This life is the warmest memory, the coziest night in, the best part of a romantic movie and the most obvious affirmation that we are not alone.
But it’s also messy, and hard, and open-ended when it feels like you walk out with more questions than answers. This life is every cliche in the book and every new one we write from here on out. And more than anything, it gives us a lifetime to learn how to love moments that make us proud and that unravel us to our bones.
I have something to say…
Before anything at all—love. Love so hard that it makes you cry; love so fully because it feels so much greater than yourself; love the skin that you’re in because you can honor the goosebumps of a good time or the quiver of your heart at a beautiful memory; love, because it’s unlike us to hate; love, because you don’t really care how it comes back to you; love, because you know it always will.
And then trust. Trust like you’re falling backwards into the biggest crowd of strangers; trust like you’ve never allowed yourself to trust before, because you believe in the goodness of this world; trust, because you are not alone; trust, because it’s the hardest thing to do with a broken heart; trust, because it terrifies you to be the first.
And then forgive. Forgive the moms and the dads and the brothers and the sisters and the friends and the boyfriends and the girlfriends; forgive, because no one hurts us on purpose; forgive, because we’re all guilty of wanting the same things and never having the balls to admit it; forgive, so that you can teach a kid somewhere how to be a glorious human being; forgive, because it could be your kid one day who needs to learn how; forgive, because it’s in your power and it is your power; forgive, because you come first.
And then go. Go out into the world with your love, and your trust, and your forgiveness. Make this world your world. It doesn’t owe you a damn thing, but you owe it with every fiber of your being. So, kiss, embrace, become vulnerable to the point of surrendering your fears—if for nothing else than just from exhaustion of having to carry them all these years. You don’t have to.
Lose yourself just so that you can find something new, and have faith that you’ll always rebuild and rise again. Step out into the world, and let it throw some dirt onto your clean ways. Allow it to scare you and kick you back and forth so that you may find your footing. Give it a feel and watch the earth crawl into your pores, resting and taking hold. And then grow from that, because everything does.
My eighth grade Algebra teacher gave me a quote at the end of the year: “I hope you dance.”
Fifteen years later, I’m still smiling at the beauty of his gesture.
I hope you dance with this life, because it is far too simple and painful to walk—one foot in front of the other—and wait for what you believe is deservedly coming to you. We only receive what we truly want when we give ourselves permission to be seen, heard and loved. After all, what is truly a soul if not that?
Author: Aleksandra Slijepcevic
Image: Flickr/denise carbonell
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina