Ever since I was a child, I have worn my heart on my sleeve. It was hard enough for me to feel emotions, let alone hide them from others, so I always had my walls down. Everyone could see inside my shell and they all knew what I was feeling because I let it consume my mood and my facial expressions. Happiness would see me smiling all day, not one thing ruining my positive energy. Sadness would see me on the verge of falling apart, with glossy eyes and a blank face. I never had a problem with showing what I was feeling and it never made me feel terrible.
That was until I became surrounded by people who would make me feel as though I was doing something wrong by being emotional all the time. They certainly tested how deeply they could wound me and how much it would take for me to reach my breaking point. I felt emotionally attacked because it was as if they were throwing knives at my heart, seeing how many it would take in order for me to completely perish. In those moments, I hated myself for being so emotional and vulnerable to everyone around me. Suddenly, I despised the way that I had been since I was a child and wished, more than anything, that I could be different.
It wasn’t until three years after meeting these people that I would finally begin to accept myself the way I am. Being emotional does not make you weaker or less than anyone else. I believe that people who make others feel that way for baring their truth to the world feel insecure of themselves and the fact that they do not possess that amount of bravery. I say bravery because it is an immensely courageous thing to be emotionally naked in the face of people who you know will either hate you or love you for it.
For so long, I trapped myself in this idea that you had to wear a poker face and guard yourself with a million walls in order to not be hurt and not be hated. The truth is that you’re going to be hurt either way. Your choice is whether you want to feel in silence or suffer openly. I tried both ways. For three years, I felt silently. For the rest of my life, I’ve been feeling openly. I find that the open route was the best thing I’ve chosen in a long time. The reason being that I’ve never connected to as many people as I have by being open with my feelings. I am able to create personal connections to everything in my world because of how I trace it back to an emotion or a moment. I am not saying that hiding your emotions will limit the amount of connections you can make, however being open with what you feel can offer a new level of depth in relationships.
Not only will it deepen connections, but in my case, it has deepened my understanding of myself. As someone who has always struggled with truly comprehending and accepting who I am, I find that being emotionally free and open has helped me know myself a bit better each day. I am sharing my story of how I began accepting myself being emotional in the hopes that it can open up someone else’s heart and allow them to be known truly by those around them and by themselves. Some may say that wearing your heart on your sleeve is a one way path to getting hurt the most. I say it’s a one way path to a wonderful place of understanding and love because the bad times are nothing compared to the depth that can be reached and the beauty of that world.
Remember: Being emotionally open means not only expressing the bad times, but also the good times and everything in between. Don’t be afraid of being judged for your emotions. Accept them because they are yours and it will never be your fault that someone else cannot understand them.