Let your heart break.
Let it bleed. Let it ache. Let all its pieces fall to the floor at your feet. Let the tears flow. Let yourself fall to your knees. Let the pain become physical.
Let yourself live in a way where your heart is allowed to be broken.
By this, I don’t mean put your heart in harm’s way and fail to care for its welfare. I don’t mean date people who are difficult to love and pretend it doesn’t matter when they throw you out like the day’s trash.
I don’t mean orchestrate your life in a way where your needs aren’t being met or you lack the feeling of love and support. I don’t mean neglect to put yourself first and position yourself as someone else’s proverbial punching bag.
I don’t mean choose self-destruction over self-construction.
What I mean is this: don’t be ashamed if you love hard and it falls apart. Don’t buffer the fact that your heart shattered to pieces. Don’t hide it, lie about it, shy away from it, or deny it.
Don’t avoid an important experience for fear that you’ll get hurt. Don’t look away from it when someone else is in pain, or when someone you love is suffering beyond your comprehension. Don’t mask it, ignore it, downplay it or try to escape from it.
Don’t think for a second that it is wrong for your heart to be breaking.
If your heart is broken — let it be broken.
Let it all fall apart.
Because there’s more than enough sorrow in this damn world that should, and will, eviscerate your heart.
I’m not just talking about your first love walking away, or your partner of 10 years deciding they want to be with someone else. I’m not just talking about losing a job or not getting into your college of choice.
I’m talking about things like watching a loved one die after months of suffering — or, on the other hand, having them die so suddenly you didn’t get the chance to say goodbye.
Losing a child that you loved more than anything, or losing a child before you had the opportunity to even get to know them.
Knowing that someone was abused, belittled and beaten because of the color of their skin or their sexual preference.
Finding out that someone who means the world to you has spent their whole life in a perpetual state of self-loathing.
Watching someone slowly die from the inside out and being utterly unable to change it.
Loss, destruction, inequality, unforgivable acts of violence, unimaginable amounts of pain — you’re never at a loss for reasons to be heartbroken.
And you have to let it in; you have to let the hurt come through. Because trust me: it’ll only eat you from the inside out if you don’t.
Let yourself feel the pain.
Pain changes you. It transforms you. It softens you and hardens you at the same time.
It breeds wisdom and humility. It puts things into perspective. It allows you to feel more empathy and compassion. It heightens your standards and lowers your guard.
You’ll never be the same; you’ll never go back to who you were before the breakdown, and that’s on purpose. That’s how it’s supposed to be.
It means you’ve grown. It means you cared about someone or something enough to get hurt. It means you put your precious heart into the way you live and love and approach significant situations in your life.
It means it all meant something. ⠀
If you’ve ever caught a glimpse of death, and just a tiny glimpse will do, you’ll know that none of the other shit matters. The status, the achievement, the money, the need to keep impressing people you don’t even know — none of that means one iota in the larger scheme of things.
The only thing that truly matters is that you loved and that you loved hard. And when you put your heart on the line, it opens itself up, and it also gets beat up. That’s how it all works.
That also means you’re doing something right.