You can let go, an inch at a time

I have a friend who is single and fabulous. She is happy with her life, she is happy where she is, and yet she has waited for a long time to find her Mr. Right. She has prayed and she has dreamed and she has wondered if she would ever fall in love again. And then she met someone she really liked... and panicked.

It may seem strange, but I can totally relate to her fear. Having fallen in love before and having had my heart-broken, and having made it through the end of a marriage by the skin of my teeth, I get that something good happening is frightening. Because you can't believe dreams can come true and you can't believe it might be happening and you can't let go to let someone else in. Because you could get hurt. And you are afraid.

When we have nothing else at all, we allow ourselves to dream that one day, someday, we could find love again. But having let ourselves fall before, and having been heartbroken in the end, it is a simple fact of self-preservation that we guard ourselves against further pain. And the irony of it is that without letting go and letting someone in, we may ward off future pain, but we also lose out on the possibility of something wonderful. It's understandable and even commendable to guard against being hurt again, but sometimes when we put our guard up, we protect ourselves too much.

So my advice to my friend? Take a breath. Take a moment. Release your grasp on your armor just a touch, just a smidgen, each day. You don't have to throw caution to the wind, but you can let yourself hope, for just a second each day, that your dreams have been answered, that hope remains alive, that you can let someone in and not lose yourself. Let go, not completely, but just an inch at a time. Don't guard your heart so closely that you keep it closed-off and small. Let in a little light, one ray at a time, and see that you will not break, and you may just find yourself living brighter than you could have imagined.

After all, this is the life.