Maybe the reason my throat was constantly in pain was because I never had the courage to say what needed to be said.
I love you was one of them. Telling him that I knew he lied to me was another. At this point it is irrelevant, I’ve told enough people how I felt about him, it’s off my chest and I’m okay now. However, there are still nights I lay awake and wish that I had the courage to tell him how I had felt during our relationship, and after. I made a vow to myself, that from this moment forward, I will be open with my heart, and authentic to who I am and how I’m feeling.
The reality of the situation is, being open with your heart is fucking scary. I remember sitting in bible study as a teenager being told to guard your heart; which I did. I guarded my heart so much that I only allowed people to see a side of me that was pleasant, happy and fun. I allowed myself to take in the stories of other people and absorb them and help them process their lives and their difficulties. I thought I was being open.
I thought that my open mind and open heart towards other people made me authentic and open hearted. However, I clung to my past, my troubles and my fears. I had so much trouble vocalizing how I was feeling about anything negative, that if something came up that was troubling to me, I buried it with a smile and a positive affirmation. I was good at making other people feel important and loved, but I had not the slightest clue how to actually achieve real, vulnerable, unconditional love.
Real unconditional love starts with being open. It starts with letting someone know how you are feeling, yet without criticizing their character. For people-pleasers like myself, I am going to tell you that your happiness is important too. You deserve to fall in love and feel utterly and completely safe. You deserve to tell someone your fears, dreams, and love for them without hesitation. If someone upset you, let them know. If you think you deserve a raise at your job, kindly ask for one. If you can’t fight for your life, how can you expect someone else to?
I once stumbled across a quote, “By closing your heart you are not really protecting yourself from anything, you are just cutting off your source of energy and locking yourself inside.” I realized when my heart was closed I tarnished my friendships, my romantic relationships, and I felt empty. For a while, my heart had been utterly and completely broken, but in that brokenness I learned how much support people will give you if you allow yourself to be vulnerable.
In times of my sadness I created unbreakable bonds with my girl friends, I allowed some of my friendships to change, fall apart and rebuild into stronger and richer relationships. I stepped out of my comfort zone and traveled to places that scared me. I applied for positions I never thought I could be qualified for. To my surprise the world opens a lot of doors to people who ask for what they want. So trust me when I say that opening your heart and being honest about how you are feeling will get you much further in life than putting on a smile and staying quiet. Open your heart, you deserve to be loved.