Don’t Be Afraid To Love


When we’re young, we’re cautioned. Be smart. Be safe. Be careful. We’re told not to trust people so easily. We’re told to be wary of strangers. We’re told to act a certain way, whether it’s to be tough, unemotional men or polite, poised women. We’re spoon-fed ideas about relationships—how they’re supposed to look or be, how we’re supposed to feel and act. And then we’re given contradictions in the form of childhood movies or romantic comedies, in the form of words vs. actions, in the form of expectations vs. how the world works.

We’re told that men must save women like princes in the fairytales, but then we’re told that women must be empowered and strong and not need saving. We’re told we’re not supposed to give our bodies away, but then encouraged to have deeper connections with the ones we choose to let in. We’re told to be true to ourselves, yet mold our exteriors to be people worth pursuing.

But most of all, we’re told how wonderful love is, yet how unworthy of it we are. Or how we must believe in it and fall into it, yet always stay guarded and never fall in too deep.

We are walking messes. We don’t know which end is up or how to step forward. We don’t know what’s right for us, or what we should do. We don’t know what will make us happy, and even when we discover it, half the time we’re too afraid of what will happen if it doesn’t work out to even try.

But I’m here to tell you, love is always worth the try.

See, our purpose on this earth is to love and be loved, to let people in, to engage in conversations and commitments and entanglements and love, most importantly, love. We’re supposed to let our hearts beat wildly. We’re supposed to mold ourselves into other people’s lives, and walk alongside them in their life journey. We’re supposed to have feelings and embrace them in all their craziness.

We’re supposed to fall into each other.

And inevitably, we’re supposed to experience the ups and downs of the rollercoaster of love.

But we’re cautioned so much to be careful and hesitant, to be guarded and fearful. Don’t be. Not anymore. Don’t be afraid of the negative things love can potentially bring you. Choose to only see the positive. Love. Not blindly, but boldly. Fall into people and trust their goodness. Let people in and watch how your soul blossoms when you allow the world to see you for who you really are.

Become the person who is open and soft, not harsh and hidden. And watch how the world opens to you in return.

Don’t be afraid to care about people, to have feelings, to express emotion, to speak what’s on your heart, or to let people know what they mean to you.

Don’t be afraid to let go of your fears and step forward into relationships and commitments, even those that don’t promise forever, because as humans, forever is a lot to promise.

Don’t be afraid to allow love to strengthen your heart, over and over, before and during and even after pain.

Don’t be afraid to defy all those rules you were taught when you were younger—how to be, to feel, to act. This is your life and your heart. You can decide who and how and in what way to let someone in.

Don’t be afraid to feel.
Don’t be afraid to let your heart be filled. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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