Courage means different things to different people.
For some, it takes courage to just get out of bed and face the day.
For others, it is about breaking another barrier or limiting belief in themselves.
To me, nothing demands more courage than opening my heart to love and allowing someone else in.
That is the scariest thing to me.
Because opening up requires a certain shedding of the soul. Becoming bare and raw. I may end up falling too deeply or quickly. I may come undone and lose control.
Notice how my mind works here. I start to rationalize it. I want to regain some sort of sanity over my emotions. I think that if I reign over my heart, I won’t be led down paths I dread to go. I think that I would dread them, because all of my past experiences with men and love have caused me more pain than joy. So, I am suspicious and cautious about anything that sets my heart aflutter. I am so conditioned by my past experiences that I do not even realize that I am doing this. It has become my second nature. What’s worse – I actually allow my past trauma to imprison me, and I stay in that twisted cage like a “domesticated pet”.
I believed I was safer in that cage.
Does this sound familiar? Does any of it ring some bells?
This is what we do to ourselves when we let our past define and entrap us. This is why we remain broken. This is how we put ourselves into a cage and clip off our wings. This is how we cease believing in love and start to live fractured lives.
We tell ourselves that we are being strong, but what we are really doing is numbing ourselves from love and life. Here, I am not referring to just romantic love, or sexual love. I mean, love in all its splendour.
If you have read my old blog post, “My Confession”, you’ll understand why I had such a turbulent relationship with men, sexual identity and love. It took me a long time to crawl out of that dark hole. It wasn’t about just wanting to feel good about myself. It wasn’t merely about finding my own self-worth, or believing that my sexuality was not a curse but a gift. It was an entire journey of becoming that took me many years of self-realization, surrender and final acceptance. The process of becoming the person I am meant to be without shame and apology was wrought with internal carnage. It is only in reclaiming my identity and dignity that I became truly liberated.
As Chani Nicholas said, “Becoming is a process. One that is never over. One that is always daunting, delicious and decisively ours to do. No one can tell us who or what we are.”
So, if you have no real empathy or understanding of the journey I had to make to arrive to where I am today; it would be very hard for you to appreciate someone like me.
The truth is – every single person has had gone through a certain process of becoming, or is going through it as we speak. Broken or otherwise. Broken people are especially adept in masking their true feelings. If you don’t know them well, their smiles could hide the saddest secrets. They could disguise their depression and tears through laughter and songs.
There are many splintered men, women and children all around the world. I am no exception. Every milestone achieved in someone’s life is etched in strife, and dripped with his or her blood, sweat and tears. Until we learn to recognize each individual’s unique journey of becoming, we won’t fully value the glorious person they have become today.
Like everyone else, broken people do yearn for love and happiness. However, they may think that they are not worthy of love. At times, they would try to convince themselves that it is their fate to be alone. They will create all sorts of reasons and excuses even before there is a chance for love to appear in their lives. The walls they’ve built have served to protect them, as well as, to shut people out. Yet, at the back of their minds, there lingers a sliver of hope. They would always hope beyond hope that one day someone might be strong enough to break down all those walls and meet them halfway. It is a hope they dare not utter or even indulge in. It is buried deep in the recesses of their tattered hearts. Sometimes, they too might forget that their hearts are capable of loving deeply and completely.
Here, please do not misunderstand – broken people are not waiting to be saved. They are not helpless victims. They may be waiting to be proven wrong about love. They may need to see it often enough before they start to believe in it. They may even require more persistent convincing than normal people. In reality, they are just over-protective about their hearts.
IT TAKES COURAGE TO LOVE BROKEN PEOPLE.
It takes persistence, strength and patience.
If you are not persistent, you’ll reinforce their already distorted belief that no love lasts and everyone will abandon them.
If you are not strong enough, you might end up just as broken as they are.
If you are not patient, you’ll give up too soon.
So, why would you want to love a broken individual?
Because everyone is worthy of love and care. Just like you and me. The broken needs more love and care than anyone else. Because when they do love you back, they love absolutely and completely. Their love is the limitless kind.
Because at the end of the day, we do not really choose who we love. Sometimes, it is chosen for us. Sometimes, it happens when we least expect it.
Everyone deserves someone who can make him or her forget how his or her heart was ever broken.
This is how we heal as individuals, and as humankind.
Through Love. And in Love.
No one is exempted from sin, and everyone is blessed with virtues. We are all flawed, vulnerable and fragile. Yet, we are also capable of SUBLIME BEAUTY. Therefore, we need to guide and help one another in a kind loving respectful manner.
Love is the heart of our collective humanity.
I must admit that after being alone for so long, it does become rather comfortable. It is too easy to sit within the safety of the sidelines and watch the ups and downs of other people’s intimate relationships. I’ve become rather lazy and don’t want to deal with the “messiness” of having someone in my life.
That said, I know that I may be losing out in not sharing my life with someone who may truly like being with me. I may never know if having the right person by my side could further enrich my life or not. More than anything else, the right person may even help me to become much more than I am now. I would never know.
This may well be my biggest challenge – to allow someone into my heart and life; and to engage in an intimate relationship.
So, yes – to love demands courage. To live takes courage. To fulfil our fullest potential involves courage.
Until we learn to love, we won’t know how to live in all its depth and breadth. And until we have lived fully and deeply, we won’t become the person we are meant to be.
“COURAGE does not mean you stop being afraid. It means you no longer let your fear stop you.”
If we do not find the courage now, we will never live out the fullness and richness of our lives. We will never witness our greatness arise. We will never discover how real happiness feels or looks like.
I have begun by opening my heart to allow others into my life in varying degrees. I am loving them as families, friends, brothers and sisters. I try to add value and meaning into every friendship or relationship I have formed. Be it in real life or social media – I am making a sincere effort in getting to know others, and allowing them to know me in an honest manner. Yes, I am slowly working my way to my biggest challenge. This is my fearless start.
To all the broken people out there –
Don’t be defined by the painful past and the negativity of others.
Don’t be diminished by the damage, loss and grief.
Don’t write Love off just because someone couldn’t or wouldn’t love you in the right way. A few failed relationships or marriages do not make you unfit and doomed to be unloved.
Discover how love works for you and make it yours to behold. Because everyone loves differently. At the same time, learn how the other person wishes to be loved, and listen with an understanding heart.
Separate fantasy and false expectations from reality. Be genuine and honest with all your fears, needs, and desires. Getting to know someone else’s fears, needs and desires takes time as well as trust. So, nurture that trust in one another consistently over time.
Communicate openly and truthfully with those you want to have a meaningful relationship with at all times. Establish integrity, dignity and beauty into intimacy from the very beginning.
ALWAYS REMEMBER –
You are so much more than you can ever imagine. You are an ever-evolving spectacular being with the potential to blaze across the skies like stars. Don’t ever impede your own growth and development.
Always choose the path that helps you to become a greater man or woman. Don’t succumb to a lesser you or a lesser life. You deserve to become all that you are, and experience your own triumph.
This is what The Art of Fearless Living is all about – summoning the courage to take the necessary steps to break through self-imposed barriers, restrictions, and limitations that stop you from experiencing your authentic self. It’s about inspiring you towards uncaging your own greatness so that you can make an impact in your life and those around you in a way that is wholly and uniquely YOU.
At the heart of Fearless Living is the art of FEARLESS LOVING.
So, mobilise your courage, compassion and conviction to show up, in all your beauty and magnificence, AND TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH!
Let LOVE in, and allow yourself to love in return.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
YOUR TIME TO SHINE IS NOW.