Relationships are so difficult. It’s nearly impossible to fall into a new person without thinking of the past in the slightest, without your mind playing tricks on you, without your heart skipping a beat as you remember the one who came before.
For a moment you’ll feel like everything’s easy. You’ll jump in headfirst, only to find you’re barely drifting above water, gasping for breath. And you’re scared. You’re so damn scared.
I get it. I know how hard it is to break out of that shell of the past. You’ve been conditioned to have your guard up, always ready for the next thing. You’ve taught yourself how to be hard, how to be strong, how to protect yourself before anything bad can happen.
You’ve learned that people will eventually leave, that nothing good will last, that you’re going to get your heart broken—but these aren’t guarantees—these are fears. And it’s not that they aren’t valid, they just aren’t rational.
You can’t live your life always waiting for the next terrible thing. You can’t push everyone away, assuming they’re set out to damage your soul like the person of your past did. You can’t ruin something before it even begins.
You can’t be scared to love again because each love is a new chapter. And damn it, you deserve to write yourself a beautiful story.
So I want you to know that you’re okay. I want you to know that the feelings you have, pushing down on your chest are normal because, like most of us wandering on this earth, you’ve been hurt. And maybe that pain was something you caused. Maybe it wasn’t in the slightest. Maybe you’ve been abused, neglected, abandoned, disrespected, changed by a love you thought was the forever kind. Maybe you want to justify why you’re hesitant when it comes to a new relationship—and I get it—you don’t have to justify. I hear you. I see you. I believe you.
But your past relationship doesn’t define you. The person who hurt you doesn’t define you. And the ways you’ve been hurt don’t define you.
Only you can do that. Only you can choose to take a breath and remind yourself that the new arms you’re falling into don’t want to neglect you or walk away. Only you can remember that new beginnings are good, and even if things don’t work out, it’s infinitely better to fall in and give love a chance than to close off and forever wonder what could have been.
Letting someone in can be the toughest thing in the world, but you are worth it. You are worth the heart investment, the challenge, the new start. You are worth something wonderful, but only you can give that love a chance.
So I hope you do. I hope you close your eyes and tell yourself you’re worthy. I hope you build yourself up, day by day, minute by minute, with self-love. I hope you smile and let positive energy flow from your soul, cultivating forgiveness within you, and the strength to start over.
I hope you remind yourself that you’re not alone—we all carry baggage—it’s just a matter of learning how to put it down.
And I hope you let them in. Not all at once. Not without hesitation and having them take careful steps with your heart. But with vulnerability. With confidence. With hope for what’s to come.