in your newborn state, that you would spend your life going up against the kind of humans that would break your heart and betray you, that you would spend your life questioning whether you would be able to trust anyone other than yourself.
So you coated yourself with armor, a protective shield to keep the two-faced snakes off your property. You’ve built barriers around yourself, never allowing the hurt to pass by your front doorstep. I know it seems easier to keep everyone at arm’s length, to close off all of the dirt roads and dust-filled paths that lead to that big heart inside your chest.
I know you’ve been hurt in ways that have stripped you bare — in ways that no one else understands — so you keep it all locked away in the most wounded and inaccessible parts of your heart. You think it’s easier to close-up shop, padlock the entrance to your heart in an attempt to feel less, because it hurts to feel anything at all – I know.
You’ve heard every cliché mantra along the lines of ‘just get over them’ and ‘someone will come into your life when you least expect it.’ You’ve had about all of the toxic positivity that you can possibly stomach since you became perpetually single. You have started to wonder if people think there’s something wrong with you, that you are nothing but damaged goods; you start to spiral and think that it is some fundamental failing of yours, and that’s why you are alone.
You begin to feel like the word ‘heartbroken’ should just be written across your forehead, because that’s how obvious your heartbreak seems to be. The pain is so fresh, even though years have passed; it is an infected wound that refuses to heal. You start to believe that you will never recover from the gaping hole they left in you.
I am here to tell you that everything you are feeling and experiencing, everything you think you may never heal from, is so human, and it doesn’t make you less worthy of the life you crave. I know you feel like a bomb detonated right in the middle of your paradise; you feel like you haven’t been whole since the day they walked away from you, since the day they abandoned you in the middle of a memory.
You’ve gathered all of the fragmented pieces of yourself, and now you’re wondering what the hell you are supposed to do with the mess you’re holding. I am here to tell you that you don’t need to have all the answers right now. There is a strength in you that no one can take away from you, not even the person who broke you in the most profound ways. It may take you some time to rediscover the strength that you have, but it’s in there; it’s been inside you all along.
Even at your weakest and most defeated moments, crying on the bathroom floor in the fetal position, when the will to live has drained from your body, and you couldn’t possibly imagine taking another step, that’s when resilience and strength show up to save you.
Please believe in your ability to continue living, even when it feels so wrong to live without them by your side. Please believe you are worthy of being healed and worthy of moving forward with fresh eyes, more maturity, and self-awareness. Please believe that you can move forward with a heart that has regenerated and become the strongest muscle you have. Feel it beating inside your chest again – where it belongs. Feel it all, and remember that you’re alive, and you were not put on this Earth by accident.
You were not born for the sole purpose of experiencing brokenness, betrayal, and pain. There is so much more for you out there in this wild world – just hold on for one more second, one more moment, one more labored breath. Keep fighting. Keep fighting.