When you’re the person who is always there for others — you feel a lot. You have depths within you, an ocean for a heart, and you sometimes fall for people who are too afraid to swim. You give and you give and you give. You never know how to stop yourself from pouring into those you love. And so, there are moments where a tender ache sometimes forms within your unhinged chest. There are moments where you are left wondering if someone will ever give you the love you so freely give to others, moments where you wonder if there will ever come a time when someone asks how you are doing, how you are coping, how you are healing. See, sometimes the person who is always there for everyone else, needs someone there for them. Sometimes, the person who smiles the biggest holds the biggest hurt. Sometimes the person who encourages everyone around them needs to be told that they are appreciated, that they matter; sometimes they need to be encouraged, sometimes they need to be held — no matter how strong they seem, no matter how brightly they shine. So, if you’re the person who is always there for others, know that your heart is rare. Know that you hold within you an ability to calm storms in people. Know that you give people hope, that you inspire them by acknowledging the pieces of them most ignore, that you make people feel wanted, that you make people feel like they have purpose. However, also remind yourself that you are not invincible. Your heart needs rest. You need rest. Remind yourself that you do not need to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, that you may not be able to save everyone, that you may not be able to heal every hurt. Remind yourself that you deserve to take all of the energy you put out into the world and invest it back into yourself from time to time. That you are worthy of the love you keep giving to everyone else. Remind yourself, that you don’t always have to be strong, that you don’t always have to be the fixer. Remind yourself that you can be human, that you can ask for help; that you don’t always have to be the one to save yourself.
Maybe you don’t end up with the person your heart chooses. Maybe that’s not how life works. Maybe you don’t get what you want. Maybe you end up finding what you need, and maybe the Universe knows what you need more than you do. Maybe love changes. Maybe it goes from “I’ll wait up and call you after work,” to “I’m going to sleep, I’m tired.” Maybe it goes from “You have nothing to worry about,” to “I really wish you didn’t overthink so much.” Maybe it goes from “I choose you,” to “I have to choose myself right now.” Maybe love isn’t one of those things that grows with certain people. Maybe you become too big for it. Maybe it becomes too uncomfortable, too small for who you change into. Maybe it’s like that sweater you always loved growing up, or your childhood bed. You learn to appreciate it for what it was, but you come to terms with the fact that you have outgrown it. You learn to let it go. And maybe letting go of love isn’t some loud celebration at the end of a dark tunnel. Maybe letting go is the moment you decide that you can no longer keep the past alive inside of you. Maybe it is quiet, maybe there is no checklist, or way of telling if it has actually happened. Maybe it is simply just you learning how to release your grip, how to let things be, how to lay down your arms. Maybe that is how it's done — in the silence of it all, in the calmness of everyday life. I am starting to learn that maybe walking away is the best thing you can do for yourself, and for the person you love. Maybe walking away is you making peace with the fact that sometimes things and people and happiness changes. Maybe it is the bravest thing you can do. Maybe, when you walk away, you’re not making the biggest mistake of your life. Maybe, when you walk away, your life is just beginning.
Instead of focusing on the people who left, focus on the people in your life who have chosen to be there. Focus on the ones who stayed, on the ones who appreciate you and respect you. Focus on the people who match the love you give them, focus on the people who empower you and grow you and make your life beautiful. You are surrounded by human beings who will not shy away from the love you give. You are surrounded by human beings who know that they want you in their life, people who show you that every single day. Do not take them for granted. Do not lose touch of what you have, chasing what you no longer do. Trust me when I say — you will miss out on beautiful things if you continue to stay rooted in all of the ways you were wronged, if you continue to let your past pull you from experiencing what the present has to offer you. Do not close yourself off to your potential. Instead, open yourself to the world, and allow for it to fill that space with the kinds of people, the kinds of moments, and the kinds of experiences that exhilarate you, that compel you — that make you love yourself, and your life, and what you have to offer, more and more each day.
