I can’t play small for a minute more.
I can’t play pretend. Or numb myself. Or be quiet.
My heart screams like a caged lioness from deep within.
She’s sick of hiding in icy-cold shadows. She’s tired of being kept at bay, unable to bare her shaky brilliance to the big, bad, beautiful world.
Today, my heart tells me how it is. I sit quietly and listen to her, for once.
As a fierce breeze tickles my cheek, I exhale slowly, and tiny tears form in the corners of my eyes.
I am ready to open my heart. I need to open my heart.
Because all this time, I’ve been so scared that life would break me—and it has broken me—it really has.
Those cracks and shatters that I tried so hard to avoid have been the juiciest, most soul-nourishing moments of all.
Those painful, crushing years, where I learned to fall apart and be inspired by panic and loss and sadness—they were medicinal.
They cured me.
They helped me blossom into myself.
Smiling slightly, I softly caress my wounds and battle-scars, some still bleeding, some filled with gold, each one like a tiny map, reminding me of all I’ve survived.
Crumbling is a beautiful thing—it clears our heart’s withering forests so that lush, new trees can grow.
We think that by keeping it together and staying quiet and shutting our hearts safely away, we strengthen ourselves.
Our deepest strength comes from weathering the brutal storms and feeling the pain. From seeing how f*cking resilient we really are—that we can handle whatever life throws at us—no mater how much it hurts. No matter how much we fall apart.
Our deepest strength comes from being vulnerable. From crying. Laughing. Being deliciously, imperfectly human.
So, let us not waste a minute more.
Let us gather every drop of our lion-like courage and take that risk which is the greatest risk of all—-to open our hearts.
It’s okay to be scared sh*tless—I’m scared, too.
Rip open your heart’s locked shutters with soft, gentle hands and peel off that sticky armor—you don’t need it anymore.
Shed your skin, exhale furiously, and throw your arms to the brightest, bluest sky.
Smile a huge smile—because even though being open hurts like hell, it’s f*cking freeing.
Feel it all.
Taste happiness and stinging disappointment and luscious love and bittersweet goodbyes.
Be wrong. F*ck up. Make grand mistakes. Stumble. Fall.
Bask in your light. Bow down to your darkness.
Be crushed by life and uplifted by it, daily.
It is all pure perfection!
When we live with our hearts open, there is no failing.
There is only learning.
There is only being.
So, let us be here,
Brave and raw,
Imperfect and curious,
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Author’s own.