A backbone like this is a product of all the times I felt like I was too much.
A back bone like this cried with my best friend all the way home.
A back bone like this made the effort when it lived on the other side of the planet.
A back bone like this shattered in disappointment.
A back bone like this spoke too soon.
A back bone like this left me feeling unwanted.
A back bone like this cried when I said good-bye.
A back bone like this cried when I said hello.
A back bone like this made me compare myself to others.
A back bone like this told me to shut up.
A back bone like this made me want to see you hurt.
A back bone like this broke my heart.
A back bone like this was scared.
A back bone like this lost patience.
Only after pretending to be heartless, indifferent and indestructible did I face myself truly. I am the exact opposite of all those things. Asking myself to be angry, to seek revenge and even to hold onto things, to hold onto people, was an act of self-hate. I’ve been all those things I listed above; been fooled, forgotten, silenced. In the middle of those moments it was as if all I’d known my entire life was a fragile ego. As if this unfortunate situation couldn’t really be happening, not to me and not for real. At the same time something in me would scold me, threaten me and demand I get it together and every time I would obey. I’d tell myself it was done, that I wouldn’t waste anymore time on being so torn up. That’d I’d do better.
That is not how a backbone like this holds strong. A back bone like this, like mine, is sensitive. It admires the big-hearted, it is vulnerable, it loves hard, it gives second chances, it cries easy, it laughs really loud, it is understanding, it is patient, it is easily affected, it smiles at strangers, it spreads itself thin, it gets tired, it sings, it dances, it losses things, it is a voice of reason, it allows itself to feel hurt. To remove even just one of these qualities would mean I am being compromised. It would mean I’m back at square one. Square one, where I thought the silhouette of strength was formed by dominate nature. Square one, where I thought the silhouette of strength was held up by “grown ass men” or heroic personalities who were disciplined and godly. I am no longer at square one. I’ve been loved far too unconditionally, found happiness where others find pity and pretended for too long to know that all of my “too much” and my sensitivity are at the core of this back bone—my back bone— and that this is the kind of strength I see in others.
The short tempered, the unfazed, the oppressors, the liars, the cowards, the selfish, the unappreciative, the apathetic; they all remain unimpressive. For what about those qualities is admirable or impressive? How can I tell someone that this is what it means to be strong, that their big heart makes it harder to be strong? That this is what it means to be brave? What is so respectable about the brave heart if that same brave heart only cares to protect itself? To say you care, to say you’re trying your hardest, to cry, to be left speechless and to say you’re hurting requires the purest of all strengths. To expose yourself, to risk, to be vulnerable, this is your power. This is what it means to be powerful. To hurt and put aside the idea of eventually healing, to allow yourself to be proved wrong, to approach things differently, this is what it means to be powerful. This kind of power takes a little more of us.
I am no less worthy of respect, of consideration, of good example or of possibility because my heart is detailed and the size of the universe. In this same way, you are no less for feeling all you do.
This is our power.