“To love at all is to be vulnerable.” – CS Lewis (via Zen Pencils)
To all of my single friends, I’ve been there.
All those times you gave another person your all. Your best. Your soul. And they just chewed you up. They devoured you. And spit you out. Maybe they laughed at you while they were doing it. And it left you reeling with the resounding feeling of being alone, emotionally battered, and vulnerable.
I’ve been there.
I remember the grueling nights, all cried out. You wanna cry more just to release all that pain, but you ran out of tears. So you lay there clutching yourself, wondering if this pain is real. It’s very real. It hurts so badly you find it hard to muster enough strength to stand up.
You bet I’ve been there.
And you see your friends happily coupled, happily married. A sort of resentment grows within you and you lock yourself away from the world. From life. From love.
“I don’t care how nice they think they are, nobody is ever going to destroy me again,” I said to myself. So I closed myself off from the world.
Yup, I’ve definitely been there.
But then I realized how much is out there. So many people and cultures I’ve yet to experience. So although I closed myself off from “love,” I opened myself up to more friendships and the vastly different walks of life. My heart became open to the bigger realm of the world, and began to enjoy life once again. And after several years of nurturing myself, learning about myself, and being compassionate towards myself, I met someone. At first I was careful, but realized that the more guarded I was, the less this wonderful woman could see the true me.
And that’s when I discovered that true strength is allowing yourself to become vulnerable enough to give and receive compassion.
Compassion is what unifies us and allows us to experience oneness. My pain and joys are yours, and yours are mine. Without compassion, there’s no true love.
The moment you open your heart up to the bigger world in order to evolve and experience compassion towards others in its truest and most organic form, you’ll find that other equally compassionate people will seek you like a flashlight in the dark.
So on Valentine’s Day, while couples are annoyingly expressing their love towards each other in front of you, there’s no need to hit up Tinder for a quickie, or express how you resent others, or how you resent this dumb materialistic Hallmark holiday (can you tell I’m with you here?!). Simply turn off all media and, as Chuang Tzu would say, cultivate yourself. Learn more about yourself, nurture yourself, and be compassionate towards yourself.
Open up your heart to the bigger picture of the world, and you’ll find that there’s others – hurt, lost, lonely, emotionally bruised, and looking for light – just like you.