Protect your heart.

I spent a lot of time in church growing up. Churches have extreme views in relationships – views that are sometimes somewhat disagreeable.

So, the big thing I used to hear growing up was, “Protect your heart.”

It used to make me mad.

Why would I intentionally leave out details of my life from a partner in the name of protecting myself? Isn’t that the whole point of finding a soulmate? Putting everything on the line – risking it all for the sake of potential happiness?

So I didn’t. And I cried. And I protected my viewpoint – getting hurt is worth it – the potential for a fairy tale exists.

And I cried some more. And slowly I built a wall or two.

Because crying isn’t very much fun and I realized I didn’t want to do it anymore.

So I started protecting my heart.

But wait, I don’t agree with that.

I did it anyway. Because defense mechanisms seem plentiful as we get older. I don’t want to do that one thing I did last time because it hurt a lot and I feel broken now. And broken isn’t pretty. Broken is messy and takes work to get over. And I want a fairy tale. Not work.

I’ve felt pretty introspective lately and I’ve been thinking about all of this a lot.

Even though I thought I was protecting my heart – I wasn’t. I still feel broken.

Wait, what?

The problem isn’t openness. It isn’t with letting people in. It isn’t whether they deserve to be there or if it’s a good idea to let them see the bad parts because what if they judge me or use them against me.

it’s who I’m letting in.

Having an open heart isn’t a problem. It’s not about walls and who wants to scale them. It’s not who wants to work hard enough to get inside and who’s willing to wait around the longest to see if I’m worth their time.

It’s about putting it all on the line. Risking potential hurt in the name of my fairy tale. The one I desperately want and deserve – because everyone does.

The thing about fairy tales is the princess always ends up with the right guy. It’s never that one guy who dated other girls but still told her she was special. It’s never the guy who didn’t want a relationship. It’s never the guy who dated multiple people at the same time just to make sure.

The princess always ends up with the prince – her soulmate.

And she let him in. Because he was good. Not because he was cool or had a cute smile – sure, he always did – but his heart was even better. The prince didn’t debate whether the princess was a good idea. He knew.

So I suppose I’ll work on my selection process. And I’ll keep protecting my heart – at least until someone makes sense.

Until I find my fairy tale.

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