You ruin your life by desensitizing yourself. We are all afraid to say too much, to feel too deeply, to let people know what they mean to us. Caring is not synonymous with crazy. Expressing to someone how special they are to you will make you vulnerable. There is no denying that. However, that is nothing to be ashamed of. There is something breathtakingly beautiful in the moments of smaller magic that occur when you strip down and are honest with those who are important to you. Let that girl know that she inspires you. Tell your mother you love her in front of your friends. Express, express, express. Open yourself up, do not harden yourself to the world, and be bold in who, and how you love. There is courage in that.
— Bianca Sparacino
I posted the above quote to Facebook and many people told me how much it resonated with them. That tells me we're all feeling a bit closed off.
Why is that? Is it because we're hidden behind screens most of the time? Is it just who we are?
I can tell you this about me...
After my last breakup (nearly 9 years ago) I decided to start dating again after about three months. I told myself I wasn't serious, that I'd just date, have fun, meet people. I would not open myself to love. That was safe. That would ensure I wouldn't get hurt.
But then I met this guy and one date turned into the next turned into the next. I said to myself, don't get attached, don't open up too much, don't feel too deeply. That will keep you safe. And it did for a long time - this half numb heart tucked into the green maze walls only felt a little, only shared a little, only opened as much as a morning glory.
Years went by, we moved across the world, we got married.
And then something happened.
This woman behind the wall (me) started to reveal herself. She poked her head through the leaves and revealed her heart just a little more. The problem was, this woman was equal parts dark and light. Her shadow self was the one pulling her through the wall and when she wouldn't budge, Shadow spoke on her behalf.
And it wasn't always good.
If you read this post you know that I only recognized Shadow recently, and what she did was start a chain of events that has ended in me NEEDING to come out from behind the wall without her.
The problem was that, because I had not fully opened my heart to my husband, he didn't recognize the woman who started poking her head through the wall.
I thought you were this person, he'd say.
No, never. I've always been this person, I'd say.
But I never met that person because you didn't open up to me.
I had lived in my head for a long time. I hadn't opened up to him, and sometimes, I hadn't even opened up to myself (Shadow can help you see these things).
So you can see how not being honest about your feelings, not expressing who you are or how you see/think/feel about those closest to you can cause problems. An open heart might hurt, but a closed off heart is a dangerous thing.
I see people who are so open to love, to giving all of themselves. They have no problem expressing themselves or giving hugs or any of that stuff that can sometimes be challenging and scary. Yes, they get hurt, but so do those who close themselves off.
Vulnerability is courageous. Love is courageous.
Express & Share
That is the only way anyone will get to know you, even yourself.
I wall myself off thinking no one wants to hear what I have to say, that I'm not interesting. I label myself "mysterious," but that isn't mysterious. It's insecure.
Come to love yourself through expressing yourself. In doing so, no one will have to wonder what you think or feel. The layers of your heart will peel away, leaving only truth. And truth is love. You can only deeply, truly love when you're being honest with yourself and those around you.
Let Out Your Emotions
When your emotions get caged in, they get wild and desperate. Eventually, they bounce off the walls, find a way out, and cause chaos.
I think we're often afraid our emotions will rule over us, but they only do that when they've been locked away for some time. They get out and run like wild beasts, trampling over us and everyone else in their path.
If you don't let it get to that point, if you give your emotions a small stage and let them talk for just a bit, they'll feel acknowledged. There won't be any need to cause destruction.
Like I said, I'm not an expert at these things - just a woman finding her way and sharing her discoveries with those she meets on her path.
If you've felt closed off, afraid to reveal too much or love too deeply, know that I see you and feel what you've felt. And also know that there is always another way. Poke your head through the greenery at first, then, when you feel ready, climb the vines and sit on top of the wall. You'll be amazed at what you'll see.