The heart is a beautiful thing…. Such a capacity for love and feeling. No matter how hard I try to hold back, deep down I crave the ability to love someone without reservation. To allow myself to pour everything into someone. To love without fear, jealousy or malice. Allowing that love to permeate every cell of my body so that it radiates out to everyone I encounter. But in life there has been so many attacks on this love. As I have traveled through life I have learned to hold it deep down in the folds of my heart and to guard it carefully. To be careful not to release this love as it may be manipulated into something, that when it returns will only mock my innocence and purity. Love comes from a beautiful place and enters the world whole, complete, un-ashamed and powerful, but it threatens to return to me soured and painful. So what is the answer? Guarding the heart and being cautious is wise, however there comes a point when this caution can turn into paranoia and fear. So is it really better to love and risk being hurt than to never love at all? I suppose its all in how you look at things. To look at my past and current love life status ,(which is virtually non-existent), I would at first glance call myself an epic failure… Or could I? To take a closer look would be to appreciate the beauty of these relationships. Just because they ended does not mean that they were unsuccessful or broken. Perhaps they were complete and beautiful. Every single person I have loved and poured my heart into has gifted me with something special that has in turn shaped the course of my life. A child, a song, a story, an attribute such as strength or the hurt that was imperative in learning to soothe my own wounds. These loves created the memories that fill up my empty space and the lessons that guide me in different directions. This love has manifested the winding, weaving mess that is my past. In reflection each individual suited me in that moment perfectly. To look at things this way is to relieve guilt and to allow love that existed to live on inside me still. The pressure of failure is lifted and the search for my “one perfect soul mate” comes to a startling halt. Perhaps, we don’t get one soul mate in life. Maybe some of us find that one person who is with us from start to finish, or maybe we have multiple soul mates throughout our journey. A soul mate can take many forms, a friend, family member, child or even an animal. I am on a long, scenic pathway leading me to my “soul mate” and the road has proven to not be a lonely one. I am holding hands with others along this path, heading in the same direction together until our paths separate.. cherishing every moment with them. So in closing, do I regret any of the love I’ve given? No! Will I hide this love and fear being hurt? I suppose not. I am not as foolish as I used to be, but without these past experiences in love I wouldn’t be any wiser. How freeing to realise that no love spent or given was in vain.