A picture of pinks leaves on a tree from below

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

I thought I knew heartache well. The first time I became acquainted with a broken heart was in college, my first boyfriend. It took me a while to heal and move on. 

Yet, the pain of a breakup was nothing in comparison to the pain from a best friendship ending. I remember feeling as if a part of my heart had gone numb. Like the faucet of my ability to give and receive love was shut off. I became guarded, aloof, distant, disconnected from people and impossible to get to know, all in an effort to guard my heart. I never wanted to feel that kind of pain again.

I built walls around my heart so high that I had forgotten the way out. What I quickly learned is that when you shut yourself off from the possibility of getting hurt, you also shut yourself off from the possibility of love. 

If you love any living thing on this earth, then you are guaranteed to face disappointment. However, with that, you also open yourself up to the opportunity to know and truly be known. 

To truly love someone is the bravest act of the soul. To love does not mean to have never been hurt, rather it means to choose to give and receive love despite the risk. Let’s open ourselves up to growth, allowing ourselves to be stretched in the most inconceivable ways by vulnerability. Let’s choose to love again, even after experiencing hurt.

Stephanie Taylor, Darling Online Managing Editor

Have you experienced a relationship wound that changed how you interact in relationships? Is the possibility of love worth the risk of being hurt? Why or why not?

Image via Judith Pavón Sayrach

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