I would be lying if I said I have a heart residing in my chest. Because the truth is, my heart has been roaming around outside of my body for as long as I can recall. It cannot be tamed, and I love that unabashed, bold, and imperfect part of myself. Have I always been proud of my soft, empathetic nature? No, I have not. I am in a constant state of learning and unlearning; I am forever exploring what it means to love every part of myself; every flawed edge, every frayed curve. My heart is too big to be contained within the walls of my ribcage, it is always bursting at the seams and brimming with every feeling and emotion imaginable. I should have known it was only a matter of time until it overflowed and I could no longer cage it’s wild nature.
I resigned myself to the fact that my heart would never truly be my own again. When you give it to somebody, you’re never quite the same from that moment forward. So this is for all the empaths, and the ones who love too much. This is for the people out there who give every single cell and molecule of love, energy, and passion in the relationships they cultivate. I can say with great certainty that a tremendous amount of my heart belongs to my first love. He will always have some of the most treasured pieces of me; he will walk around with them for the rest of his life, because I left them there. There are no take backs; I cannot reassemble the pieces. I cannot replace them brick-by-brick; I cannot put them back into the space my heart used to occupy. I took a sizable slice here and a significant portion there and placed them into his hands for safekeeping. Every time he looked at me with those baby blues, that brown speckle in one eye melting my defenses, I gave him yet another fragment of myself.
Now here is the gut-wrenching part: Sometimes, the people you love the most won’t be able to guard your heart endlessly. There may be a timestamp on your beautiful adventure together, and ultimately you will part ways. This is the hardest pill to swallow, the one that will not go down without a fight. Every moment spent together, every kiss you shared and night spent making love, falling asleep to the rise and fall of their chest. All of the sweet, blissful breathings of your cosmically-linked hearts will compound, and the next thing you know, your heart has officially made its exit. It has left the premises entirely, nestling cozy and quiet into its new abode. I continue to surrender so many pieces, fragments, and flecks of myself, and I hold onto the blind hope that my heart will be kept safe and sound. There are pieces of me scattered all over the prairies and the mountains, sprinkled throughout the coldest of winters and the sun-soaked summers. I have left parts of me with the ones I hold most dear; my family, my closest confidantes, and the ones who stir my soul in the most stunning ways. These splinters of my heart are not as hard to let go of, because they have created a captivating mosaic of love and pure, unadulterated beauty that I can always admire. The love I so courageously put forth will surely circle back and surround me entirely. I just have to keep hoping, keep loving, and keep believing in the goodness that is still out there. I have to believe in this, and you have to believe in this, too. For what do we have, if not a wild, child-like sense of faith and wonder?
So please, do not keep your heart from the warmth and intimacy it deserves. It will not always be easy. In fact, it will hurt tremendously when you give yourself to the ones who cannot hold all that you are, all of your beauty and magic and whimsy. But you have to keep believing that the love you exude and offer up to the world around you will come back to you tenfold. Please hold onto that. Use it as your anchor when you find yourself slowly sinking beneath the weight of it all. You will make it, and you will thrive despite the adversity and hardships you face. So throw those doors in your chest wide open; let the light and warmth of the sun fill your chest. And keep spreading love. Spread love endlessly, and allow your luminescent spirit to fill this world. Carry your glow to the ends of the earth, and never allow another human to take the radiance you possess away from you. You are light. You are love.