Maybe we’ve got the entire concept of bravery backward.
Maybe bravery isn’t putting up your walls so high to protect yourself from the pain of this world. Maybe bravery was more about being strong enough to let yourself feel vulnerable in the right moments.
In a world that romanticizes relationships to the extreme, we’ve learned to harden our hearts to protect ourselves. We think that’s what bravery is. We think bravery is constantly having your life together and learning not to care, not even a little bit.
We go through the most horrible breakups imaginable and we tell ourselves that we won’t ever let ourselves go through something as devastating as our past heartbreaks, ever again. So we change. We distance ourselves from the possibility of feeling pain again, as much as possible.
Breakups have this horrifying ability to make you lose who you truly are, including everything you believe in. So we go through this painful transformation of re-inventing yourself and finding out who we really are before they broke our hearts. We become stronger, but we also become more afraid. We become more guarded.
We tell ourselves that nobody will ever dare make us feel that weak and destructible, ever again- until we forget what real vulnerability is when we fall in love.
Pain makes you indestructible. Numbing your emotions in order to prevent yourself from feeling any kind of pain isn’t bravery. It’s a defense mechanism for fear.
When dating someone, it’s the easiest thing to put our walls up so high that you don’t even dare give them the chance to know you. It’s the easiest thing to ‘live in the moment’ and just be contented with falling in love with your life, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But there’s a grave danger in getting used to your own company that we forget how to open up our souls to someone and do it all over again.
Bravery isn’t always pretty. Sometimes, it’s full of darkness and having to recall every dark moment of your past. It’s having the guts to let someone help you with your baggage the same way you help them carry theirs. It’s being strong enough to admit that you don’t always have it together, and that’s okay. That’s’ what’s really brave.