Why do we feel justified in building walls around our hearts after we’ve been hurt?
We spend so much time anticipating future heartbreak that we put it into action, a self-fulfilling prophecy fueled by our feelings of fear and inadequacy. What would happen if we moved fearlessly forward with open hearts after those hearts have been broken? I believe that if we’re able to find the courage to stay open and vulnerable and risk being hurt, we’ll also allow the opportunity for great love to manifest in our lives.
My heart was broken recently. It was quick, brutal and unexpected.
I never intended to fall, and I also never thought that the object of my affection was capable of the sort of cruelty that he directed my way at the end. In the aftermath of my heart being shattered, I have made commitments to myself—to remain happily single or to enter into relationships only with people who are truly worthy of the love I’m capable of giving. I’ve begun searching for a different type of heart.
I’m seeking a heart filled with courage, one that embraces risk, knowing that there is strength in vulnerability and that we can never find our heart’s desire when we keep our hearts closed up tight.
I’m seeking a heart that is filled with honesty, but one that is never brutal, cruel or unkind—a heart that can speak from a place of truth and love. I would never have to seek assurance from this heart because actions would demonstrate the truth of the words spoken so that I never have cause to doubt.
I’m seeking a heart that is steadfast, one that is not afraid of the work that must be put in to keep love nourished. I need a loyal heart, one that is truly devoted to mine and not constantly looking for something better.
I’m seeking a heart that is bold, one that can match my spirit and is not intimidated by my power. This heart is assertive, confident and knows its own power. This heart celebrates my strength and successes, seeks to complement that strength rather than be threatened by it. This heart would never, ever try to mold me into something less or attempt to change me into something different.
I’m seeking a heart that listens, one that can hold my secrets and stand firm in difficulty, that is able to provide support and understanding. This heart can show up when I’m broken to remind me of my strength.
I’m seeking a heart that won’t fear my anger, knowing I’m too kind to unleash it without cause and too gentle to bear up under anger for long.
I’m seeking a heart that can be gentle, one that can cradle my own heart in sure hands, not breaking it or stifling its fire or trying to hide the galaxies it contains.
Instead of building a wall around our hearts and setting up defenses to protect them, we can turn our attention instead to searching for hearts that are worthy of us. We can look out for red flags and refuse to accept treatment that is less than what we deserve. When we demonstrate that level of love for ourselves, the universe may just open up and present us with a number of possibilities that we never could have found while hiding out with our broken hearts.
If what we’re seeking is indeed seeking us, then we must risk the vulnerability that comes with open hearts. We can begin searching for a different kind of heart rather than erecting walls to keep them all away. The work becomes tearing down the walls we’ve built and allowing others the chance to know us, knowing that our efforts will be rewarded with a love greater than we could have found hiding behind our defenses.
Author: Crystal Jackson
Image: Amy Zirkle/Flickr
Editor: Catherine Monkman; Nicole Cameron