I’ve met too many hardened hearts thus far.
I’ve engaged with too many steel walls, spiked barracks, and stone-cold defenses.
I’ve felt my own torn, scarred, dragon-skin heart go thick in protection.
But, in my safest moments, I remember what it feels like to be soft.
I remember what it feels like to be unburned; to be warm, to be illuminated, to be carefree, uncontained liquid love.
I remember it feeling like magic.
When you have loved someone who has loved you with their mind and not their heart, it is easy to forget how to do so yourself; it is easy for a heart to feel vulnerable when a safe space for its tenderness hasn’t been created. Nor offered.
It is easy to forget what life without guarded walls feels like, and sweet love of hearts meeting hearts tastes like.
The beauty of us unlearning how to live and love guardedly is precisely that: our own choice, interpretation, and responsibility.
Our hearts are the homes of the most beautiful acts in life. Our hearts foster the space of selflessness, of deep connection, of empathy and, of course, the capacity to love ourselves and one another.
At truest heart, we are the children deep within us who haven’t yet been burned by life; the ones who harbor no hesitancy to swallow life’s deliciousness up with joy.
We are our best selves when we are living with love—we are free, we are timeless, we are unrestrained, we are true.
My heart and my authentic self remember this often, but sometimes my mind is convincing and my actions sit in the murky waters of fear instead of in love.
What does operating from a place of fear instead of love look like?
Fear looks like playing mind games with another, acting “hard to get,” strategizing when to communicate or see someone, or simply keeping others safely out beyond the moat of your own chest castle.
It looks and feels like liberation. Softness. Trusting your gut and intuition; living kindly, speaking freely, opening up fully.
I wrote today, to the hardened pieces of my heart, “Perhaps you don’t need to keep a guard up. Perhaps that only perpetuates the connection culture where people play mind games in fear of being hurt and end up hurting others. Maybe, I can love the hell out of myself so hard that I show up for people only out of blazing love, too. Maybe, just maybe, that is something that I, myself, can do.”
My heart and I believe that it is.
I do not wish to perpetuate such fear of connectedness. I do not wish to carry past experiences of hurt or pain or fear into my present, for neither I nor my present deserve that.
I do not wish to subscribe to anything other than living a life of love, living with my heart, and loving myself so hard that it pours out into every heart I have the pleasure of meeting with my own.
And so I’ll be starting with my own love, for me.
Author: Olivia Morrissey
Image: Courtesy of Astaria Holland
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Copy & Social Editor: Nicole Cameron