A few months ago, someone messaged me on my Facebook page and asked me to write about the ‘the strength of a heart.’ confused, I asked them to elaborate. And then felt like a complete idiot for not knowing what they were talking about. The ‘strength of a heart’—that’s implied, isn’t it? The phrase is about our resilience, our continuance, how we continue on and heal after heartbreak, how we learn to love and re-love, in the wake of losing people and relationships that meant everything to us.
The strength of our hearts is so often overlooked. Or misconstrued. See, somewhere along the way we are conditioned to believe that strength comes when we shut people out, when we keep people at arm’s length, when we don’t allow others in, when we become unbreakable and hard.
But that’s not strength.
I firmly believe strength comes in letting go—releasing our angry grip on people from our past, forgiving those that have wronged us, learning to see the bright side, choosing to be happy instead of miserable, allowing people in.
Strength comes in bringing people into the deepest parts of ourselves, in sharing our secrets, in being vulnerable, in breaking down the barriers, in trusting.
This girl asked me to write about the strength of a heart, and at first I wasn’t sure how. The concept felt obsolete, intangible, like I couldn’t grasp it in my fingers. But that’s how strength is, isn’t it? Not physical strength, but heart strength. We can’t really understand it. We can’t see it, can’t measure it in the ways that we can with our physical bodies.
But that beating muscle in our chest is so strong, maybe even the strongest we have.
That beating heart sustains us, builds us, grows us, nurtures us, and re-strengthens us when we’ve lost all hope in love. That beating heart knows how to console us, how to heal, how to start over and believe in the good, no matter how much bad we’ve experienced.
The strength of a heart—this is hard to describe. But when I think about love, I think about power. I think about the magical connection between two stranger’s souls—the coming together and creating. The becoming. The beauty.
When I think about love, I think about how bold we are that we build bonds and bridges between ourselves and people around us. How incredibly brave we are, to walk forward in love.
How strong our hearts must be.
Photo Credit: Alisa Anton