How You Will Break Your Own Heart


You will break your own heart the first time you give it away.

It’s inevitable, really. Just some strange and beautiful part of the human condition. At some point, we will trust another person with our rawest parts. We will trust another with our heart.

Perhaps you were eager with this decision. You ran with both hands outstretched, holding this dripping gift, offering it with no hesitation. “Here, take it. I want you to have it. I want you to have all of it.” This bloody organ, thrust into the care of another.

Or maybe that wasn’t your story. Instead, you resisted. Arms folded across your chest, you stood with such stillness. You did not lower gates for anyone. You waited and pushed against it. You saw what happened to everyone else, how hearts could only take so much. You watched them shatter and swore you’d never let that happen. And for a while, you didn’t.

But one day, it slipped out an open crack while you weren’t watching. Before you could even realize what was happening, it was too late. It escaped before you could call after it. It belonged to another.

Your heart will still break, even with the softest touch. You might even luck out, think you’ve found a permanent place for your heart to rest. It beats without bruising in the chest of another.

But you will break your own heart, even if they don’t.

You will break your own heart when you scratch out your own name and replace it with other initials.

You will break your own heart when you forget it was yours to start with.

You will break your own heart when you force it to love another. You will attempt to train it, as if it’s a pet or something you can control. You will tell it, “This has to work. We’ve put in the time. We’ve put in the effort!” You will play games with it, convince it to stay. Tell it to keep beating, even when it hurts. You’ll try to tape it back together and fake a show for the rest of the world. It will break harder.

You will break your own heart when you discover contempt for your own hands. You will try touching yourself and find that it doesn’t satisfy. Your body still craving, you’ll try again. You notice it doesn’t feel like it’s supposed to. It doesn’t feel like they say it should. Now you are just a stranger in your own skin, or perhaps you always were.

You wonder what the others did that made you arch your back like that. How did they know your own body better than you do? The thought nauseates you, strips you of your own strength. You will close your eyes, pretend your own fingers belong to someone else. You will only get off when you convince yourself someone else is loving you. You become an uninvited guest to your own pleasure. Embarrassed and ashamed, knowing something as simple as this shouldn’t be so hard, you decide to stop touching yourself altogether.

You will break your own heart when you place all self-worth in being loved. Maybe you’ve always claimed, “I’m much happier in relationships!” You feel your best when you are loving another, when love is being returned. And there’s nothing wrong with recognizing that. But when solitude finds you, as it always does at some point, you will curse your broken heart. You will want to place blame on others. You want an easy out, “They did this to me!”

But this much I know:

You will break your own heart more than anyone else ever can.

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