When love stays, you start to understand why it had to leave in the first place. Why you had to ache, why past love had to dig caverns inside of your heart in order to make room for the person who would end up filling your soul with light. When love stays, clarity cracks within you — you comprehend the hurt, the loss, the lessons the wrong ones etched along your spine. When love stays, you make peace with all that weathered you, because you see just how it pushed you in the direction of growth, how it pushed you in the direction of the right arms, the right heart, the right soul. But I know the dark reality of being hurt by the hands that were meant to hold you. I know the fear; for when love stays, at first it is difficult to believe that it has truly chosen you. After all of this time, after all of the damage, something so heavy has suddenly become delicate, has become simple and light. After years of begging, of hoping, of having your needs starved by those who could not give you what you craved, you have found the kind of love that nurtures you. That believes in you. And I know, I know — it is difficult when every tender part of who you are has been bruised and let down by the ones who never learned how to love you properly. But you must believe in this love the way it believes in you. You must trust it. Because when love stays, the only way to truly experience it in all of its beauty, is to let it wash over you — is to have confidence in it, is to give it all that you are. When love stays, you have to be loyal to it, you have to show up for it, you have to understand that it is going to be by your side, it is going to fight with you — no matter what. You cannot flee from it. You cannot let your past shrink you into the kind of person who walks away from it in order to refrain from being hurt. You have to plant your feet, you have to stand and face it for all that it is, as terrifying as such an unknown can be. You have to believe, that this time, love is different. That this time, love is right.
I look up to people who care. I look up to those who stay messy-hearted in a world that may not always be kind to them. I look up to people who are doing whatever they have to do to make it to tomorrow — the people who get up in the morning when they do not want to, the people who face what is scarred within them, the people who are working every single day to be gentle and soft with themselves when they have been given every reason to harden. I look up to the people who believe in something hopeful; people who feel everything intensely, and allow themselves to feel that way. I look up to people who shout love from rooftops, who share their hearts with the world. I look up to anyone who is fighting — fighting to be better, fighting to heal even when it hurts, fighting to believe with everything they have within themselves that they have purpose here, and that they belong here, and that they deserve to take up space. I know how much courage it takes to be that kind of person, how much courage it takes to keep going. I respect it so much.
When you’re wondering if loving someone was worth it — ask yourself this. If you could go back in time, if you could do it all over again, would you? Would you choose that person, would you choose that hope, knowing that you would also be choosing that hurt? Knowing that at one point in time, you were going to have to survive the loss of them, the ache of missing? Would you still risk for them? Would you still love them? Would you still stay up until 4am with them on the night you met, letting yourself fall? Would you still get on the plane? Would you still forgive, and trust; would you still make the memories, would you still give them a home in your heart? See, if the answer is no, then maybe what you had was not love, maybe it was a lesson. Maybe you can find closure in that. But if your answer is yes, then ah — do not doubt if it was worth it. Do not make it any less beautiful in your mind, do not turn it into something you choose to forget. No, if you would do it all again, if you would still choose just a few more hours, just a few more days, just a few more years, despite the inevitable loss, then you had something most people never find in this lifetime. You had something worth the fight. Don’t ever forget that.
