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“oh i just turn my feelings off,” she said. “yes me too,” he said “it’s just easier that way”. and i thought about all the times i wished i could. but i am not that girl and part of what makes me, me is how i feel… | Secret Keepers by Emily Joy Rosen

“oh i just turn my feelings off,”
she said
“yes me too,”
he said
“it’s just easier that way”

and i thought about
all the times
i wished i could

but i am not that girl
and part of what makes me
is how i feel

i hid it for years
i believed it to be weak
i thought something was wrong with me
for not being able to engage
the way i saw others do

and so i learned how to mimic

i watched the behavior
of the “cool” kids
and let them teach me
how to navigate
this thing called loving

and i became
hard and cold
tough and distant
i played games with hearts
and kept loves so far away
they knew very little about me (really)
and most definitely nothing about
how much i adored them
(how i thought i might cry
for a lifetime if they didn’t love me too)

it’s hard to look back
and see all the places
i sidestepped intimacy
all the ways i do even now
(dodging, deflecting
and redirecting is an art
i mastered in my teens)

it’s a hard pattern to change
it can be difficult to let the softness show
and trust that you will be okay

because the truth is
some people will take advantage
some will use your sensitivity (your tender heart)
and deepest vulnerabilities against you
(or at least they will try to)

and i know that pain intimately
i know the shock of betrayal here
when the one you gave the most to
the one you chose
to expose yourself to
turns on you

but i hope you don’t let
your past pains
block your future availability

yes, i hope we don’t let
the hurts from before
take future loves from us too

because as far as i can tell
(even through the fear of being
burned, broken or unwanted again)
if we live with an open heart
we get something
far more precious
than the illusion of protection

we get to feel love
run through
and out of us
(in ways most think only comes
from someone outside of you
choosing you)

yes, we get to
breathe love

and i have learned
(i got to experience)
that there is nothing weak
about loving more

nothing at all

in fact, as far as i can tell,
the one who loves the most

so if i had any advice
for you (and me)
it would be
to let your heart shine through
let it beat bright and true
echoing out of you
and into those you want to know
your loving
yes, even if you are not sure
about how they feel about you

because as far as i can tell
this gives you the best chance
of knowing truly if they can meet you
and knowing (for sure) at the very least
you did your part to open
and express lovingly

yes, please
let your love
spill out and over everything
let it fall from your eyes
and become the very tenor of your voice

it’s scary i know
(we can get rejected
in our deepest vulnerabilities here)

just last week
i reached out to someone
poured my heart at their feet
and there was no response (for days)
and when it did come
it was brief, aloof
and didn’t come even a little close
to meeting me

but i am glad i did
because as someone who has hidden
my heart (my feelings)
for many a year
i know a closed heart
only leads to suffering (for me)

and i am pretty sure
i prefer the possibility
of loving true
than the knowing
that at least i am not going to get hurt
in that most painful way (again)

yes i am getting clear
no actually i am clear
i would rather the possibility

yes, i would rather be
a woman
who shows
too much

yes, i would
rather love more
than not at all

❤️ emily joy rosen

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