by Ore Fakorede
Every time you let someone in, every time you let yourself go, you take one sure-footed step towards the edge of a cliff. It’s not something that is done to you, this vulnerability that comes with exposure, the stripping away of defences is always your own doing. You take the leap of your own accord. If no one is kind enough to break your fall, you hurtle to the hard, cold ground called reality and shatter to smithereens on impact. That’s on you. Perhaps you were coerced, maybe even duped, into committing yourself to the jump, but you sure as hell weren’t shoved in the back.
You see, the earlier people start taking responsibility for the emotional hurts they suffer at the hands of the ones they claim to love and trust, the better for the entire world. That unmistakable feeling of being aggrieved after a heart-shattering breakup or some similar disappointment, and the need to adorn another’s doorstep with the blame for the ‘wrong’, is old and tired.
More often than not, we set ourselves up for heartbreak with self-motivation and the painstakingly nurtured unrealistic dreams of undying love, commitment, devotion or regard expected from another human who’s just as flawed as we are. We get carried away and ignore the alarm bells that go off in our heads the very instant we begin to expect too much from other people. “You’ve set the bar too high,” the voice inside whispers fiercely, but we’re often too far over the moon to even begin to bother about trying to fly lower. And then comes the letdown, shocking and unexpected, but only so because we pulled the wool over our own eyes and consequently failed to see all the little signs that are timeless indicators of an impending disappointment.
No one is perfect, no one is damn near good enough to be perfect. People falter, it’s basic human nature, and you’re better off trusting in the sun’s unfailing appearance day after day than in the perceived capacity of another entity of blood, flesh and bones such as yourself to keep a promise that could very well have been made on a whim, thoughtlessly.
Your heart will only be broken if you hand the world a sledgehammer. Love, but don’t expect to be loved in equal measure. Trust, but do it with reserve. Believe, but keep that pinch of salt handy. And when you fall, maybe, just maybe, you’ll have a safety net made from precaution waiting to catch you.
Ore is a content strategist and self-professed feminist. He has previously written for YNaija and Y!. His literary work explores music, women’s rights and relationships