I need you to know that it gets better. I need you to know that the way you flay your heart open for the world is brave, that the way in which you refuse to be anything but soft, even when you feel like you may just break under the weight of feeling, is why you are needed here. I need you to know that beautiful things are vanishing each day, and I am proud of you for fighting to ensure that your soul is not one of them. You need to keep fighting. I need you to know that you will find the places that leave every tender part of you feeling calm and at peace with who you are. You will find the places that inspire everything inside of you to surge and ache with the hope and the beauty of being alive. These places, they are not where you were born, but they will be where you are reborn. You will know when you have found them. My god, will you know. I need you to know that there are others like you in this world; others who are messy hearted, others who feel things intensely, and without hesitation, others who cannot contain all that they hold within the worlds of their mind because they have only ever known how to pour, how to shatter, how to give and give and give. I need you to know that you will find these people, and they will become your family — you will take care of each other. You will grow together, in the moments between breaths, in the stunning silence that blankets your souls when you connect with the fact that in a world of billions, in the middle of all this noise, you found each other. But most of all, I need you to know that we are all here, together, dealing with what is dark and light within us. I need you to know that you aren't alone. I need you to know that you are going to survive this. I need you to know that one day, you’re going to be sitting in a place you love, surrounded by people who inspire you, and you’re going to think back to the storms, and the hurricanes that rattled through your bones, and you are going to smile. The clarity will wash over you. You will be free. You will be free. ✨
What is it with our need to fast-track relationships? Why are we so enamored with the idea of first becoming somebody’s rather than somebodies? Trust me when I say that a love bred out of convenience, a love that blossoms from the need to sleep beside someone, a love that caters to our need for attention rather than passion, is a love that will not inspire you at 6am when you roll over and embrace it. Strive to discover foundational love, the kind of relationship that motivates you to be a better man or woman, the kind of intimacy that is rare rather than right there. “But I don’t want to be alone,” we often exclaim. Be alone. Eat alone, take yourself on dates, sleep alone. In the midst of this you will learn about yourself. You will grow, you will figure out what inspires you, you will curate your own dreams, your own beliefs, your own stunning clarity, and when you do meet the person who makes your cells dance, you will be sure of it, because you are sure of yourself. Wait for it. Please, I urge you to wait for it, to fight for it, to make an effort for it if you have already found it, because it is the most beautiful thing your heart will experience.
Who do you look up to? Tag them below, and I will send both of you a copy of my newest book. It's important to celebrate the people in our lives who impact us, who make us softer, who inspire us to become the kind of people we have always hoped to become. Remind someone today that they have made a difference in your life. Speak that hope into existence. 💛
Little reminders from my second book. 💛✨
I wish I could tell you when things are going to heal within your heart. I wish I could tell you that you’re better off, and that you deserve so much more than the person who broke you open, than the person who walked away. But I can’t. I can’t. Because I know how difficult it is to lose someone who is responsible for some of the happiest moments in your life. I know how difficult it is to lose someone who filled you with memories, who made you believe, even if just for a moment, in the tenderness and the existence of a love that was created for you. I know how difficult it is to unlearn all of that hope, to unravel it from your bones, to hold those goodbyes between your teeth, to not want to face the reality of that farewell. All I can tell you is this — the things that broke you, the things that cracked you open, they are all going to amount to something. They did not happen to you for nothing. And I know how hard it is to see that. I know how hard it is to believe in your growth before you feel it, before you see it. I know how difficult it is to believe in the lessons life is teaching you when they hurt you in ways you never thought you would be hurt, when they are unplanned and unwanted and unruly. But please, just remember — the people who left, the people who could not value you, the situations and the relationships that did not work out, the endings that came your way, they all led you here. And here you are growing. Here, your losses are lessons. Here you are learning about yourself, you are meeting your resilience, you are discovering your strength. Here you are healing, even if it feels like you are not, because here you are choosing to continue, you are choosing to move forward in the direction of all you truly do deserve, no matter how slowly the progress comes. Here, you are finding yourself again. Here, you are coming home.
I wish I could explain what healing feels like. I wish I could tell you that it feels like coming home, that it feels like every soft and tender thing you have ever held within your hands. I wish I could tell you that healing is the simplest artform, that it is the act of doing this or that, that it is an equation you could master if you just focused on forgiveness, if you just flayed the hurt from your bone. But healing will never be artistic, it will never be delicate, because healing is the messiest thing you will ever know. Healing feels like digging the dirt out of your soul, like making room for yourself within your own body. Healing feels like the shining of a flickering light into the caverns life has managed to create within you; it feels like picking out the broken pieces one by one. Healing will never be linear, it will never make sense. One day you will have the answers clenched between your palms, and the next you will melt into the kitchen floor, you will ask for the world to be quieter for a while. Healing will start in the morning, and it will end at night, and no day will ever be the same. There will never be a formula. You will simply begin the process again when the sun rises. You will embark on daily journeys. You will take your steps forward. You will take your steps back. But you will always be moving, and that is what you need to celebrate. That is what you need to hold onto. ✨