This is so true. I have always been a person that could not fully give myself to anyone (friendships, family, relationships) fear ruled my life for a majority of my life and kept me closed off from connection and vulnerability. From a young age, I struggled with trust and loss and I ended up conditioned to push away everyone that tried to get close to me or love me. I broke other people’s hearts by doing this but mostly, I broke my own. People didn’t understand that I wanted to love them and I wanted them to love me but I had built a wall that was almost unbreakable. Some people thought I was selfish, cold hearted, mean and cruel because of the actions I took or didn’t take to keep myself at bay and safe. I made people feel less than and unworthy and I hurt people. I was a runner for a long time and I ran away before anyone could get a glimpse of my heart. It has taken work, but today, I live my life as a woman that wants to show her heart even if the risk is pain. The truth is, most of the time, being vulnerable and connecting with others is an amazing and rewarding experience and it is the vein of life. Connections are what makes the world go around. Just because you’ve been hurt doesn’t mean everyone is going to hurt you. Don’t make others suffer because of what someone else did to you, not everyone is the same and we all love differently. Some of us don’t know how to love at all and it takes one person to show us how natural and pure love can be. I will rip my heart open every day to show people love. I will smile at the woman on the street that struggles to make eye contact because she feels so low about herself. I will talk to that crazy person on the corner because sometimes we all just need someone to listen. I will take the time to make sure my family knows how valued they are. I will make sure I’m a friend who is trustworthy and reliable. I will make sure I’m a partner that shows unconditional love and appreciation. Most importantly, I will make sure I keep loving MYSELF and God because that is what broke my heart open and made me capable of loving others the RIGHT way. I am thankful to walk through life with an open heart, no matter the risk.