I don't know about you, but - try as I may - I'm not always very good at being happy. While I hope I'm not a pessimist, I've never really been an optimist either. I've never worn rose colored glasses and I've always envied those that do. As joyful as I think I am, deep sadness has never been a stranger. Not when I was a little girl and not now.
After my dad died, I started holding my happy moments closer to my heart. Protecting them. When the flowers inside me started to bloom again after his death, I noticed a difference in myself. I laughed louder and more often. I smiled at passing puppies. I loved more deeply because of what I had lost.
But from the moment he left my world, a part of me has been waiting for life to break my heart.
So, just like those happy moments, I learned to protect myself. To watch out for the hurts that may be ahead, to wait for the other shoe to drop. And like most behaviors we cultivate to protect ourselves, I've caused myself more pain by trying to predict it. As though seeing it in the distance would somehow lessen it.
Today I found myself trying to mute my own happiness because of the fear of being hurt and I don't want to be that girl anymore. I really don't. I can't bring my dad back, can't sit down with him and laugh. I can't erase the memory of hurts I've endured in past relationships. What I can do, however, is have faith. That in life, and in love, everything will be okay. Because it always has been.
And life will break my heart again. It will. People will disappoint me and, yes, people will die. It will be unbearable and yet, somehow, I will bear it. Because I have faith in my heart. The heart my father gave me. The heart that got over all those past hurts (and a couple of a**holes, too).
If that isn't a leap of faith, I don't know what is.