We’ve All Been Hurt Before


Past the age of about twenty-one, we’ve all been hurt before. Knowing the agony of having your heart broken, of breaking a heart, of loving two people equally and at the same time or being left for somebody else – none of it makes you special.

And thank fuck for that.

Nobody comes to us whole and perfect. It’s the specific experience of two people that can make or break a union. But know this: that experience should be welcomed. It needs to be welcomed.

Feeling bruised from a past relationship means you tried. That it didn’t work is irrelevant: it doesn’t work for a lot of people, be it after a month or fifty years, or maybe it never even really got off the ground at all. To have tried for love at all means you understand what it means to love: to fall, to hope, to surrender control. You’ll love better next time because of that, and your one? They’ll be so thankful for that. Sorry that you were ever hurt, but so grateful for who it made you: theirs.

Don’t wear your past scars as amour. Don’t hide behind the hurt you once had in case it happens again. Stay open. I can’t tell you that it won’t happen again, but I can tell you that you’ve survived it before. You’ve risked it all for love and it was worth it because it made you who you are now, and who you are now is the perfect piece of the puzzle for somebody else who was also hurt once, too.

Because they were hurt they’ll know to be gentle with you. Because you’ve been hurt you’ll know to be honest. And you’ll hesitate and wonder and be uncertain and think about walking away from it altogether. Of course you will. Only you can figure out if the pain of losing this person will be greater than never having known them as yours at all. That’s what you weigh up. They don’t owe you anything: they can only promise that they’ll try.

But if you’re gonna try, it has to be with your everything. You can’t gamble in halves.

How many men have looked at you in the way you’ve always wanted to be looked at, but you’ve refused to see it because to see it would be to spark a little hope inside of yourself?

How many times did you choose not to call her, because then she’d know that you cared, and if she knew that then you’d be vulnerable and vulnerability means losing that last bit of control?

How many moments have you checked out of because you’ve been hurt before?

They’ve done it too. And you know what? It makes us believe that protecting ourselves vehemently is right. Just. And so the damaging circle of who-can-care-less is perpetuated and it reinforces that love sucks and why should we bother and why can’t you find just one person worth giving a damn about?

Walking away from a something because you think you’re special in your pain hurts both of you: it denies you a new story to tell yourself about romance and love, and denies them the chance to share your hurt.

Stay open.

Bleed in the name of love.

Lead by example.

Lead by example.

Lead by example.

We’ve all been hurt before.