On My Sleeve

I wear my heart on my sleeve.

Having it there – where all can see – showing those who I love how I feel is risky.

It’s the riskiest thing I do.

Having it on my sleeve means not knowing how people will treat it.  Because, truth be told, I do not guard it well.   All because I care more about the heart of others than I do my own.

I know I need to stop doing it.  It is a hard habit to break – leaving the heart on my sleeve where it can get bumped and smushed at times.  Knowing someone could inadvertently or deliberately hurt it – thereby hurting me.

But putting it away means losing faith in people.  It means losing myself.  While it shields me from pain, it also shields me from the other things – joy, bliss, love, laughter.  It is like a giant mute – when my heart is in a safe place.

So I know I risk it on my sleeve.

And for those who have access to my heart – friends, family, people I love…..

…..I only ask this…..

treat it well.

Because wearing my heart on my sleeve means I trust you, means I love you, and means I am willing to be vulnerable so that I can care – so I can laugh with you – and cry with you – and celebrate with you.

All I ask is that you actively do the same with me.

Because feeling like the lone person in a room – with a heart on my sleeve – being vulnerable and taking risk – makes me feel stupid sometimes.  Makes me wonder why I don’t go crawl into a box.  Makes me feel like the risk isn’t worth it.

And when I do crawl in my box for a while, I only hope someone crouches down at it’s entrance, reaches in a hand, and pulls me out for a hug.

Because there is only so many times that I can be the one doing that for others…..

…..before I want to crawl into my box, and put my heart away for a while.

The native act and figure of my heart
In compliment extern, ’tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at: I am not what I am.

For when my outward action doth demonstrate

~Shakespeare’s Othello

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