We need people like you in this world. We need the softness, we need the people who remind us of connection when we are all avoiding eye contact. I am proud of you for being this person in this world. The way that you love others is inspiring. And so if no one told you this today — you do not need to apologize for the way you feel. You do not need to apologize for how your heart exists here. There is courage in being the person who connects. There is bravery in staying open despite what you have been through. You should be proud of yourself for loving. Please don’t ever stop.
It is better to be alone than to be with someone who makes you feel lonely. And it is better to be alone than to be settling for things that you know deep down are not for you. It is better to be alone than to make love into something you feel you have to grip at, something you have to possess, instead of something beautiful and soft. It is better to be alone than to lose yourself in the need for external validation. It is better to be alone.
On the days that feel darkest, remind yourself that someone’s inability to choose you does not mean that you are not worthy of being chosen. Someone’s inability to respect you does not mean that you are not worthy of respect. Someone’s inability to be honest with you, does not mean that you are not worthy of honesty. Someone’s inability to be kind to you, to exit your life with compassion, does not mean that you deserved for that to happen. This is not about you. This is not about the way you care, it is not about how much more you could have done, or how much cooler, or prettier, or more interesting you could have been. This is not about you. This is a them thing.
The guilt you feel when setting a boundary is not because the boundary itself is wrong, it’s because of all the deeper, limiting beliefs you have that tell you it’s wrong. That tell you it is selfish. That tell you it is uncaring. That tell you it is dismissive. That tell you it is cruel, or unloving. But the boundary isn’t any of those things. It’s not wrong to want to take care of yourself. It is not wrong to walk away from a love that only ever leaves you feeling unworthy, and trapped. It is not wrong to advocate for your heart. It is not wrong to stand up for yourself. It is not wrong.
There is power in letting go of anything that is forcing you to let go of yourself. Don’t ignore what you know in your heart. Remember — it is better to be alone, than to feel lonely in what you’re settling for. It is better to be alone, than to try to fit your heart into the hands of someone who does not want to hold it. It is better to be alone, than to fight for someone who is not fighting for you. It is better to be alone, to be your own foundation, than to spend any more of your time waiting for someone to see the beauty in what you are giving them. You deserve good love. Promise you will let go of anything that does not feel that way, this year. Promise to stand up for your heart.
Some people come into our lives and they teach us how to love, how to hope, they show us that the goodness was always meant to find us, that it was always meant to stay. And some people, some people teach us how not to love. How not to settle. How to stand up for what we truly desire, how to choose ourselves for once, how to stop pouring into empty vessels, how to give that love back to ourselves. Either way, the lesson remains. And the scars remain. And the wounds remain. And the hurt and the hope remains. And it’s all within you, but it isn’t a testament of failure. It is a testament of faith. Because in a world that sometimes fails to love deeply, in a generation that always seems to be choosing distance over depth, you chose to believe in something. You chose to try for something.
See, those who love the hardest, and who are the kindest souls, have often lived in a world that was not so kind to them, and have loved people who haven’t always protected their hearts. They understand what it means to be the kind of person who has been let down, they know what it is like to be walked away from, to question their heart because of that, and within that it can be extremely confusing to determine whether to stay or to fight, it can be extremely difficult to give themselves permission to stop tearing themselves apart just to make something work, because you they want to so desperately believe in the potential, and the hope they have within them, they so desperately want to protect someone from ever having to feel the way that they felt, from ever having to go through that. And so they stay.
Attachment is holding on very tightly. Genuine love is holding on very gently, nurturing a connection, allowing for it to be a blessing in your life and not needing it in order to feel complete or whole or validated, but rather, appreciating it. Attachment is possession. Genuine love is union. Attachment is fear. Genuine love is freedom.
You cannot love somebody into loving you. You cannot love somebody into being ready. Not everyone you feel something deep and meaningful with is going to be ready to hold your heart.
Please don’t feel silly with yourself for caring. Almost relationships can hurt just as much as real relationships because connection isn’t measured in time. When your heart connects with someone, it connects with someone. Sometimes, that depth is fostered over years. And sometimes you crash into another human being, and despite only knowing them for a short collection of moments, you know that they are going to mean something to you. There are no rules.